Pupils who wish to embark on a Numerus Fixus study programme after their pre-university (VWO) education will have to remember that selection will depend on their VWO 5 report grades, not their final exam grades, warns Gerard Hogendoorn, VWO-WO transition coordinator at Erasmus University, in the Trouw newspaper.

As from next academic year, universities and universities of applied sciences may no longer award places on Numerus Fixus programmes by weighted lottery. As the registration date is 15 January, selection to the programmes cannot be based on final exam grades. The last and therefore most important assessment date is therefore the awarding of the VWO 5 report. Hogendoorn isn’t sure that everyone is aware of this: “People don’t realise that grades from the end of VWO 5 have replaced those of the final year exam for selection purposes. For some programmes, the fifth year has become the final exam year.”

Resitting the year

Schools near Erasmus University have responded negatively to the new reality. This includes dean Jeroen Perdaan from Emmaus College in Rotterdam. One pupil from his school has even consciously decided to resit the year so that she can improve her grades in VWO 5. “That’s going to be the consequence,” says Perdaan in the newspaper.

Director Tessa Leonhard from the Netherlands Association of School Deans and Teaching Staff feels that ‘a lot’ of final exam students are currently unaware that their grades from the last academic year will determine whether they are admitted to a programme.