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Dutch News
Dutch students happy with passing mark 6/30/2007
AMSTERDAM – Two in three Dutch students go to no trouble to get higher marks than necessary on their exams. A comparison among ten European countries shows that the Dutch are the most easily satisfied with the minimum passing mark of 6, the Volkskrant reports.

That is one of the conclusions from a large-scale European study, coordinated by the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market at the University of Maastricht. The results were published today in the Higher Education Monitor from the Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU). This monitor analyses the quality of Dutch academics.

Of the almost 1,000 Dutch graduates interviewed only 34 percent said they wanted to get the highest marks possible, by far the lowest percentage among the 10 participating countries. The average was about 59 percent. Spanish students are the most ambitious – 71 percent aim for the highest mark possible.

Earlier this week the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis presented a study which indicated that highly educated Dutch are less knowledgeable than graduates of higher education in other countries.

Dutch students also devote relatively little time to their study – 33 hours a week - the European report shows. Only the British spend less time on study (32 hours). The European average is 39 hours, with the French in the lead with 42 hours.

Nine in ten Dutch students has a part time job during their study. That is not an explanation for the low number of hours devoted to study, the researchers say. Even students without a part time job spend only 32 hours on their study.

Chairman of the ISO student organisation Bastiaan Verweij says the fact that students are happy with lower grades is not only their own fault. "Of course it is primarily their responsibility, but there are also study programmes that only ask for sub-standard performance. So that is what they get." He urges for more classroom time and more special opportunities for talented students.

The effort put into study seems to be connected with conditions on the labour market. In countries with high unemployment, like France and Spain, students tend to work harder.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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