‘The most important reason for reintroducing the system is to get a better grip on the influx of students’, says Riepko Buikema, a spokesperson for the university. According to Buikema, it is harder to guarantee the quality of the programme without a numerus fixus structure. ‘It is difficult to monitor otherwise, which can mean that you have to hire additional staff at the last minute.’
By returning to the numerus fixus system, the faculty hopes to be able to devote more attention to the master’s programmes. ‘We would prefer to see our master’s programmes grow and our bachelor programmes shrink. The enrolment numbers need to be more balanced.’
The fact that other universities – namely the University of Maastricht and Radboud University – also use numerus fixus played a role in the decision as well, Buikema says.
Buikema adds that the RUG’s psychology programme has long had a significant number of German students, many of whom enrol at Dutch universities just across the border. ‘By using numerus fixus, we should be able to prevent less qualified students from coming to Groningen as a last resort.’
The programme has used numerus fixus in the past, but it was done away with last year. That was also because other universities had done the same. ‘In light of that, we were concerned that fewer students would apply to Groningen if we were the only psychology programme using numerus fixus.’