Although the slow student fine will very likely be scrapped, it has succeeded substantially in getting Wageningen students to study more effectively.
One and a half times as many students as usual graduated at the end of August, a quick analysis by the university shows. According to Eric de Munck of the department of Education & Research, students who matriculated four or five years ago in BSc programme courses are getting much higher returns this year. 'A cursory examination shows that there is even an increase across the board, including third year students. Although the direct boost exerted by the slow student fine is obvious on fourth and fifth years, and less for third years, the benefits for the latter have also gone up tremendously.'
Graduating earlier has resulted in a big increase in the number of students on the Master's programmes this year, with 3737 MSc students this year compared with 3374 last year. De Munck: 'Most of these students have moved up from one of our Bachelor's programmes. This increase will level off next year; it's just a one-off "clearance" phenomenon.'