It is not a problem if some Bachelor’s students decide against a Master’s degree for fear of the slow student fine, says Dutch State Secretary Zijlstra. The labour party (PvdA) is shocked.
Yesterday 15 university magazines reported that many Dutch students are being influenced by the new measures on the length of time allowed for a degree course. Eight percent of all Bachelor's students no longer want to do a Master's at all, revealed the survey of 5,500 students.
Zijlstra responded laconically. 'The measure aims precisely at a more thought-through choice of study programme', he said. 'These students can always decide to do a Master's course later on.'
PvdA MP Tanja Jadnanansing has posed four searching questions about this. 'Is it better or worse for the Dutch economy if students opt out of doing a Master's degree?', she wants Zijlstra to tell the house. 'How much economic damage will the Netherlands incur if thousands of students make the 'thought-through choice' you value so highly, and discontinue their studies? How many employers see a Bachelor's degree as a complete education that qualifies graduates for a good job? Do you consider dropping out of high school a 'thought-through choice' as well, or does it matter to you that students at other stages of their education do complete their courses?'
State Secretary Zijlstra has six weeks to answer these written questions.