Dutch HE penalty impacts study choice

Nieuws | de redactie
22 maart 2012 | A survey among Dutch university students indicates that 8% of all undergraduate students decided against pursuing another degree due to the recently introduced HE penalty. Data also indicates that students study much less than expected, yet 40% experience stress symptoms.

Student magazines of 10 Dutch universities and 4 universities ofapplied sciences (UAS) surveyed 5200 students on their workload,anxieties and the impact of the upcoming langstudeerboete. Thelatter is a substantial financial penalty for students that exceedthe regular study time by more than 1 year, e.g. taking longer than4 years for finishing a 3 year Bachelor degree.

Students study too little, yet suffer from stresssymptoms

The results show that university students have an overallheavier workload than UAS students. 40.2% of UAS students study 20hours or less each week compared to 26.5% of university students.Meanwhile, 27.5% of UAS students study 31 hours or more per week,while this holds for 40.1% of university students.

Even though the majority of students study less than what isexpected from a full time education, over 40% of them indicate thatthey feel serious stress on a regular basis, accompanied by anumber of psychological issues. 45% of this group experience testanxiety, 51% insomnia, and 60% worries (‘piekeren’).

Especially, women (45%) and international students (51%) sufferfrom regular stress from a heavy study workload. This is much lessso for students who continue living with their parents (33%). Pastresearch from Germany already showed that stay home students in factlead a healthier lifestyle.

8% decided against additional degree due tolangstudeerboete

The research by the university magazines also had a closer lookat the impact of the financial penalty (langstudeeerboete) on studychoice. 20% of the students surveyed indicated that their studyplans changed because of this new policy. This includes the choiceof doing another Bachelor degree, going abroad or choosing acertain program.

8% of all Bachelor students indicated that they decided againstan additional degree due to the financial penalty. Of the 20% thatchanged their plans, 45% doubt whether they will pursue anotherdegree, 20% already decided against it. Among internationalstudents, knowledge about the langstudeerboete has not yet spread:15% do not know this new regulation as opposed to 2.7% of Dutchstudents.

This research was also published in the Erasmus University Magazine, the analysis wasprovided by Resource from Wageningen UR.

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