A good start for students
Erasmus University Rotterdam expands its pilot project on an ambitious study atmosphere
Erasmus University Rotterdam gets students off to a good start for their academic career. In the coming academic year the pilot project on a new educational approach will be more widely applied. The approach helps first year students to finish their year in good time. Practically all the programmes at Erasmus University will be adopting the new system.
For years now Erasmus University Rotterdam has been working hard to improve educational standards. Among the measures are those which make students more motivated about their programmes and ensure as much as possible that they take their degree to the set, nominal deadline. This is also a way to avoid debts. ‘Nominal is normal’ is an ambitious approach which provides an incentive to push students a little more and to get them to stay on track. All of this keeps things moving. Students are required to finish their first year in one go so that they can start their second year without any backlog.
Extending the pilot project
The Social Sciences Faculty (FSW) ran the new approach as a trial in the past academic year. Interim results for the first three quarters would seem to indicate that ‘Nominal is normal’ contributes to a better throughput in year one. Students achieve the same success rate after one year as they had previously attained in two years.
Given the first positive results at the Social Sciences Faculty practically all the other faculties have decided that in the coming academic year (2012/2013) they will take part in the new system. These are the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Erasmus School of Law (ESL), Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) and the Institute of Health Policy and Management (iBMG). The Social Sciences Faculty will continue with the system. The Philosophy Faculty and the Medical Faculty are preparing further for the new approach.
Rector magnificus Professor Dr Henk Schmidt: “We think it is very important that students get off to a good start. Through these measures we want to encourage students to perform better and at a faster rate. The latter is important to avoid backlogs. This approach moreover fosters ties among the students and their involvement with their study.”
During the pilot phase in the 2012-2013 academic year the effects of the approach, for one thing on how students move on, will be carefully examined. The first interim results of the extended pilot study are expected in the spring of 2013. Then the results will also be known of the first full year of “Nominal is normal’ at the Social Sciences Faculty. On the basis of these outcomes the Executive Board and the deans, in consultation with the University Council, will decide whether the pilot study will be converted into university policy. Erasmus University is also taking other measures to improve educational standards including better training for teachers and smaller scale classes for various programmes.
About ‘Nominal is normal’
Research has shown that a wide opportunity for re-sits results in procrastination and backlogs in studying. To prevent this, the ‘Nominal is normal’ project is designed to actively encourage students to keep on track and to complete the various sections of their course as they go along. The number of re-sits has been drastically reduced. Students who have more fails than opportunities for re-sits at the end of the academic year may avail themselves, within a certain margin, of a compensation scheme. Experiences at home and abroad, among other things at the Erasmus School of Economics, indicate that this does not result in students having a more limited knowledge base. On the contrary, the system raises the bar: instead of a 5.5 mark for every subject students in the future will have to achieve an average of 6.0.
Press information Erasmus University Rotterdam, (010) 408 1216 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Publicatiedatum: 20 juni 2012