Organisation - March 9, 2019

Number of top MSc programmes down

Luuk Zegers

The number of MSc programmes at Wageningen University described as ‘top’ has gone down from 21 in 2018 to 13 in 2019, according to the Dutch Master’s degree guide Keuzegids Masters, published on Tuesday 5 March.

© Marte Hofsteenge

Dean of Education Arnold Bregt sees two reasons for the drop. ‘On the one hand, you can see that other universities have started taking their educational work more seriously. The score in the Keuzegids is relative. So that means our score gets lower if our programmes maintain the same standard, while other programmes improve.’

Impact of growth

Then there is the impact of growth, Bregt thinks. ‘It is the law of the large numbers. Wageningen is known for its small classes, but the number of students has grown in recent years, and the number of teaching staff has not kept up.’

Bregt takes the figures seriously. ‘We take all relevant figures about education seriously. We analyse them, discuss how we can improve things, and take action. The National Students Survey revealed that Wageningen was not scoring so well on preparation for the job market. So to improve on that, all programmes now have to organize a minimum of five interactions with professionals in the field each year –things like guest lectures or excursions.’

WUR is still the best university

WUR is still the best university, says the guide, with a total score of 68. The science universities of Twente and Eindhoven follow at a distance of one and three points, respectively. These three science universities score higher than the general universities. Delft is the only science university with a relatively low score, 57.

Below the results. Programmes that score 75 points or higher, get the predicate 'top programme'.

Keuzegids Masters results 2018 en 2019
2018 2019
Animal Sciences 80 76
Aquaculture & Marine Resource Management 78 62
Biobased Sciences --- *
Bioinformatics 80 76
Biology 80 80
Biosystems Engineering 66 70
Biotechnology 82 74
Climate Studies 80 70
Communication 70 74
Development & Rural Innovation 64 72
Earth & Environment 76 74
Environmental Sciences 76 75
Food Quality Management 82 76
Food Safety 80 76
Food Technology 82 80
Forest & Nature Conservation 84 84
Geo-Information Science 88 92
Intern. Development Studies 72 73
Intern. Land & Water Management 90 86
Landscape Architecture & Planning 64 58
Leisure, Tourism & Environment 80 82
Management, Economics & Consumer Studies 70 68
Molecular Life Sciences 88 72
Nutrition & Health 78 72
Organic Agriculture 76 68
Plant Biotechnology 80 78
Plant Sciences 84 80
Urban Environmental Management 80 73

* From the programme Biobased Sciences were no student evaluations available.

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