News - August 27, 2015

Number of first-years has risen

Koen Guiking

The number of first-year Bachelor’s students is up by six to seven percent on last year, estimates Henk Vegter, head of the Quality & Strategic Information department. The number of new students on BSc programmes is thought to be around 1500. Last year there were 1418 newcomers.

But although the new academic year has in fact started, the defi nitive numbers are not yet known. On the basis of preliminary registrations with Studielink and years of experience, however, Vegter can make an educated guess. The weekly fi gures provided by Studielink show, for instance, that the number of preliminary registrations goes down from June. Reasons for this can be secondary students failing their VWO exams or deciding to take a gap year after all. The number of new Wageningen BSc students now stands at 1590, according to Studielink. But knowing how the curve usually goes, Vegter assumes there will be just over 1500 first-years.

By far the biggest cohort is in Business and Consumer Sciences, with 180 students. The smallest first-year group is in Communication Science, but interest in this subject has grown. Numbers have not reached 20 yet (previously stated to be the critical lower limit for the viability of a programme) but the counter is now at 14 or 15, almost double the number in 2014. In Biology, Food Technology and Nutrition and health, about 140 new students are expected.

Vegter also expects a big increase in the number of students on the transition programme. This programme caters for students who want to join an MSc programme but do not meet the admission requirements. Last year there were 82 ‘transition students’; this year Vegter expects 100. Vegter has less idea of the recruitment fi gures for the Master’s programmes but he expects growth there too: a total infl ux of about 2000 students, compared with 1900 last year. The number of applications from abroad is not known yet (it was about 6000 last year) but not all of these are admitted and of those admitted, not everyone manages to get funding and complete the paperwork.