Matching and selection
From May 2014 onwards the universities in the Netherlands started matching in the form of the 'study choice check'. The application date for students has been brought forward to 1 May, to allow time for interviews in order to 'match' the specific talents of students with the requirements of the programme. Together with the universities the VSNU wants to keep this more in-depth selection on the right tracks. That is why we are organising, among other things, seminars for knowledge exchange.
Universities have also been given more leeway to use pre-entry selection. Selection is now possible for programmes with a fixed quota, for University Colleges, honours degree programmes, art programmes and programmes that the NVAO has assessed as 'excellent'. Universities may then select on the basis of school-leaving examination grade, motivation, interest, experience, an assessment, or a group assignment. Selection based on grades alone is not, or is no longer, permitted; two selection criteria is the minimum.
The universities fully support the introduction of study choice advice, although they emphasise that the structure and content must be determined by the universities themselves. The provision of study choice advice differs from discipline to discipline, and must be tailored to the specific situation.
The universities fully support the introduction of study choice
advice, although they emphasise that the structure and content must be
determined by the universities themselves. The provision of study choice
advice differs from discipline to discipline, and must be tailored to
the specific situation.
Study choice advice stems from the matching activity
Prospective students who enrol before 1 May are entitled to study choice advice for the programme(s) for which they are enrolled on that date. This advice is non-binding, and offers candidates insight into their chances of successfully completing the programme.
Prospective students are entitled to study choice advice for the programmes for which they are enrolled on 1 May. Institutions can make the study choice activities/matching activities (on which the advice is based) compulsory, although they can also offer it on a voluntary basis. There is therefore a mutual commitment between the institution and the students. Prospective students who enrol after 1 May or do not take part in the study choice activities without a valid reason lose their right to admission and become 'admissible'. This means that the institution can decide whether or not to admit the student. Prospective students who enrol before 1 May have the right to admission regardless of the advice given. The institutions will design the study choice activities themselves. The institutions are not permitted to charge fees for study choice activities that they offer within the scope of the study choice advice.
Study choice advice for each institution
The universities can determine their own study choice activities for themselves. In this way, the differences between the various disciplines can be accommodated. For example, philosophy, law and technical studies differ greatly from each other with regard to their nature and content, and study choice advice must therefore be tailor-made for each. In this way, the universities can also coordinate their matching to accommodate international students. The universities can also offer multi-stage matching activities in order to provide well-considered advice. In addition, this approach leaves room to investigate what works and what doesn't work with regard to the provision of optimal study choice advice. For this reason, the universities will monitor and evaluate their matching activities themselves.
In recent years, the institutions have experimented with matching activities. Research into these experiments show that matching activities work well within some institutions and don't work in others. Furthermore, there is no indisputable evidence that interviews are the best matching method.
Examples of study choice activities
Selection not for all Bachelor's programmes
Despite the advantages it offers, selection will not be implemented for every programme. Students holding a pre-university diploma (VWO) are entitled to study at university. The universities will therefore always offer a sufficient number of programmes without a selection process in order to guarantee this accessibility. There are a number of programmes for which selection is permitted:
- programmes with an enrolment quota;
- small-scale and residential education (e.g. University Colleges);
- all Master's programmes.