Number of science students continues to increase, FSE near bursting

FSE near bursting

Number of science students continues to increase

The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is working hard to find a solution the overcrowding probems. They’re currently at 6,500 students, but that number is projected to rise to 8,100 by 2021.

By Christien Boomsma / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

A few years ago, there were approximately eight hundred first-year students at the science faculty. These days, that number has risen to almost 1,500 and by 2024, the number of enrolments is projected to be 1,600.

‘Because the cohorts keep getting bigger, the number of second- and third-year students keeps increasing’, says FSE management controller Meeuwes Veldhuis. ‘We’re working off statistical projections, but we’ve seen a national rise of the number of high school students taking science and technical classes.’


But the faculty will not have sufficient room for these numbers of students if they don’t make any changes to the student to staff ratio or the number of classrooms. ‘We barely have enough room as it is’, says Veldhuis. ‘Our number of staff members is increasing as well. We’re really running into problems.’ The faculty has been negotiation with the RUG about a solution to the problem, including the needed extra classrooms.

Veldhuis isn’t as worried about the number of teachers they have available. He says the faculty is ‘doing well’ in that regard. Several measures have been taken to strike a balance in the student to staff ratio.

Numerus clausus

Unfortunately, the faculty only has a limited influence on the influx of students. If even more students suddenly decide to come to Groningen, this could lead to more problems. ‘A numerus clausus can be tricky’, says Veldhuis, ‘because it often leads to more students signing up for a similar programme. That doesn’t solve the problem, it just moves it.’

The faculty wants to be even stricter in its matching procedure, to potentially scare students away. ‘We could also consider recruiting. Or rather, doing a little less of that.’


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