News - March 28, 2013

More Master's degrees in 2012

Number of Master's degrees awarded up by one third.
Likely reasons increased enrolments and slow student fine.

Wageningen University awarded 33 percent more Master's degrees last year than the year before that. At the end of the year 1386 Master's degrees had been awarded: the highest number ever attained in one year. The spike came three years after the number of Master's students in the Netherlands increased across the board. At that time, the Association of Dutch Universities assumed that this development was related to the economic crisis. The number of Bachelor's students went up too. The number of students in both categories is still much higher than it was five years ago.
But 2012 was also the year of the slow student fine. Anyone who took a year longer to graduate than was allowed faced a stiff fine in the form of raised tuition fees. This motivated a lot of students to put in a final spurt so as to finish off their degree courses before the start of the next academic year. The slow student fine was then retracted by the new Dutch cabinet.
Although more Master's degree holders have entered the job market, this has had little impact on the percentage of Wageningen graduates who found a job straightaway. More graduates had to accept a job below their level of qualification, however.