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Public Administration continues selection

8 August 2006, 00:22

The Tilburg School of Politics and Public Administration is also participating in this experiment. But not one university tackled the experiment as broadly as did Leiden. Last year, there were test exams for the study programmes in French, German, Italian, history, and law.

For the moment, the University of Leiden will not hold an entry exam for students. According to the university, the results of an experiment show that it is not useful to select only the best secondary school students. Tilburg University is not allowing itself to be put off by this conclusion.

The University of Leiden was one of the Dutch universities and institutions of higher professional education, selected by Minister for Education Mark Rutte, to experiment with entry selection.

The Tilburg School of Politics and Public Administration is also participating in this experiment. But not one university tackled the experiment as broadly as did Leiden. Last year, there were test exams for the study programmes in French, German, Italian, history, and law. Students weren't actually refused, but the results of students with a high average were compared with the study performances of students whose average scores were lower.

It appeared that students with a higher average score did achieve good results; but so did the students with a low average. As a result of having an entry exam selection, many students would wrongly be rejected. An additional motivation test proved too easy to manipulate.

Since the beginning of this academic year, the Tilburg School of Politics and Public Administration is using an entrance examination to select its students. According to education coordinator Eelco van Hout, however, their method is not comparable with that of Leiden.

"Unlike the more general, large study programmes in Leiden, Public administration is a specific study programme, which makes it easier to select better and more accurately using other methods.

" Nevertheless, it would be useful for Leiden to continue the experiment, says Van Hout: "An experiment is only successful if you try various ways of doing it. And in any case, an entry selection will work highly self-selectively on future students." Given that Leiden had more available places than candidate students, having a selection procedure wasn't really necessary. [LM/transl.YV]

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