In a critical report, the Inspectorate for Education concluded Friday that students have paid too much for two master programmes. The study workload of both masters was also too high and the information provided to students was found to be inadequate.

“It’s a very complex matter,” says RSM spokeswoman Marianne Schouten. “We’re not in full agreement with the Inspectorate for Education’s conclusions. For example, when is it permitted to ask students to pay extra? The law is unclear about this, but we’ve decided to make a number of changes in the interests of our students.”

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With the changes, students enrolled in the part-time Business Administration master will pay the regular tuition fee of 2,083 euros per year instead of 17,000 euros per year. Aspects such as a study trip and extra study materials, previously included in the 17,000 euros, will be optional. It won’t be mandatory for students to participate in them and they can still complete the programme without extra costs. “This won’t affect the programme in the coming year,” says Schouten. The faculty is considering introducing the changes in 2020.

Transfer programme

The inspectorate also had issues with the Master in Management, a business administration master programme for students who haven’t completed a bachelor programme in business administration. That programme had a study workload higher than the maximum permitted: 90 instead of 60 ECTS. “This master programme is specifically intended for students without a Business Administration background, so they take extra courses to learn about the basic principles.” This ‘foundation’, as RSM refers to it, is interwoven in the programme, but it will now be separated and offered as a kind of pre-master or transfer programme. “But we haven’t finalised the details yet on what the programme will entail.”

Master no longer offered

Last month, in anticipation of the Inspectorate of Education’s report, RSM decided to pre-emptively stop offering the master programme in Finance & Investments Advanced. This decision will come into effect as of 1 September 2019. For this programme, students also paid an excessive fee of 8,000 euros on top of the statutory tuition fee. This move will not have any consequences for current students, according to Schouten, and they will be able to complete their master programme. Students already enrolled in this programme for the upcoming academic year, fifty in total, will be able to take the regular Finance & Investments master programme and they will be offered a supplementary honours programme as well.

Compensation scheme

Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven backed a compensation scheme for current and former students of the Finance & Investments Advanced programme and the part-time Business Administration master. At the moment, the faculty doesn’t know if such a scheme will be introduced. Schouten: “We hope to be able to give a more definite answer about three weeks from now.”

Meanwhile, RSM has opened an information desk where alumni, current students and prospective students can direct their questions regarding the three master programmes mentioned in the inspectorate’s report. The information point can be contacted by telephone (+31 (0)10 4081010) or by e-mail (rsminform@rsm.nl).

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