Nieuws - 14 maart 2013

No more self-styled 'minors' allowed

Calling your own selection of elective courses a minor as part of your Bachelor's degree is not on anymore. Not, that is, if it is up to Wageningen's Education Institute (the OWI).

During the third year of a Wageningen Bachelor's there is space for at least 24 ECTS consisting of elective courses. This offers scope for exploring another subject area or for delving deeper into your main subject area. Students can also opt to follow one of the 57 minors created by the various degree programmes with a view to providing coherence and depth. They are also free to put together their own combination of courses to fit their particular interests or ambitions.
Up to now, this kind of individual package may be called a minor, subject to the approval of the examination board. But if the executive board takes the advice of the OWI, those days will soon be over. You will still be allowed to put together your own combination of courses but that will not be mentioned as a 'minor' on your degree certificate.
The OWI wants to get rid of the 'free minor' because relatively few students seem to opt in to a pre-determined minor, says Tiny van Boekel of the OWI. This realization came as a surprise. 'The minors are not there without reason. For us the designation 'minor' stands for a guarantee of quality.'
No more 'lite' course packages then. Not that this was usually the students' intention. Most students do opt for a set minor as a basis but they give it a personal touch by exchanging one or two of the courses for others that interest them more. That possibility will still be available in the new system, albeit to a more limited extent. In consultation with their study advisors, students will be able to swap a maximum of one course for a different one without sacrificing their claim to have followed a minor.