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Eurogates

Bachelor's-master's structure in the Netherlands

16 January 2006, 00:51

The bachelor’s-master’s structure is having an adverse effect on the internationalization of education. This is the conclusion of the Dutch Education Council in its advice to the Government entitled Internationalization Agenda for Education 2006-2011.

The bachelor’s-master’s structure is having an adverse effect on the internationalization of education. This is the conclusion of the Dutch Education Council in its advice to the Government entitled Internationalization Agenda for Education 2006-2011. The introduction of the bachelor’s-master’s structure was supposed to lead to greater uniformity in the structure of study programmes in different countries, yet mobility has actually decreased rather than increased.

This is because the programmes offered by different universities do not always complement each other well. Timetables do not match and students are often confronted with strict enrolment criteria and transitional programmes when they want to study at another university. The difference in the duration of master’s programmes between the Netherlands and other countries is also a problem. While a master’s programme in the Netherlands often takes one year, in other countries it may take two years. This can make the recognition of Dutch programmes difficult.

There is also little understanding in other countries of the difference between a professional bachelor’s programme (HBO) in the Netherlands and an academic bachelor’s programme (WO). A further obstacle is the limited space in the curriculum for optional subjects because of the two cycles in the bachelor’s-master’s structure. This problem was noticeable during the Wil Weg Week 2005, during which many institutions of higher education gave presentations about study-abroad opportunities for Dutch students.

“Although students are often interested in spending some time studying abroad, they find it difficult to find the time in their study programme,” explained Maryse Laseroms from Nuffic, who organized the event. (From: Transfer, December 2005)

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