Students at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences (WUAS) have overwhelmingly proved that they are up to the challenge, with the majority of all graduating students completing their degree within the 3 years / phases, according to the preliminary WUAS Year Report 2015, to be published at the end of May.
Wittenborg's positive study and gradation success rate is in stark contrast to the trend at the large state Dutch Applied Sciences, where it has been reported this week by the Association of State Funded Universities of Applied Sciences (HBO Raad), less than 50% of students graduate within even 5 years, most of these students having dropped out.
WUAS offers its 240 Credit Bachelor programmes in 3 year phases, which gives the opportunity for students to complete 80 credits a year - one which most students seem to have taken. According to explanations provided by Witttenborg's Education Board, the success rate is probably also in part due to the unique block system developed during the past 10 years at the institute. The Block system allows students to follow modules in packages of 6 weeks, provides 6 entry and 6 graduation moments a year and allows students a greater flexibility in retaking modules and exams if required. All final year modules are offered twice, which means that there is no study delay for a student who is required to 'catch-up' a module.
According to the year report, with 85% of its student body being international students, WUAS has an advantage, its students tend to be more motivated, have a different perspective on their study duration (cost, employment and progression), and are generally higher qualified than the majority of students at the state universities of applied sciences (having more years secondary school). Their cultural background also often leans more to a studious approach.
According to Santosh Aryal, student registrar, 'its not all perfect - a matter of concern remains the 1st year dropout rates, which although significantly lower than at other institutes, remain too high for us'. Dropout rates at WUAS are around 18% in the first year, and this is mainly attributed to a number of factors, including financial and immigration issues but predominantly student housing, which until now has been limited in Apeldoorn. Wittenborg offers its own student housing and has firm plans to expand the availability of this in 2016, allowing students to stay longer in university accommodation. 'Most 'dropouts' actually just switch programmes however, so don't actually 'dropout' but just change their location.'
Aryal commented 'Final Year entrants also have an impact on the stats of course, as they are usually even more motivated to complete within the year, however they still require 80 credits and it’s a pretty tough programme, with a strict deadline for the final project'.
Wittenborg's Year Report 2015 will be published at the end of May.
by Wittenborg University Press