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									Bachelor/Master system at
    Utrecht University

          Professor Hans van Himbergen
   Vice-rector International Educational Affairs
       Utrecht University, the Netherlands
                   7 April 2003




                                                   1
The Netherlands
Utrecht




          400 km
                Dutch Educational System
PhD



University

 master
bachelor
1-2 years
3 years years

                HBO
 bachelor
 3 years        bachelor
                4 years    MBO
                           4 years   Appren
                                     ticeship
                                     training
VWO
3 years         HAVO
                2 years    VMBO       VBO
                           1 year     1 year


Basic general secondary education
3 years



Primary education
(age 4-12) 8 years
Utrecht University
Type                   Research university
Founded                              1636
Bachelor programmes                    48
Master programmes                     195
Research schools                       21
Top research schools                    4
PhD theses                            390

Staff (fte)                         5.593
Students                           22.400
PhD students                          920
Budget (US$)                 550.000.000
                              75% public
              Why change our
          academic education (1)?
• Number of students has grown dramatically since the
  mid seventies
• Student’s talents, interests and ambitions are diverse
  and not settled when they enter the university
• Long discussions about success rates (with government)
  and suitability (with ‘employers’) of education
• Previous efforts Dutch government: reform = cost
  containment universities without much regard for
  educational demands
• Previous efforts UU: differentiation leads towards more
  different tracks, not towards flexibility for students
• Both general academic and research skills call for
  interactive capabilities in an inter/multidisciplinary
  setting
                                                        6
    Increase in students 1950 -2000
                  (the Netherlands)

1.500.000



1.000.000
                                        students Univ.
                                        students HE
                                        18-25 years
 500.000



       0
        1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
                                                         7
      Succes rate students
        (Utrecht University)

100

 80

 60
                          % graduated
 40                       after 6 years

 20

 0
   88
   89
   90
   91
   92
   93
   94
   95
 19
 19
 19
 19
 19
 19
 19
 19




                                          8
% graduated per year after enrollment
               (Utrecht University)

    100%

    80%

    60%
                                  cohort 1992
    40%

    20%

     0%
           1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
                                                9
              Why change our
          academic education (2)?
• Cater to the interest in international experience among
  students, both our own and from abroad
• Need to maintain/increase the international profile of
  the university’s research activities
• Shortage of potential students in some fields
• Need to attract enough young academic potential in an
  internationally competitive environment




                                                           10
          Old wine in new bottles?

With the introduction of the Bachelor/Master system,
Utrecht University is seizing the opportunity to implement
real innovation in its education.
Key characteristics:
   Bachelor’s degree programme allows students
    considerable individual freedom of choice and
    emphasises general academic skills
   Focus on the mutual commitment of students and the
    University
   Intensive academic counselling
   Wide choice of research- or profession-oriented Master’s
    degree programmes (including programmes taught in
    English)
                                                          11
Two phases, each with its own set of
            objectives
Bachelor’s degree programme
• Academic skills (regardless of specific content)
• Gradual focus on a more specific/discipline-oriented
  interest
• Clarification of possible career ambitions


Master’s degree programme
Specialisation with a view to:
• Scientific research
• Professional career at academic level


                                                         12
     Two phases, each with its own
           teaching model
The Bachelor’s degree programme focuses on expression and
  development of the student’s talent, interest and ambition:
• Restricted choice within context of the Major
• Unrestricted choice in optional course profile


The Master’s degree programme is mainly expertise-driven
• Programmes with UU profile
• Restricted admission
• Tailored to employment profiles



                                                           13
  Structure of Bachelor’s degree
           programme
• Major (main subject, up to 75% of programme)
   - Compulsory Major course modules
   - Optional Major course modules

• Optional course profile (at least 25% of
  programme)
   - Chosen from entire range of courses offered by
     Utrecht University
   - Either additional course modules within the Major
   - Or course modules outside the Major that match the
     student’s ambitions and interests
   - Or a Minor

                                                      14
Bachelor degree requirements
 Total                                                                        180 ECTS
  At least 45 ECTS at level 3

Major           (department)                                                 (90 - )135 ECTS

Discipline        - related subjects                                         standard 105 ECTS
Max. 75                                      -
             ECTS uniform for all major students,
65 ECTS discipline related optional courses
Academic theories and methodologies                                          approx. 30 ECTS
Max. 15       ECTS compulsory, min. 7.5               ECTS at level 2 or 3


Optional course profile                                 ( student)           At least 45 ECTS
Min. 15      ECTS at level 2, if Minor at least 7.5              ECTS at
level 3

