MAASTRICHT. There will be no general selection for master’s students at this university, says a written statement from the Executive Board to the University Council. The Council agrees with the position taken by the Board.
The matter became a topic of interest since the Quality in Diversity Act was introduced by education minister Bussemaker. She abolished the system of the ‘continuing master’s programmes’ in 2013, referring to master’s programmes that are open to every student who completed the respective preparatory bachelor’s programmes.
National student union ISO now fears a domino effect: when additional requirements are set for potential master’s students on a large scale, one university after the other will have to implement the same policy as well. Otherwise the institute that maintains a freely accessible master’s programme runs the risk of becoming a litterbin for the others, ISO reported in a pressing letter to the minister in January.
Such an effect is certainly not visible yet, says the Executive Board. There are a couple of universities (Utrecht, Rotterdam) that indeed have already made their master’s programmes selective, but this does not apply elsewhere. So there is no ‘overspill’ of students who are not welcome elsewhere. The Board has therefore decided, after conferring with the deans, to leave the situation as it is. This means that every bachelor’s programme will continue to give access to one or more master’s programmes. “In doing so, we indicate how we appreciate the quality of our bachelor’s programmes,” says the statement to the University Council.
Only for the research master’s and certain ‘small’ programmes, students will be subjected to a selection procedure. This is also a continuation of existing policies.