If you want to complete your one-year master’s study quickly, you should come to Maastricht. Half of the students here graduate within one year and more than 80 per cent finishes within two years. It is a completely different story in Leiden: not even 30 per cent manages to obtain their diploma on time and only 67 per cent does so within two years.
Rector Luc Soete thinks that the Maastricht programmes are more selective when admitting students and so they are better matched. In addition, few UM bachelor’s students continue on to the master’s, certainly compared to other universities, and that has a positive effect, according to Soete. “It means that we see a lot of students coming from outside who are experiencing PBL for the first time and are very motivated by it. They achieve more too and in doing so, they finish more quickly.”
The figures were published by the Association of universities in the Netherlands (VSNU). In the past, it was difficult to say anything about the success rate of master’s students, because some still had to complete bachelor’s subjects. But since 2012, they have to have finished their bachelor’s programme completely before they are allowed to go on.
With the two-year master’s studies, Maastricht is in the company of Wageningen and Tilburg, where more than 80 per cent also reach the finish line quickly. The difference with Erasmus University Rotterdam is great: only half of the students there complete their master’s programme with no more than one year delay.
To ensure that the comparison is fair, the figures only refer to master’s students who started their studies in September: through the years, this applies to 60-80 per cent of all master’s students. Schools of higher education students are also excluded. They are usually allowed to start a university master’s programme after a transition course.