We have the most popular fixus programme

Foto: Ukjent

The numerus fixus study programmes, which have a limited number of available places, are extremely popular this year: there are more than twice as many student than spots for them to fill. The absolute winner is International Business Administration (IBA) of the Rotterdam School of Management with four times as many applications as slots.

‘We can choose between 2300 students for 575 available places,’ says IBA-director Adri Meijdam to the Telegraaf. Because the application deadline for fixus-studies has been moved up from May 1st to January 15th, some feared that students wouldn’t notice. But they did, and not only in the Netherlands: most of the aspirant IBA-students are from abroad, while 300-500 Dutch students have applied.

Larger capacity?

This many students for such a limited number of places – would it not be better to increase the capacity of the programme? According to Meijdam, that’s not as necessary as it seems. ‘In the end, experience shows that the number of students that actually meet our criteria and don’t drop out before the selection process is finished is much lower than this.’ For Dutch students, who take up 40 percent of the spaces, there’s always the Business Administration bachelor without a numerus fixus.

Besides, increasing capacity is more easily said than done. ‘A year and a half ago we increased the maximum number of students from 450 to 550. That meant more assignments to grade, more feedback to give – which involves time, people and money. You can’t just increase the capacity of the department, it takes time.’

Turn to digital offers possibilities

Finally, there’s a lack of large lecture halls to accommodate all those students. ‘We only have three halls that can house more than 480 students, and we share them with other programmes.’ Building more big lecture halls would be against the popular trend, says Meijdam: concepts like blended learning and flipping the classroom that are more digitally oriented and involve less contact hours.

But the turn to digital education offers possibilities in terms of capacity, too. Meijdam does not rule out the option of bigger capacity in the future. ‘If those trends pursue, and everything becomes more digital, who knows what will be possible.’


In total, the 91 fixus programmes in the Netherlands can offer a spot to 19.608 students, while 46.542 have applied.


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More information

Did you know that from the next academic year onwards, universities carry out their own selection of students for the fixus programmes? In the past, the selection was often carried out through lotteries, but these have been abolished.