Journalism no longer a concern

‘Clear course and priorities’

  • After years study programme journalism scores ‘sufficient’ again according to ‘Keuzegids’.
  • The new study concept ought to make the didactics more challenging.

Journalism, the study programme that ended up in a serious crisis after a poor evaluation from the quality assessment organisation nvao in 2011, finally seems to be going uphill again. The number of new students enrolling increased with 25 per cent to two hundred. Also, for the first time this study programme does not receive a poor rating from ‘De Keuzegids’ (The Selection Guide) anymore, who compares universities of applied sciences. Last year, journalism received a 4.8 as grade. In De Keuzegids’ new edition the grade is almost sufficient: a 5.6.

According to study programme director Bas Mesters a lot of energy was put into improving the curriculum and to have direct involvement from the work field. “The number of guest teachers increased. And there is a clear course with proper priorities: Constructive Journalism, Cross-Media Journalism, and Undertaking Journalism. In those points much happens when it comes down to renovation. Such as an international congress about constructive journalism that will take place soon, or the ‘freelance counter’ that is being launched by and for students.”

Out of the four journalism studies in the Netherlands, Windesheim is doing much better than last on the list University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (grade: 4.4) according to De Keuzegids. Journalism at Fontys Tilburg’s grade is a 5.6, just like Windesheim. The highest grade goes to Christian University of Applied Sciences Ede (6.4).

For Journalism the partial assessments are mostly average in De Keuzegids. There is no sufficient rating because of two poor partial scores: first of all, the students are not fully satisfied about the programme content and the tests, and second about the competences they are acquiring. According to Mesters, they are working on that: “The introduction to the new study concept offers extra possibilities to make the didactics more challenging. To make sure education is future proof, in the fields of our priorities we included specialists that inspire us. And the students will receive more and more opportunities to shape their education. The by students initiated plus programme Islam and the College Tour ‘Uitgelicht’  (the lectures series ‘Highlighted’) are examples of that.” (EM)

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