By law there are no rules against selecting for the master. If a master wants to select, the study don’t even have to request it at the government, like the Numerus Fixus. On this moment the TU Delft has implemented master selection in two masters and there are no concrete plans to select more. But, the discussion about selecting in the master is a discussion which pops up every now and then.
This portfolio also contains the rapid growth of international master students. For this students other selection criteria are in place, which make it possible to regulate the influx of international students. Examples are: criteria regarding the English proficiency and other GPA-scales. Furthermore, faculties can use a ‘cap’, where they can set a maximum on the number of international students using a first come first serve rule. This can for example be used when there is a problem regarding the capacity of housing for the international students. When a master decides to select, the criteria should be equal for every student, national or international. Then, the international students can compete with the national students. On the one hand, the TU is a Dutch institution with a responsibility to the Dutch society, which is an argument to educate as much Dutch students as possible. On the other hand, internationalization can be very good for Dutch students and the quality of education. So, there are always two sides of the story.
In 2014 the Transfer Master’s programme has been abolished. A Transfer Master’s programme (doorstroommaster in Dutch) is a master where a diploma from the corresponding bachelor is enough to have a direct admission in the master. Before 2014, almost all TU Delft masters were Transfer Master’s programmes. Because this rule is now gone, every master programme can in theory select based on self decided selection criteria.
On short terms the TU Delft will not select, there are no concrete plans. However, master selection is a hot topic in the rest of the Netherlands. For example, Wageningen university already uses selection criteria for some master programme’s. This caused a discussion about master selection when the TU Delft wanted to start a master programme in collaboration with Wageningen, MADE. The plan was to set a GPA of 75% as a admission criteria (so students should need a minimum average grade in their bachelor), what was already used in other programme’s in Wageningen. MADE was an unique case, because of the collaboration. We couldn’t stop MADE from selecting, but we did achieved that the admission was not only based on the GPA, but also on motivation and CV/portfolio of students. After this case, the general discussion about master selection has not continued.
As ORAS we’re against selecting for the master, provided that the quality of education will not be in danger. Futhermore we think it’s important that master programme’s are accessible for all students, not only for a small selected group. In 2017 ORAS wrote a position paper (only available in Dutch) about this topic. When selection is needed, we think it’s important that at least the admission is based on quality, not for example only on grades. Also the motivation of students or a CV should be taken into account during the admission.