26 university courses insufficient: report

Of the 212 university Humanities courses, 26 (13 percent) have been deemed poor in quality by the Netherlands-Flemish Accreditation Organization (NVAO). The institutions responsible have two years to improve standards. 

History, Art and Culture, and Communication and Information Sciences/Media Studies are the usual suspects in the quality standards investigation.

The University of Maastricht has committed the most fouls. Six of the seven investigated studies there, such as European studies and Art and Cultural sciences are not up to snuff. After that, it is the University of Utrecht, the University of Amsterdam and Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. These institutions have four insufficient courses. The Open University in Amsterdam has three, and Leiden has two, including the study that Prime Minister Mark Rutte and King Willem-Alexander did; History.

Humanities schools see 30,000 students on average. Per year, 6,000 undergraduates start Humanities courses. Three quarters of those courses, then, have received an insufficient grade from the NVAO, and ten percent got a 'good' grade. A lot of problems seem to exist within the final year courses.

"The institutions concerned have in the meantime handed in an approved recovery plan. They now have a maximum of two years' time to realize the necessary improvements", NVAO president Anne Flierman says.

The NVAO inspects Dutch universities every six years, to determine whether valid diplomas can be given out to students from these instituions.