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Inflow statistics: Huge increase Nursing and Primary School Teacher Training

25 September 2020

This year Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences welcomes over 12,500 first-year students. That is almost 500 more than last year, an increase of 3.7%*. The inflow is therefore increasing at a slightly lower rate than the national average, which is up 4.4%*. The significant increase at our study programmes: Nursing and Primary School Teacher Training is striking. Also noteworthy is the fact that the inflow is growing fastest in the sectors that are urgently in need of more graduates with a higher professional education degree.

Nursing largest in the Randstad conurbation

With an influx of almost 800 students, the study programme Nursing is now the largest provider in the Randstad conurbation. The number of students has risen by 18% compared to last year; nationwide this is 12%. The increase has tripled compared to two years ago. Chairman of the Executive Board, Ron Bormans, is delighted that Nursing is so popular: “The past few months have once again shown how important this profession is for our country. It is a great acknowledgement that so many people have now enrolled in this study programme.”

Spectacular increase Primary School Teacher Training, 54% more inflow

The study programme Primary School Teacher Training is also growing tremendously this year. In September more than 350 students enrolled in Primary School Teacher Training at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (RUAS), which is 54% more than last year. Nationwide, the inflow for this training has increased by 16%. "Unprecedented. This almost brings us back to the number before the national admissions exams were introduced, when we saw a spectacular drop from around 400 to 160 students. It should be noted, however, that several students must still pass the admissions exam before 1 December 2020. I sincerely hope they do because graduates in this field are desperately needed. The schools are eagerly awaiting these new talents.”

Art education is also growing, the inflow of technology remains stable

The art academies of the Willem de Kooning Academy (part of RUAS) are also popular this year. The inflow rises with 112 first-year students. This is 22% compared to last year; nationwide the increase is 9%. The growth at WdKA is mainly due to the increase of students in Design education and - remarkably enough - an increasing number of students from abroad. This year, the inflow of engineering and technology study programmes remained stable at the school, just as in the rest of the country.

Ron Bormans: "In times of economic downturn, we tend to focus very much on professions that have a direct impact on the economy and our social tasks. That is useful, but art and creativity have continuously shown to be a key resource for the vitality of our society, including the economy. Therefore, I think it is positive that there’s increased interest in art education at our school.”

"Of course, we would have preferred to see more inflow in the technology domain; it remains a point of concern. In this respect, it is disappointing, therefore we must get cracking to increase the appeal of these study programmes. Although when we look more closely at these figures, we do notice one positive development. The number of new students (the total figures also include students who have switched study programmes, eds.) is up by 10% for engineering and technology study programmes. Should this be the beginning of a new trend, it would be a positive development indeed.”

Slight economic downturn fits in with plans

This year, the inflow for economic study programmes is down slightly by 1%. "From a labour market perspective, this is not alarming. Last year we drew attention to the imbalance in the number of students opting for education in economics (around 40% of the total) versus, for example, studies in technology, IT, and healthcare. We are on the threshold of further innovation of the curriculum, with more opportunity for cross-pollination with other disciplines, such as IT, data-related studies, et cetera. In that light, a slight decline in the number of economics students is not problematic, although this is less clear-cut than it seems: the multi-year sharp decline in study programmes such as Finance & Control, and Logistics Management, for example, is less desirable from a labour market perspective.

In the economic domain, however, the pandemic has clearly affected the number of international students. The inflow of International Business is down by 27%. This development can also be seen at other institutions that offer international studies.”

* Provisional Studielink numbers of first-year enrolments (unweighted) on 7 September 2020 compared to 9 September 2019. The educational institutions still have until 1 December to pass on changes to Education Executive Agency (DUO). The final inflow statistics will be available mid-February 2021.

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