News - April 15, 2013

Bachelor's students are finishing faster

Graduation rate growing, partly thanks to slow student fine.
Big increase in recruitment to Master's programmes.

The rate at which Wageningen BSc students are graduating shot up in 2012. The proportion of students completing a Bachelor's degree within three years (not counting dropouts in the first year) was 34 percent last year, more than half as much again as the year before that (22 percent). This has emerged from the latest Education Monitor which came out recently. According to the authors, the main cause of the rise is the slow student fine. This spurred many students to shift up a gear to get their piece of paper in time. Only to find the new cabinet scrapping the fine at the end of 2012.
Sixty seven percent of the students managed to complete their Bachelor's within four years: a rise of 5 percent which brings the university closer to its goal of 75 percent by 2015. This figure is in the agreement between the university and the government. Wageningen wants to further improve the rate at which students graduate by offering them more contact hours and interim tests in the very first semester. The university is also considering introduction a binding recommendation on the continuation of studies.
More Master's students   
Because more students are completing their BSc degrees, recruitment to MSc programmes is picking up too: from 1490 in 2011 to 1810 in 2012. The rate of graduation from MSc programmes is high, partly because in the present system students can take Master's courses while studying for their Bachelor's. Once a hard cut-off point between Bachelor's and Master's is introduced, the rate at which people complete a Master's is expected to go down.
Once again, last year saw a big growth in Wageningen's student population. There were a  total of 2197 new recruits, over 9 percent more than the year before. InterĀ­national student numbers grew too: from 747 in 2011 to 811 in 2012. They account for much of the growth in the number of Master's students. If the trend continues there will be more Master's than Bachelor's    students in Wageningen from this year.