Battling the no-shows

Far more international students apply for an English Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Groningen than actually turn up to study. The Faculty of Arts hopes that a system of decentralized selection will solve the problem of the no-shows.

The biggest discrepancy is for the degree programme in International Relations (IRIO), which offers a maximum of 240 places. They  are assigned by ballot to the applicants. However, when international students are among the lucky ones to be offered a place on the programme, they often don’t show up. It costs the Faculty around 40 IRIO students every time.

Several English-taught Master’s degree programmes, such as journalism, have the same problem.

Decentralized selection

Faculty Dean Gerry Wakker thinks the gap between the first and second ballots might be the problem. ‘When students don’t get in until after the second ballot, they often don’t have enough time to actually move to Groningen’, she says. This system is therefore disadvantageous for both international students and the Faculty because the more students who fail to show up, the less money the Faculty gets.

A solution might be a system of decentralized selection. The Psychology Department already uses this system for its English-taught Bachelor’s degree programme, where students not only have to submit a letter of motivation, but also have to actually visit Groningen for an assessment.

The new IRIO selection system will be introduced next year.