The Ministry of Education believes that a masters study of Gender and Diversity at the Maastricht Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is superfluous. There is already a two-year research masters of Gender and Ethnicity at Utrecht University and hence the minister – advised by a special committee on efficiency in higher education – thinks that a Maastricht masters study would not be useful. The English one-year masters study was to start on 1 September 2010. The UM has appealed against the decision.
Maaike Meijer, professor of gender and diversity studies, wrote the dossier and finds the rejection “really weird. We have even made agreements with Utrecht. Upon completion of our masters programme, students can start the research masters in Utrecht. We have actually been very efficient in our collaboration.”
Research by Flycatcher shows that many are interested in this study, Meijer continues. “We expect 15 students in the initial year, increasing to a permanent figure of thirty. Especially students from University College Maastricht, where we teach gender and diversity topics, are very enthusiastic. In addition, we can serve the Belgian market.”
Higher education institutes that want to start a new study, must first have their plans tested for suitability. After a positive result, the study can be approved by the Dutch-Flemish accreditation organisation.
This is the second disappointment for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, because the masters study of Artistic Research did not get the go-ahead either. This will now become a track in an existing masters programme.