A new generation of 150 first-year students would double the amount of students at the University College, but UCG manager Rob van Ouwerkerk exercises caution. ‘There are always some students that cancel, because they have obtained a spot somewhere else or because their financing falls through. We take into account at least a twenty percent cancellation rate, which would put us at our goal amount of 120 students.’
Ouwerkerk is not just guessing when he predicts the cancellation percentage. Last year, ‘only’ 86 out of 102 enrolled students actually started their studies in September, which meant the College did not reach its needed goal of 100 first-year students. ‘For this year, our goal was to reach 120 new students, and 150 for next year. This is the agreement we’ve reached with the Board of Directors. We don’t want too many students either, or we won’t be able to keep up.’
Van Ouwerkerk emphasises that we are talking about the number of enrolments here. ‘I would just like to point out the distinction. Because the total number of registrations was much higher: this year alone it was over five hundred. But after that first registration there is a selection procedure, and after that we offer a select number of students a spot to come study with us. They can either accept or reject that offer. So those 150 students are the ones that have accepted the offer.’
University College had a rough first three years and was plagued by financial troubles and disappointing student numbers. The Board of Directors even considered pulling the plug on the project, but ultimately decided to keep the faith.