Number of top MSc programmes down

The number of MSc programmes described as 'top'has gone down
Photo: Marte Hofsteenge

The number of MSc programmes at Wageningen University described as ‘top’ has gone down from 21 in 2018 to 13 in 2019, according to the Dutch Master’s degree guide Keuzegids Masters, published on Tuesday 5 March.

Dean of Education Arnold Bregt sees two reasons for the drop. ‘On the one hand, you can see that other universities have started taking their educational work more seriously. The score in the Keuzegids is relative. So that means our score gets lower if our programmes maintain the same standard, while other programmes improve.’

Impact of growth

Then there is the impact of growth, Bregt thinks. ‘It is the law of the large numbers. Wageningen is known for its small classes, but the number of students has grown in recent years, and the number of teaching staff has not kept up.’

Bregt takes the figures seriously. ‘We take all relevant figures about education seriously. We analyse them, discuss how we can improve things, and take action. The National Students Survey revealed that Wageningen was not scoring so well on preparation for the job market. So to improve on that, all programmes now have to organize a minimum of five interactions with professionals in the field each year –things like guest lectures or excursions.’

WUR is still the best university

WUR is still the best university, says the guide, with a total score of 68. The science universities of Twente and Eindhoven follow at a distance of one and three points, respectively. These three science universities score higher than the general universities. Delft is the only science university with a relatively low score, 57.

Below the results. Programmes that score 75 points or higher, get the predicate ‘top programme’.

Animal Sciences8076
Aquaculture & Marine Resource Management7862
Biobased Sciences*
Biosystems Engineering6670
Climate Studies8070
Development & Rural Innovation6472
Earth & Environment7674
Environmental Sciences7675
Food Quality Management8276
Food Safety8076
Food Technology8280
Forest & Nature Conservation8484
Geo-Information Science8892
Intern. Development Studies7273
Intern. Land & Water Management9086
Landscape Architecture & Planning6458
Leisure, Tourism & Environment8082
Management, Economics & Consumer Studies7068
Molecular Life Sciences8872
Nutrition & Health7872
Organic Agriculture7668
Plant Biotechnology8078
Plant Sciences8480
Urban Environmental Management8073

* From the programme Biobased Sciences were no student evaluations available.

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