Selection in the Bachelor

General Summary

Selecting students in the bachelor is categorized into two subjects:
1. Selecting students because of limiting the quantity of students who may study at the study: numerus clausus. Normally, the goal of the numerus clausus is to limit the number of students to the maximum amount in order to guarantee the quality of education. But sometimes a numerus clausus is used because of limited demand in the job market.
2. Selecting students to control the quality of student inflow. The goal of this is to guarantee a certain quality of students.

ORAS vision determines that ORAS is opponent to any kind of selection. Expelling measurements are undesirable. A VWO-degree at high school should be sufficient to be allowed to the TU Delft. Good and honest information should be provided to upcoming students to prepare them for the content and level of their study. But, there are differences between selecting based on quantity and based on quality.

ORAS thinks that a numerus clausus can only be used as a last resort when de quality of education come into question. This would be the only valid argument, considering the enormous social demand from high school students to study at the TU Delft and on the other hand the demand of the job market for good engineers. You need to have top notch quality of education to become a good engineer. Only when this quality cannot be maintained and there are no financial resources available to increase the capacity, ORAS is in favour of a numerus clausus.

A different way of selecting will always decrease the amount of potential engineers. This is undesirable In the current society: where the demand to (become an) engineers is higher than the supply. Therefore selecting based on the quality of a student wouldn’t be an option, unless it is selecting students by their quality within selecting based on quantity (numerus clausus).


The first time an numerus clausus has been used at the TU Delft is In academic year 2011-2012 for both Architecture and Industrial Design. At that time, the discussion started because of limited capacity for these studies. As a result, the quality of education would be in danger. From that moment, several studies have had a (temporarily) numerus clausus: Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Clinical Technology and Nanobiology.

In the last years, there have been several discussions about selecting students based on quality as well. However, this had not yet led to any real policy measures. Recently (2015/2016) the TU Delft has done research to the relation between the high school grade of students for maths and study progress at our university. But using a certain grade as a requirement to be admitted to the university is legally prohibited.

Current Status

In academic year 2017-2018, Clinical Technology, Nanobiology, Aerospace Engineering and Industrial Design will have a numerus clausus. At the moment ORAS understand the numerus clausus for Clinical Technology and Nanobiology because these studies are very young. However, the uncertainties about the job market perspective and the expected influx of students should be clear in the future, making a numerus clausus unnecessary.

In the last years, Aerospace Engineering has had more students wanting to enrol than the faculty can handle to maintain the quality of education. Therefore, a numerus clausus is needed. However, ORAS do thinks that more should be done to increase the number of students that can be admitted.
For years, Industrial Design does not reach the maximum amount of students the set numerus clausus limits them to. Because of that, ORAS is very sceptical towards any new numerus clausus for Industrial Design.

Ideal Situation

Ideally, no student should be hindered to enter our university by some form of selection when this student decides that he wants to study at the TU Delft. This means that the TU Delft should increase the capacity of studies with a numerus clausus by attracting more teachers and building the facilities needed to guarantee the quality of education for a higher amount of students.

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