If you’re studying Business Administration at Hogeschool Rotterdam and you want to continue your studies at university after graduating, Erasmus University is the obvious choice. But a lot of students find the GMAT admission test to be a real stumbling-block: “EUR has put up a formidable barrier and it thinks its own image is more important than moving up from Hogeschool Rotterdam to university.”.
HR offers a transfer minor in Business Administration in collaboration with some Dutch universities. This means that students can skip the pre-master and immediately start a Business Administration master programme at university level at Rotterdam School of Management or the University of Amsterdam.
Preparation takes a lot of time
If I’d known about the requirements at the end of my second year, I would probably have chosen EUR
But only one out of the 10 students who are doing the minor this year has decided to go to EUR; the rest chose the University of Amsterdam. “At EUR, you have to score 600 points in the GMAT admission test and you have to spend a lot of time preparing for this test as well,” says HR student Wouter, who did the transfer minor during the past 6 months and decided to go to Amsterdam. “My girlfriend did the GMAT last year and it took her three whole months to prepare for it.” And as far as the students are concerned, preparing for the GMAT means that less time can be spent on the other courses at Hogeschool Rotterdam which they have to complete with a mark of at least 7 before they can be admitted.
Wouter’s fellow student Khatera feels the same, although she would rather have heard about the admission requirements a bit earlier on in her study programme. “If I’d known about the requirements at the end of my second year, I would probably have chosen to go to EUR,” she adds.
‘RSM thinks its image is more important’
Education manager Lucas Peters, who is responsible for the HR minor, claims that students definitely receive this information in plenty of time. “We do give information on the minors, and this one’s been going for quite some time,” he says. “And we offer two electives in preparation for the GMAT which students can do during their first and second years if they want. If any of our students tell us at some stage during their course that they want to move up to university after graduating from Hogeschool Rotterdam, we always tell them about the minor and the preparatory electives.”
But isn’t it a bit strange that there’s all this ‘student migration’ to Amsterdam? Not to mention the big differences in admission requirements? John Dispa, lecturer for the transfer minor, ponders this for a few moments. “Well, RSM has a reputation as the best management programme in the Netherlands, so they have to be pretty strict,” he explains. Mr Dispa doesn’t see anything wrong with this attitude in itself. “EUR has put up a formidable barrier and it thinks its own image is more important than moving up from Hogeschool Rotterdam to university.”
However, Arnoud Monster, Recruitment & Admissions Director at RSM, disagrees with this and claims that image has nothing to do with it. “We certainly aren’t trying to make life difficult for Hogeschool Rotterdam students. On the contrary, we welcome them with open arms,” he says. “And we’ve set up these admission requirements – including the GMAT test – for a number of reasons. First of all, we wanted to create a level playing field. It doesn’t matter whether candidates come from Hogeschool Rotterdam or China, everyone has to take the GMAT. This means we can guarantee a certain level for the master programme, and the students know they’ve all got the same basis. At the same time, we feel that this measure is ultimately the best for Hogeschool Rotterdam students as well. Students wanting to move up used to be able to take the GMAT during the pre-master itself, but we found that this resulted in stress and delays for pre-master students.”
Fewer Hogeschool students enrolling
We certainly aren’t trying to make life difficult for HR students. On the contrary, we welcome them with open arms.
RSM’s popularity has also had an impact on admissions, but Mr Monster emphasises that the new requirements aren’t intended as a defence mechanism. “Our admission requirements mainly have to do with our aim for quality,” he adds. “We didn’t think them up to help us control the numbers of incoming students. We aren’t the only ones in the Netherlands who are doing this, and we certainly aren’t the only ones in the Netherlands with a GMAT requirement. Taking this test is perfectly normal in international management education.”
But the new admission requirements (amended in the 2015-2016 academic year) have resulted in a drop in the number of enrolments from Hogeschool Rotterdam students. Mr Monster comments: “This is a pity, but luckily the number of applicants from Hogeschool Rotterdam is now on the increase again. Right at the start, some of the Hogeschool Rotterdam students were absolutely determined to study at RSM no matter what, and in spite of the requirements, so they enrolled with us anyway. That was a good thing, but it’s nice to see that the intake is getting under way again now.”