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More Dutch universities start selecting students

NETHERLANDS. Over 25% of hbo college degree courses and one in five university degrees have some form of selection, according to the latest edition of the higher education handbook Keuzegids.

In addition, 80% of the 1,200 master’s degree programmes available in the Netherlands also involve some form of selection process, the handbook states. Often this involves a motivation letter.

For example, Wageningen University requires its master’s students to have an average score of at least 70% in their bachelor degrees, the NRC says. To study artificial intelligence in Maastricht, students must speak fluent English and score highly in analytical writing and reasoning.

Education minister Jet Bussemaker told the paper she is keeping a close eye on developments. ‘If it appears that there is a threat to the concept of equal accessibility I will intervene,’ she said.

Some MPs are also concerned about the trend, the NRC says. D66 parliamentarian Paul van Meenen said he only supports selection if there is a limit on student numbers. Socialist MP Jasper van Dijk said selection disadvantages ‘late bloomers’.

The universities are able to introduce tougher entrance requirements because they no longer have to automatically admit students for master’s degrees at the same faculty where they studied for their bachelor’s.


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