Fewer premaster students at university

Fewer premaster students at university



According to the latest figures, which came out this month, universities welcomed 60,000 new undergraduate students this academic year (2022). That was 2,900 fewer than in 2021.


That appears to include the ‘switching students’: the students of premaster programmes. These study on paper with a bachelor’s programme, only their programme lasts only six months to a year. After that, they may start the master’s programme.


This academic year, universities attracted 22 percent less premaster students than last year. In 2020, there were 7,500 premaster students, the following year 6,900 and this academic year 5,400, reports university association UNL. 


© HOP. Source: University association UNL


Only since 2020 have premasters been given their own administrational category. Earlier, they were grouped together with bachelors.


At TU Delft, the number of premaster students decreased by 14 percent last year compared to 2021. On the contrary, the number of bachelor’s students increased slightly, by 2.3 percent.


© HOP. Source: University association UNL


Part of the explanation is fewer college graduates, says university association UNL. The strongly attracted labour market may also be a cause. Students with hbo degrees may also choose to work.


A third possibility is that hbo graduates are waiting for the return of the basic grant before returning to study. After all, sometimes they are still entitled to study financing, and for the master’s they can get a basic grant.


Incidentally, not all switch students have yet been counted. Indeed, some are enrolled as ‘contract students’ instead of bachelor, and then they do not show up in these figures. (HOP, BB).


HOP Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

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