Let universities exclude poorly performing students from course lottery: Coalition
Coalition parties VVD, CDA, and ChristenUnie want to give universities and universities of applied sciences the option to exclude prospective students who score poorly in a selection procedure from the course lottery. Their coalition partner D66 is vehemently opposed to this idea and gets support from Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (Education) and the left-wing opposition parties PvdA, SP, and GroenLinks.
The Cabinet wants to make it possible for higher education institutions to select students based on a lottery. Dijkgraaf thinks that it will make the selection process fairer. He concluded from studies that certain groups have less chance if universities select students based on, for example, grades, a letter of motivation, and a test. Ethically diverse students, students with less prosperous parents, students with disabilities, and late bloomers are among those affected. However, his proposal would allow universities to combine a selection procedure with a lottery.
Zohair El Yassini of the VVD is not enthusiastic about this proposal. “As far as I’m concerned, drawing lots is not conducive to equality of opportunity because it makes it unprofitable to invest time and energy in choice of study and skills.” That is why he proposed in December, together with the CDA, to also make it possible to exclude students from the lottery. The ChristenUnie now also supports this proposal.
Rene Peters (CDA) seeks “the middle of two worlds” by supporting the plan. Lotteries ensure “maximum equality,” but also that great talents can fall by the wayside. They benefit more from selection procedures.
D66, PvdA, SP, and GroenLinks welcome the fact that the government wants to make lotteries possible again but are far from enthusiastic about the VVD, CDA, and ChristenUnie’s idea. “I am fundamentally against it,” said Jeanet van der Laan (D66). “I stand for students graduating from high school, and I’m not going to let them give up based on a 6.”
Lisa Westerveld of GroenLinks said that it is “extremely difficult to predict,” based on school grades, how a student will perform later in higher education. Selecting based on such criteria ensures that programs like medicine don’t receive a “diverse palette” of students. “Not only women who achieved high marks in pre-university education, for example.”
PVV parliamentarian Harm Beertema believes that Dijkgraaf is reintroducing “stupid coincidence” by allowing lotteries again. “We want the most suitable students on the most suitable education.” He wants the bill scrapped altogether.
Reporting by ANP