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Master's students without Bachelor's diploma on a par with counterparts

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Most of the 81 students who were allowed to enrol in a Master's programme last year without having obtained a Bachelor's degree are not earning less credits than their classmates. The percentage of students who dropped out of the Master's also hardly differs between the two groups.

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In 2020, most UU Master's programmes admitted students who had not yet completed their Bachelor's degree because of the coronavirus pandemic. Usually, a Bachelor's diploma is required but an exception was granted last year with the consent of the Dutch Ministry of Education.

Under one condition, however: those students couldn't be more than 15 ECTS credits short of earning their Bachelor's degree. They also had to present a solid study plan to complete their Bachelor's in a year. Only the Life Sciences programmes, including Pharmacy, Economics and the Utrecht University School of Governance, decided to stick to the old policy.

On a par with their peers

In Utrecht, 81 students benefitted from the exception, according to a short memo (accessible with Solid ID) sent by the Executive Board to the University Council. Of those students, only five dropped out before the end of the second term -- a little bit less than in the group of "regular" Master's students.

But that's not all. The remaining 76 students without Bachelor's diploma obtained an average of just 0.3 credits less than their counterparts with diploma in the first two blocks. However, it should be noted that many students still need to complete their Bachelor's degree. In the beginning of 2021, only 26 of the 81 students had already succeeded in doing so.

 

One more time

This year, more than 4,000 students nationwide took advantage of the exception, according to the Dutch Minister of Education, Ingrid van Engelshoven, who adds they are doing fairly well in their studies.

The government intends to grant the same exception next year, since the Covid-19 crisis isn't over yet. Higher education institutions have already agreed to the extension, so the minister has subtmitted the draft bill to the House of Representatives.

To be on the safe side, the possibility of "relaxed" admission has also been arranged for the 1st of February 2022, the second deadline for admission. But hopefully, the crisis will have subsided by then and the institutions will no longer need to make use of it halfway through the year.

Hardly any delay
UU expects the number of students who will need to make use of the exceptional policy in the next academic year to be limited, as the results of most Bachelor's students are good and they are hardly experiencing any delay.

For this very reason, the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance does not consider it necessary to make the exception anymore. The Life Sciences programmes, including Pharmacy, also plan on continuing to require the possession of a Bachelor's degree. In some cases, students will also be admitted on a later date in February.

The faculties of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Geosciences will allow students without a Bachelor's degree to enrol in their Master's programmes.

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