As an internationally oriented university, many EUR students support stricter admission and selection criteria of certain study programs, or the numerus fixus status. Typical arguments include higher quality of education due to smaller classes, more personal attention from the teacher and ambitious students who stimulate each other. Yet are admission and selection procedures based on quantitative measures, such as GPA, meaningful? Meanwhile, including qualitative measures such as motivation and experience makes procedures prone to bias, subjectivity and unfairness. Should they exist in an academic community that values equal opportunities, accessibility of education and diversity?
The EUR strives for more small-scale, intensive and activating education. Yet the capacity of teaching staff, especially in terms of non-temporary personnel, is lagging behind this ambition. If we attempt to solve this issue by hiring more tutors and student-assistants, can we guarantee a high quality of education, while they receive less trainings and performance evaluations than our permanent staff?
10 percent no longer suffices
We expect our students to collaborate on educational projects, or show their entrepreneurial spirit by setting up initiatives and start-ups. Yet does our campus provide the necessary space and facilities for lectures, study, work and events such as career days? In my opinion, our benchmark of having study spots for 10 percent of our student population no longer suffices!
Having an open campus, the EUR welcomes all students and non-students to study and work here. Meanwhile, the rate at which the number of study spots on campus is increasing seems to be lagging behind the yearly increase of students and visitors. If these trends continue, worsening our daily struggles to find a study spot, can and should our campus remain open to all?
More fundamentally, we need a discussion about the type of university that we want to be. Should we be a more open university, valuing equal opportunities and accessibility of education? Or should we enforce stricter selection to have the most ambitious students and achieve higher study success? I invite you, as members of the EUR community, to join this discussion, by answering this question: access or selection, which choice should the EUR make?