Starting from this academic year, students will no longer have to choose between art and science. The Rotterdam Arts and Sciences Lab (RASL) – a partnership between Erasmus University Rotterdam, Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam and Codarts Rotterdam – has been offering a double degree since this month.

The double degree programme will result in the award of two bachelor degrees: one from EUR and one from one of the participating universities of applied sciences. And best of all, the course duration has been significantly cut back. “Normally, it would take seven years to obtain those two bachelor degrees,” Astrid van Kimmenade explained. “We were able to reduce that time by two years.”

Interchangeable subjects

The universities were able to reduce the amount of time it would take to complete the dual degree by taking a careful look at which subjects in their curricula were interchangeable, explained Marije Ruijter, who, along with Van Kimmenade, is responsible for coordinating the double degree programme. “In addition, we replaced elective courses with compulsory subjects. Unfortunately, this was the only way in which we were able to offer double degrees which take such little time to complete.”

Combining art and science was an idea proposed by former EUR Chairwoman of the Board Pauline van der Meer Mohr. Once she had made the suggestion, the universities entered into negotiations, said Van Kimmenade. “We had the first talks in September of last year, and we started making preparations in January.”

“Plenty of enthusiastic reactions”

RASL only promoted the double degree to a few people. Students who enrolled in Erasmus University Rotterdam, Willem de Kooning Academy or Codarts were invited to take the double degree after they had registered for their first degree. Ruijter said that they received plenty of enthusiastic reactions from this first small group of invitees. “Over sixty students applied for more information about the programme, and by now the first group of fifteen students has embarked on the programme.”

Only for EUC and IBACS students

It should be noted that not all EUR students are currently eligible for a double degree. At present only Erasmus University College and International Bachelor of Arts and Culture Studies students are eligible.

Of the fifteen students who have just embarked on the dual degree programme, seven are IBACS students combining their degree with a degree taken at Willem de Kooning Academy, while two are IBACS students taking a second degree at Codarts. Furthermore, four EUC students are combining their degree with a degree at Willem de Kooning Academy, with another two EUC students taking a second degree at Codarts.

Over the next few weeks several students will tell us what it is like to combine art and science. If you are interested in their stories, keep an eye on our website!