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Universities are committed to improving study success rates

Universities want students to complete their degree programmes successfully within the allocated time frames. That means that they are committed to ensuring students end up in the right degree programmes and do not fail or fall too far behind in their studies.



Themes:
How do we measure study success rates?
More students are obtaining their Bachelor’s degree within four years
A Study Check for every student
Not all students land in the right place on the first try
 

 

How do we measure study success rates?


There are all kinds of definitions for ‘study success’. The one we use here measures study success based on time to complete a degree programme, programme switching, drop-out rates, students having experiences abroad, and the extent to which education is viewed as sufficiently challenging. Students’ workloads and the support they receive during their studies are something of an indication of the preconditions for study success. We see these as important indicators of study success, but they do not tell the whole story. Universities do not only want their students to graduate quickly, they also want to offer a rich learning experience: they actively encourage study and student associations, studying abroad, engaging in sporting and cultural activities, etc. During their studies, students should develop themselves in a wide variety of areas. At the same time, we do not want such activities to lead to excessive study delays, so we try to give students the space to have these sorts of experiences as part of their degree programme.
 

 

 

More students are obtaining their Bachelor’s degree within four years


In recent years, the number of students who obtained a Bachelor’s degree within four years has increased significantly. 53% of students who started in 2006 obtained a Bachelor’s degree within four years; now 70% of students do so. An important reason for the higher success rate is the introduction of the ‘clean break’: starting from the 2012/13 academic year, students can only start their Master’s degree programme once they have obtained their Bachelor’s degree. Universities are also taking other measures to promote study success: good information, the Study Check, more support, more contact hours, and the introduction of the binding study advice (BSA) have all contributed to more students completing their Bachelor’s degrees within four years.
 

 

 

A Study Check for every student


To ensure that more students enrol on their first try in the degree programme that is right for them, universities run a Study Check for prospective students. Through activities such as attending a sample lecture, doing a homework assignment or having a conversation with a lecturer, prospective students get a good picture of the programme they are signing up for. Since 2014, all students have been entitled to a Study Check (click here for more information).
 

Not all students land in the right place on the first try


7% of Bachelor’s students at research universities fail their first year (2015 cohort). They do not continue with a research university degree programme. Some of these students (4%) switch to higher professional education. Of the students who do continue in research university education, 7% move to another university and 8% switch to another degree programme at the same university. 78% of students continue with the same degree programme.