If you want faster students, you should train first-year students in their social skills, instead of threatening them with higher tuition fees and loans, says education specialist Lilian Eggens in Dutch daily de Volkskrant.
Eggens: “Having a social network appears to have a bigger influence on motivation and success than all kinds of study-delay measures.
Last Thursday, educational researcher Eggens defended her PhD thesis The Student X-factor at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
“It is clear that being successful in studying is not only about doing what a lecturer asks you to do and handing in papers in time. Others things, like motivation and being part of a social circle, are just as important. Friends are important to support you with your studies, to help you with problems and to relax together.
Except for students being active in student associations for a year, you could say that the bigger the network, the smaller the chance a student runs the risk of a study delay.
Turning it around, you can also say that the more a student studies in isolation, or only sees his or her parents, the bigger the risk of a study delay.”
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