The term ‘Matching’ means that student and study will be matched to each other. It is an intensive encounter with the study in order to give a real picture of the study program. When high school students have informed themselves in different ways, for example the BSc – Open days, they apply to a study programme. From now on, the machting procedure should start: an intensive encounter with the study programme where these applicants get feedback on their achievements during these matching procedures. This is different from selecting for studies with a numerus clausus, because not the university but the student determines if he wants to start the study. ORAS considers it important that the freedom of choice is guaranteed and is therefore in favour matching, but not for selection.
At the moment, the TU Delft does not make extensive use of matching. Few studies are convinced about the positives of matching. Allthough the offered survey to students (‘studiekeuzecheck’) is a good start, additional matching activities should be offered.
In academic year 2012-2013, the bill ‘Kwaliteit in Verscheidenheid’ came in to place. As a result, the registration date for new bachelor students will be advanced to the first of May. In addition to that, universities are obliged to offer matching activities to new students. The university can oblige students to participate but the university does not have to. At the moment, the offered activities are not obliged to students.
All faculties started offering matching activities since 2014/2015. However, few faculties are willing to invest heavily in these activities. One of the main reasons faculties don’t want to invest is because the advice they give to the students based on the performance of students cannot be a binding advice.
In 2016/2017, the discussion started about reducing the dropout rate between the board of the TU Delft and the studentcouncil. To get the right student at the right place, we suggested matching as alternative. ResearchNed has done research about the effects of matching (studiekeuzecheck) and their results confirm the relation between matching activities and lower drop-out rates.
The students that drop-out most often are the ones who apply to their study the latest. That’s why ORAS tries to push the university to get these students to follow the matching activities. Another important aspect of these matching activities is that they shouldn’t only be used to collect information for the TU Delft. These activities should lead to students who are better able to reflect their studychoice.
ORAS would like the university to oblige students to participate in the offered matching activities, the so called ‘studiekeuzecheck’. Although ORAS is in general no advocate of obligations for students, matching can only become a success when it is mandatory for students. This is proven by successful experiences at other universities. When matching activities are not mandatory, only the more motivated students will take part of these matching activities. The result is that you miss out on the group of students with the most chance of dropping out. Despite our efforts to convince the university, there are no mandatory matching activities yet.
Matching activities can be very different. Every faculty should have the freedom to fit their matching activities to their own study programme. Therefore, ORAS cannot prescribe the ultimate set of matching activities. But ORAS does have a couple of important aspects that are important for setting up matching activities:
1. The information provided to high school students should be honest and should be provided on time.
2. Matching activities should not be at the expense of current information activities to high school students.
3. The matching activities should sketch a real image of the study programme.
4. The matching activities ought to be viewed as obligatory.
5. Faculties should have the freedom to fit their matching activities to their own study programme.