Tougher selection for students

University students are to face tougher selection procedures and new rules on switching courses, in a bid to stem the high drop out rate. Currently, one in three students drops out before completing his/her degree, costing the state some €100 mln a year. The government wants to cut that back to one in five.

The opening of the Dutch academic year is traditionally a time when ministers and academics outline new thinking on higher education. This year, the university association, education minister Maria van der Hoeven and chairman of the Social Economic Council (SER) Alexander Rinnooy Kan all called for more stringent student selection. Limited selection has been introduced in some subjects but places to study popular subjects like medicine are still allocated by lottery.
Dutch universities are in the process of switching to a bachelor/master system.

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