News - May 13, 2020

Big drop in student registrations

Luuk Zegers

Preliminary registrations for the academic year 2020/2021 are lagging far behind those of last year. According to the latest prognosis, 12 per cent fewer students will be starting on a WUR BSc degree programme.

© Marte Hofsteenge

On 4 May 2020, there were 1735 preliminary registrations at the university. On the same day last year, 1974 students had registered, 239 more. This difference is mainly due to a fall in the number of Dutch secondary school pupils registering. Nationwide, 12 percent fewer have applied to university.

Henk Vegter, head of Qualty & Strategic Information: ‘Dutch pupils normally have to have registered by 1 May. This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, they have until 1 June to register, so there might be a small surge to come. We’ll have a bit more certainty in the first week of June. How many new students will actually start on a Bachelor’s degree is anyone’s guess at the moment.’

Gap year

Vegter expects that this year, secondary school pupils will be more reluctant to embark on a university degree. ‘There won’t be the usual introduction week, for instance, and the chances are that new students will have to start on their programme online, at least partially. The exact reasons will vary from one person to the next. But it’s possible that starting a degree will not be so popular next academic year, and that more school pupils will be taking a gap year.’

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