"Dutch Students Discriminated Against?" - Wittenborg Chair Writes to Minister
Dutch students are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to admission to research universities.
This is one of the issues brought up in a letter to the Dutch minister of higher education, Ingrid van Engelshoven, which was written by Wittenborg’s chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, earlier this month.
Next month, Van Engelshoven is due to introduce her vision for internationalisation in the Netherlands’ higher education system to the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer).
In his letter, Birdsall raises serious concerns about research universities' disregard for the Dutch binary system in higher education - specifically with regard to entrance requirements for non-EU students like those from China and Russia among other countries.
“It has recently come to our attention that some, possible many, international students, non-EU students (China and Russia, for instance) are being admitted to Dutch research universities with only a high school qualification equivalent to the Dutch HAVO diploma. It is our understanding that in the Netherlands, to enter a research university after high school, the minimum qualification should be equivalent to a Dutch VWO diploma.
“If what we have been reliably informed about is correct, then this is undermining the quality and standing of Dutch research universities, discriminating against Dutch high school leavers, going against the principles of a binary higher education system and disrespecting towards a healthy Dutch internationalisation policy,” Birdsall writes.
He also asked the minister to ensure that all HE institutes adhere to correct admission procedures: “We urge the Minister to ensure that all HE institutes in the Netherlands adhere to the same admissions criteria for international students that are applied to Dutch students.”
by James Wittenborg