Expansion experiment due to large amount of applicants.
- This year 75 spots for flex students, in two years’ time probably 500.
- Several study programmes are divided. Coordinator Viola van Drogen: ‘I find that unfortunate.’
The nationwide experiment flex studying has come to a prosperous start at Windesheim. Windesheim is one of the four educational institutions that wanted to participate in the six year trial, started up by the ministry of OCW (Education, Culture and Science). Initially it was assumed to have 50 spots, eventually 330 students applied. Viola van Drogen, coordinator of the experiment at Windesheim: ‘Due to a large amount of applicants we’ve created 25 extra spots. Upon closer look we concluded that there were students that would not financially benefit from flex studying. You can state that if you have 53 ECs or more, flex studying would not be interesting. After that there had to be a draw’.
A positive side-note, that number? Van Drogen: ‘Actually I’m surprised that there were only 330 applicants, because these arrangements are highly favourable for students’. The 75 chosen students all received an education agreement for one year. In it is stated which classes they will follow. For the coming 6 years they are guaranteed a spot if they want to.
In the meantime the experiment will be expanded. Van Drogen: ‘We want to go to 500 spots in two years’ time. For new students there will have to be a draw.’ Most students that are participating belong to the category the ministry had in mind, because they could benefit from this: top class athletes, students who are caregivers and the list goes on. Flex studying can also be interesting for students who are almost done, who want to finish their education in a relaxed pace, but that’s only about 10 of the 75. For the past few weeks van Drogen had the task of getting students and study programmes aligned. The responses of study programmes were diverse: ‘Some wanted to start immediately, while others were more like: it doesn’t suit us right now! I understand the reactions, but I find it unfortunate. This experiment is a small stepping stone for the developments that are to come. It is a wonderful approachable way to get a feel for it. The participants will come together a few times. ‘I will be there as well to hear what their experiences are.’ Furthermore Van Drogen will be involved with the research Windesheim will be performing. ‘The ministry is having their own research. We are researching the impact of flex studying within a study programme, and what this will mean for the funding of education.’ (MH)