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Students will not be given insight into selection criteria

Students will not be given insight into selection criteria

Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes Fotografie

SBE can select all students for intake-restricted programmes

Having received permission from the Ministry of Education earlier this year, the School of Business and Economics can now select all students for its programmes with a limited number of places. The students in the faculty council now want to know exactly according to which criteria this will be done, but the board is not giving away all the details.

So far, the school and the national DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs) organisation determined together – on a fifty-fifty basis – who was to be admitted to the programmes for which intake restrictions apply. At SBE, these are International Business and Economics and Business Economics. The faculty is happy with this adaptation of the law because they can now choose those students whom they regard as most suited to the character of the school.

But who are those students? Which criteria will be applied? These issues were on the faculty council’s agenda last Tuesday. The students had asked for the criteria months ago, but were very disappointed when they discovered that they would not be given insight into the actual details. “We want to prevent the criteria from unjustly excluding people,” one student said. “But without the details, we cannot assess this.”

SBE intends to select students on the basis of a CV and a letter of motivation, which it has also done in previous years. The only difference is that the requirement of an essay on an economic subject of one’s choice has been dropped, because it appeared there was no relation to study success. In the letter of motivation, students are expected to explain why SBE should select them. The board will not disclose exactly which items in the answer will gain points. Not even in a private meeting, as the students proposed. The board thinks that the risk that the items will be leaked is too great.

“You will have to trust that we will be fair and offer equal opportunities to everyone,” says Harold Hassink, responsible for education. “We want those students who suit our programme best. As a board we have the same goal as you: high survival and completion rates. We don’t necessarily want the brightest students, but the ones who are suited to PBL, those who will participate and share their thoughts.”

In the selection of students for Economics and Business Economics it appears that the board finds societal responsibility important. At International Business the emphasis is on international experience. Why, the students ask, who cannot see the difference between the studies. “Because IB students end up in international business,” says Boris Blumberg, involved in the selection procedures. “And because EBE students often end up in government or NGOs, for which social involvement is relevant.”

The students would prefer the selection to be made on the basis of acquired knowledge, such as mathematics. That would be a good predictor of study success. But that would not be legally permitted.


Maurice Timmermans



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