Stenden hbo college in Leeuwarden was wrong to award degrees to 259 people in Qatar and South Africa, according to education inspectors.
Stenden, which profiles itself as a university of applied sciences abroad, has local operations in both countries as well as Bali and Thailand.
The inspectors, tipped off following articles in the Volkskrant, said the college should not have given Dutch degrees to the students because they had not spent any time in the Netherlands, as required by law.
And while the inspectors did not look closely at the standards of education in the college’s foreign operations, it is critical of some aspects, the paper says.
For example, in Qatar, theses are written in small groups of two or three, so it is impossible to say if all students have reached the required standards. The inspectors also suspect ‘certain modules are easier’ than in the Netherlands and that ‘some tests are not taken’.
Junior education minister Halbe Zijlstra said in a reaction he planned to limit hbo colleges’ foreign activities. At least 25% of the courses must be given on Dutch soil in order to qualify for degree status, he said.
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