Graph of ministry OCW

Students spend less time on hold for DUO

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New figures show that Education Executive Agency (DUO) has made a big leap forward in terms of its accessibility by phone. In 2019, DUO reports that the average time callers spent on hold in the busy month of September fell to three minutes

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That is well below the new target of eight minutes agreed for this year. In 2017, students spent an average of 13 minutes on hold in September, and in 2018 the average waiting time rose to almost 28 minutes.

Fewer questions
In general, DUO says it now receives fewer and fewer inquiries from current and former students by telephone, email and on social media. This downward trend appears to be due to the new IT system (all links in Dutch) that was introduced in the spring of 2018. After the inevitable teething troubles that generated record waiting times in the summer of 2018, the organisation is starting to reap the benefits. Thanks to the system, students are now able to take care of more and more online themselves.

This summer, DUO had already said it was hopeful about reducing waiting times. After complaints from the National Ombudsman and others, and following heavy criticism from MPs, Education Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven made €6.5 million available to improve DUO’s accessibility.

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