After some serious criticism about Studiekeuze123, two research bureaus have audited the foundation. And the result? The foundation is not expert enough and its independence could be at risk.

The criticism about the information website by TV programme De Monitor, the Study Choice Guide and the Intercity Student Consultation was pretty harsh. Young people have been wrongly informed (for example about opportunities on the job market) and the foundation behind the website is not independent enough: universities and universities of applied sciences have too much influence.

The foundation rejected the criticism, but doubts arose in the Lower House. “These doubts should not exist,” writes Minister Bussemaker today to the Lower House. “Not in your House and not among those choosing their study programmes.”


Two research bureaus audited the foundation and came to a painful conclusion: the criticism is generally correct.

It seems that Studiekeuze123 “due to a shortage of specific expertise cannot operate as an adequate discussion partner” concludes research bureau ResearchNed. Nearly all those involved (for example interest groups and educational institutions) express their concern about “Studiekeuze123’s knowledge of semantics, content and developments in further education.”

However, there were no dishonest intentions. Take the data on the website about graduate salaries: these are all calculated as full time salaries, even though very few graduates were able to get a full time job. Was there perhaps a conscious decision to present the facts in a better light? Not at all, according to ResearchNed, but Studiekeuze123 is advised to “develop a more user-friendly and better organised presentation.”


The other research bureau, Andersson Elffers Felix, looked at how the foundation is organised: do universities and universities of higher education have too much influence and are the facts presented too favourably as a result?

Its independence is not at risk, says AEF, but in theory that could be the case. The interest groups of educational institutions and students are members of the board and have a great deal of input. So the governance needs to go. Both the educational institutions and the students must distance themselves from the executive management.

Shake up

The conclusions are clear: the foundation needs a shake up and the presentation of the figures and facts must also change. The Minister is keen to “offer support with regard to the necessary quality impulse,” she writes, because she feels it is “worrying” that two research bureaus found the expertise to be lacking.

“We are examining the situation, but we haven’t yet taken any definitive decisions about the new form of the foundation,” says a spokesperson. And the expertise? “We are a small organisation that has only existed for a few years and we see that as a point of attention too.”