What do you mean coronavirus? Tilburg University freshmen get as many credits as their predecessors
Coronavirus or no coronavirus, first-year Bachelor’s and Master’s students at Tilburg University get about as many credits compared to their predecessors from the pre-COVID era. That is according to recent numbers from the university.
To keep an eye on students’ study progress, and thus on the university’s success rates, Tilburg University’s Marketing & Communication Department annually examines how many credits the Tilburg student population achieves.
This shows that the current batch is doing about as well as the ones in the previous five years. First-year students in the Bachelor’s, pre-Master’s and Master’s programs (even now) average about 21 credits per semester.
For example, the Bachelor’s students who enrolled in September 2019 obtained an average of 21.8 credits during their first semester. The class that entered in September 2020 managed to collect over 22.41 credits. For pre-Master’s students, the average was 20.89 credits in 2019 compared to 20.70 credits in 2020, and for first-year Master’s students, the average was 22.64 credits compared to 21.03 credits.
“The average number of credits obtained by firs-year students has been fluctuating around 20 to 21 credits for years,” Hein Coppes, policy officer at Academic Services, told Univers when asked. Coppes presented the figures at the last Education, Research and Impact Committee (OO&I) meeting.
“This year, there were two slightly striking outcomes. Bachelor’s students who enrolled in September 2020 obtained on average of 2 credits more compared to the freshmen in the previous five years. For first-year pre-Master’s students, this was actually 1 credit less on average.”
For Coppes and his colleagues, the numbers are not surprising: “They are in line with the national picture we already had through conversations with staff at other universities.”
So far, the impact of the coronavirus measures, such as remote education and little social contact, thus seems to have no effect on the study progress of first-year students. “But of course that says nothing about the well-being of students during this extraordinary time,” Vice-Rector Magnificus Jantine Schuit emphasized during the OO&I meeting.
In a few weeks, the numbers for the other years in the study programs are also expected. Coppes cannot make any firm statements yet about what that picture will look like. “In order to get a better picture of the study progress of all our students, we are curious about the effects of the leniency measures, among other things.”
Due to the special circumstances caused by the coronavirus, it was decided nationally to temporarily relax the binding study advice (BSA). Thus, as a freshman in academic year 2019/2020, you no longer had to obtain 42 credits to continue to year two.
Furthermore, the requirement that you must first pass your Bachelor’s program before you can start a Master’s (the hard cut) was temporarily adjusted. In the academic year 2020/2021, a student was already allowed to enter a Master’s program in Tilburg if there were still 12 credits left in his/her Bachelor’s program.
“Because of those measures, students who previously would have long since dropped out may now be continuing a program for which they may not be so well suited,” Coppes says. “That can ultimately have an effect on the study progress and the success rates of programs.”