A selected student has two weeks to accept the place. “If that person refuses, we invite the next one on the list,” says Alicia Walkowiak, co-head of the selection committee. “That person also has two weeks to react, so this process takes rather a long time. When the academic year is about to begin, we stop the process. Not all places are taken at that time.”
That is why we have the so-called ‘keeping them interested actions’. Those start even before the selection procedure. Anyone who shows an interest in the bachelor’s of Psychology receives a card from the faculty at Christmas. In addition to best wishes, the potential student is also informed about the online ambassadors. These are students who answer questions and show on Instagram what being a Maastricht Psychology student entails. A second card follows in January, wishing them a successful selection procedure. All this is to strengthen the community feeling as well as to inform the students, said Claudia Spierings, head of FPN’s marketing and communication department.
It really takes off in April, which is when selected students receive chocolates (in de shape of a star) and another card. “The star is the symbol of Maastricht, but we also want to say to the student: ‘You are a star’,” says Spierings. Another small package follows just before summer, this time with summer greetings, an invitation to the introduction week and a card game that you can play in order to get to know someone better. “We are really involved with our students and want to let them know that in this way, by introducing them to our community even before they come to Maastricht,” says Spierings.
Does this make students pick Maastricht over other universities? That is difficult to say, Spierings admits. “After all, there are always several reasons why someone chooses a particular study programme. But every year, we ask whether it helped them to make a choice and most students answered yes.”