Internationals extra monitored at FEB

Is there a ‘Greek issue’ at the Faculty of Economics and Business, or is it a larger problem among international students in general?

That question troubles the Council of the Faculty of Economics and Business. Greek students are said to be performing below average, and the Faculty ‘closely monitors these students’, according to the minutes of a meeting of the University Board and the Faculty Board.

But when pressed on the matter, board member Cees Praagman of FEB says that the problem is not only with Greek students but many different nationalities – Greeks were only cited as an example. At their own university the students do well, but once they begin studying in Groningen, it’s challenging for them to meet the academic standards of the RUG.

Judge the level

‘Because of the different educational systems in different countries, it’s difficult to judge the level of the students. Exchange of lecturers between partner universities prior to arrival of students could reduce this’, he says.

Faculty Council chairman Kees van Veen admits that the choice of words in the minutes may not have been correct. Only a small group of Greek students are performing below average, he says.

Educational system

Nikoletta Plati (18), a first-year bachelor student of International Business from Greece, recognizes the issue. It is hard for Greek students to meet the RUG’s standards because the Greek education system is totally different, she explains. ‘Our system is terrible and does not provide specific knowledge to students.’

The economics faculty has the option of refusing to continue a partnership with a foreign university if their students consistently perform below average. If there is a continuing negative trend, the faculty can reassess whether or not the international institution’s standards are actually on par with the RUG. Among the 130 partner universities of FEB, only one is from Greece: the Athens University of Economics and Business. However, that partnership is not being reconsidered.