MAASTRICHT. It appears that there is a slight increase in the number of first-year students. This is shown by the provisional enrolment figures. Maastricht University received 24,028 first-year pre-enrolments this year. Of them, 6,183 have already received the ‘approved’ stamp. This means that their registration has been fully completed and they have actually embarked upon a study programme in Maastricht. For the bachelors, 5 per cent more of the enrolments have been ‘approved’ compared to last year around this time and for the masters the figure is 0.1 per cent. It is not clear what caused this increase, says spokesperson Caroline Roulaux. “The difference is too insignificant to say anything; it always fluctuates. Only after the official count in October will we see if there is an actual increase and what those percentages amount to.”
What is also remarkable, is the popularity of Knowledge Engineering. The number of ‘approved’ enrolments has increased by 69 per cent compared to last year. “To find out why, we would have to read tea-leaves,” says Ralf Peeters, vice-chairman of the Department of Knowledge Engineering. “We didn’t carry out any special campaign. However, we did welcome many more people to the open days over the past two years. Science studies in general have become more and more popular over the last fifteen years, so that could be a factor. Maybe we have become more visible now that we have moved to the Tapijn Barracks. On the other hand, a large number of these new students come from abroad, so then you wouldn’t expect a change in Maastricht to have any effect.”
There is always a difference between the pre-enrolments and the number of students that eventually come to Maastricht. For example, prospective students may end up choosing a different university or don’t make the selection or lottery. In October, all enrolment procedures will be completed and the final number of enrolments will be made known.