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UCM in the lead, Biomedical Sciences in deep trouble

UCM in the lead, Biomedical Sciences in deep trouble

Elsevier: Nijmegen voted the best by students, not by professors

MAASTRICHT. The annual Elsevier survey shows that students voted University College Maastricht as the best college in the country. Biomedical Sciences on the other hand is in deep trouble, say both students and professors. The programme will be turned inside out.

University College, with its score of 82, is way above the other colleges (scoring an average of 76). It is mainly the facilities, organisation and communication that are “significantly higher than average” in Maastricht, states weekly magazine Elsevier. Leiden, the number two, is believed to have a better education system and better lecturers.

Every year, Elsevier draws up a list of university programmes based on the opinions of 200 thousand students (National Student Survey) and of professors and senior lecturers. The bachelor’s programmes are easier to compare than the master’s.

Like UCM, the Maastricht bachelor’s of International Business, Fiscal Economics, Fiscal Law, European Law School and European Studies (of which there are only two programmes in the Netherlands) came first in their respective categories. Medicine and Biomedical Sciences perform considerably less than their sister programmes. Health Sciences is greatly appreciated mainly by professors, who rate it the best in the country.

Biomedical Sciences received a fail from the students (53) – just like in the Keuzegids – and ended last but one on the list (of seven programmes); professors even put it in last place. What is going on?

“That is partly the reason why the programme will be turned inside out,” says Nanne de Vries, vice dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences. “The structure of the curriculum is too complicated, has too many blocks and even overlaps. We are going to streamline the programmes, reduce the size of the tutorial groups and improve contact between students and lecturers. We have also put out so-called student antennae. These are students who report problems to us.”

According to students, the best universities are in Nijmegen, Tilburg and Eindhoven this time. Maastricht comes second in the ‘specialist universities’ category (Tilburg, Maastricht). Of the broad universities, Nijmegen scores particularly well among students. The professors think that Utrecht is the best.

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