MAASTRICHT. The first 368 bachelor’s students completed the first module of their free Dutch course last week. It is not known yet whether they have all passed.
Just before the summer, the Executive Board decided to give in to the long-cherished wish of various student groups: free Dutch language courses for foreign students. Knowledge of Dutch in addition to English is indispensable at an international university, but it is also vital in preparation of foreign students for the regional and Dutch labour market.
There appears to be a lot of interest among first-year bachelor’s students. Twenty groups started module 1 in September. Another eighteen groups - averaging seventeen students- will start during the next block. Eight groups are scheduled to embark upon the second and last module. As things stand now, the expected twelve hundred students for this academic year will be reached easily.
The Language Centre organises specific courses for Germans (they learn Dutch much faster) and ‘other foreign speakers’. German students are able to reach level A2 in two modules; this is equal to the official civic integration requirement. Other foreigners will enter the exam for level A1.