Dutch universities to get tougher on failing students
The minister of education, Jet Bussemaker, would like to allow universities in the Netherlands the right to expel students who are underperforming in their second and third years.
At this moment it is only possible for universities or colleges to expel students who have not acquired enough credits in their first year, but Bussemaker would like to experiment with this new policy as of August this year or next. Students in their final year will not be able to be expelled, however.
The Association of Universities (VSNU) is happy with the plans, stating that it will help to improve results. However, any institution who wishes to participate will have to show improvements in their quality of education as well as help any expelled student to find another study program.
Although most Dutch bachelor degrees last a total of three years, the leniency with which students can currently pursue their courses in many institutions means that it often takes much longer for them to be completed.
The National Union of Students (LSVb) believes the experiment to be "misguided and unnecessary," focusing too much on efficiency when, they feel, the real issue lies in the quality of education.
Further dissent comes from the student organisation ISO, who believe that this stricter approach to studies will mean that students will not be able to focus on extra-curricular activities and thus not be able to fully develop their life-skills.