Women have completed their degrees in less time and proven less likely to drop out than men for years now. This disparity used to be even more significant than it is now. Of the students who embarked on a bachelor degree in 2002, 53 percent of female students obtained their degrees within four years, versus a mere 31 percent of male students.

Since then, due to the introduction of the binding study advice (i.e. enrolment decision), the Nominal is Normal scheme and the introduction of international-style bachelor and master degrees, the percentage of students completing their degrees in the published time for their programmes has increased considerably. A proposed fine for students who take too long to complete their degrees (which in the end wasn’t adopted) also caused students to be more diligent. However, the imbalance between male and female time-to-graduation rates remained similar.

Erasmus University students’ graduation rate has nearly doubled in ten years’ time. Whereas of the students who started a bachelor degree in 2002, only 33 percent had obtained a bachelor degree four years later, this percentage rose to 64 percent for those students who embarked on their degrees in 2013.

It should be noted that there are significant differences between the various disciplines. Bachelor degree programmes coming under Social and Behavioural Sciences have the highest graduation rates after four years (75 percent), whereas graduation rates are considerably lower for Economics and Law students: 58 and 55 percent, respectively. Less than half the male students who embark on a Law-related degree are awarded a bachelor degree for the degree of their original choice within four years.