Friday 27 May 2022

Competition for masters’ students heats up at Dutch universities

A few years ago it would have been unthinkable, but now Dutch universities are competing with each other for master’s students, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Universities are advertising in each other’s magazines and hanging up posters on competing campuses to try to attract students. Amsterdam, for example, is focusing on attracting students from Leiden and Utrecht. Leiden is active in Amsterdam, Groningen, Rotterdam and Utrecht.

In 2011, just under 3,000 students switched to a different university for their master’s degree. In 2014, that had risen to almost 5,000, figures from the Dutch university association VSNU show.

Erasmus University in Rotterdam attracted over 500 students from other universities and says attracting more is a priority for the next four years.

The government’s decision to abolish grants is also forcing students to think about where they can best invest in their future, Utrecht University spokesman Peter van der Wit said.

However, student union LSVb warns that advertising ‘does not improve education’. ‘Image is often more important than factual information,’ chairman Tom Hoven said.

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