 Academic development portfolio                                                                  15
                          Scheme of bachelor-master
                                                                    External
                                                                    flux in
                                          Flux out
Flux in from highschool




                                                  Bachelor degree




                                                                                       Master degree
                 Years     1       2         3                                 4   5
                               = ‘Optional course profile
                                                                                                       16
                                                                                                       17
        Teaching: the old situation

• In spite of a single student records system (OSIRIS),
  students were unable to access information about
  courses in other departments
• 8 different timetables, many different course lengths
  and starting dates
• Enormous differences in weighting of course modules
• Tendency for departments to downgrade credits
  awarded by other departments




                                                          17
University-wide teaching framework
• Uniform academic year with four teaching periods,
  starting around 1 Sept, 15 Nov, 1 Feb and 15 April.
• Standard size of course modules: 7.5 ECTS
• Bachelor course modules at 3 levels:
  (1) Introductory, (2) Intermediate, (3) Advanced
• Prerequisites formulated for all course modules
• All Bachelor course modules listed in online University
  Course Catalogue
• Standardised enrolment procedure for all course
  modules


                                                            18
 Internal budget and funding policy

• Budget
  – One single rate for teaching
  – Financing based on duration of programme:
     • Bachelor 3 years
     • Master 1 or 2 years
  – Reduction of effects of delays
• Funding
  – Simple, effective funding of courses
  – Funding of academic counselling


                                                19
      Undergraduate – Graduate –
            Research/PhD
Division of responsibilities for
  • Undergraduate phase (Majors and academic
    development)
  • Graduate phase (programme and admission of
    students to Master’s degree programmes)
  • Research and PhD programme

The Dean decides how much time each
employee devotes to:
  • Undergraduate teaching
  • Graduate teaching
  • Research and PhD programme

                                                 20
  Undergraduate programme: roles
        and responsibilities
The University

Provides context for and monitors:
 • Educational framework
 • Level and nature of academic development
 • Quality and quality control
 • Induction of first-year students
 • Academic counselling

Certifies:
 • Course modules
 • Majors
 • Minors
                                              21
  Undergraduate programme: roles
        and responsibilities

Deans are responsible for:

 • Commissioning departments to provide teaching and
   approving Major/Minor requirements
 • Ensuring the quality of the teaching staff




                                                       22
  Undergraduate programme: roles
        and responsibilities
Departments are responsible for:

 • The induction and academic counselling of Major students
 • Offering course modules for Major students
 • Offering a curriculum for academic development
 • Determining compulsory component of Majors
 • Offering any course modules for non-Major students
 • Stipulating what constitutes a Minor within their field of
   competence
 • Awarding Bachelor’s degrees in accordance with university
   requirements
 • Arranging quality control
                                                                23
  Undergraduate programme: roles
        and responsibilities
Teaching staff are responsible for:

 • Participating in the general counselling activities of their department,
   including the induction of first-year students
 • Developing course modules in such a way that students who take part
   in accordance with the indicated guidelines can pass the module
 • Teaching the course modules as described
 • Stating sufficiently clearly in the course module descriptions what is
   required to pass the module
 • Offering students adequate guidance both within and outside
   timetabled activities
 • Notifying students of their final mark within two weeks of the end of
   any course module                                                     24
   Undergraduate programme: roles
         and responsibilities

Students are responsible for:

 • Enrolling at the department of their initial choice of Major
 • Establishing their definitive choice of Major within a year
 • Choosing undergraduate subjects that will best equip them for
   their choice of graduate programme
 • Enrolling in course modules and actively participating in
   coursework and assessment




                                                         25
  Graduate programme: roles and
          responsibilities

The Graduate School is responsible for

 • Supervising students (including with regard to future
   careers)
 • Offering degree programmes that will lead to Master’s
   degrees
 • Defining the admission criteria
 • Selecting students
 • Arranging quality control


                                                       26
   Graduate programme: roles and
           responsibilities
The deans (one or more) are responsible for:
  • Determining departmental capacity for programmes
  • Setting final degree requirements
  • Ensuring quality of teaching staff
  • Ensuring students are adequately informed about
    options within the graduate programme
  • Arranging external accreditation

The University is responsible for:
  • Certifying the programmes
  • Certifying the admission procedures
  • Ensuring there is adequate departmental capacity
                                                       27
  Messages to the Chilean rectors:
• Universities should take the lead when considering
  major changes in higher education

• Cherish the ambitions of your prospective students,
  rather than your own notions of what a ‘programme of
  education’ should look like

• Involve all essential parties from the outset in the
  process of designing any major changes

• Make parties responsible for those parts of the
  educational process that they can really control; don’t
  hold them accountable for parts of the process that
  they cannot directly influence.


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