Student survey reveals high satisfaction with Dutch universities

Student survey reveals high satisfaction with Dutch universities

The results of the Netherlands’ annual National Student Survey (Nationale Studenten Enquête) have been released for 2015, giving insight into how satisfied students are with the quality of Dutch universities.

The initiative behind the survey, Studiekeuze123, was pleased to report that a record number of students reported overall satisfaction with their study experiences in the Dutch higher education system.

The student survey

This year, 275.881 students took part in the survey, providing information about their experiences at universities and universities of applied science (hogescholen) around the Netherlands.

Aside from assigning an overall score, students rated their institutions in 17 categories. Many of these had to do with aspects of study experience, such as Instructors, Class Sizes, Content, Academic Skills and Assessment.

But the students also gauged how well their schools have prepared them for working life, such as by facilitating internship opportunities and offering career-building resources.

Still other categories related to the kinds of facilities and accommodation options provided to students.

"Remarkable" results

This year, Studiekeuze123 found that 82,7 per cent of university students were generally to extremely satisfied with their programme content. The survey also found that 81,9 per cent would recommend their programme to family members or friends.

On average, universities received an overall rating of 4,22 and hogescholen scored 3,99.

Regarding individual categories, students were especially positive about Study Environment, which received a rating of 4,13 out of 5, and Class Size, which scored 4.

Studiekeuze123 director Kolkhuis Tanke called these results "remarkable" at a time when higher education in the Netherlands has been the subject of tumultuous protest.

Room for improvement

Despite the positive overall feedback, the study drew attention to some common weak points across institutions.

Students did not generally feel well-prepared by their universities for internships, and felt that mentorship during internships was lacking.

At many universities, they expressed some disappointment with the quality of resources available for career coaching and preparation.  

However, the biggest weakness overall was Accommodation, which received a rating of only 3,17.

The highest-ranking institutions

The best-performing universities of 2015 were Nyenrode Business University, the Open University in Maastricht and Wageningen University. All three received a score of 4,44.

Among hogescholen, De Kempel Pabo (a teacher education college) fared the best, scoring 4,75.

About Studiekeuze123

Studiekeuze123 is an independent research foundation. It is a joint initiative of the Netherlands’ major higher educational and student associations.

Its objective is to help students make informed decisions regarding their educational paths. It does this mainly by providing comparative information on study programmes around the Netherlands.

Information on specific programmes at Dutch universities and hogescholen - including, in some cases, student ratings - is available on the Studiekeuze website, via this search function.

Emily McCallum


Emily McCallum

Emily grew up in a small coastal town in western Canada and moved to Utrecht in 2014, after completing her studies in Vancouver and Germany. So far, she has been...

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