Mechanical Engineering reintroduces enrollment quota

In order to curb the influx of first-year students, the department of Mechanical Engineering has decided to reintroduce an enrollment quota as of the academic year 2022-2023. The decision to lift the enrollment quota led to an excessive and undesired increase in the number of first-year students this academic year. Program director Hans Kuerten says that there is no alternative, but he understands the feeling of dissatisfaction among companies in the private sector, which urge the university to allow as many students as possible to start with the program.

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“We’ve reached a conclusion within the department,” program director Hans Kuerten says. “We need to reintroduce an enrollment quota for our Bachelor’s program in the academic year 2022-2023. There is no alternative way to regulate student influx. The Executive Board agrees with us on this issue.” In October, the department opted for a temporary ‘makeshift solution’ for next academic year (2021-2022): the Bachelor’s program will be taught both in Dutch and in English again, which won’t take too much administrative work, Kuerten says. This will make the program accessible to foreign students only if they are proficient in Dutch at NT2 level.

That language requirement seems to have an effect when it comes to the number of pre-registrations for the Bachelor’s program, which is currently at around two hundred, compared to approximately 360 last year. Prospective students, incidentally, have until May 1 to register. Kuerten says that just over a hundred of these pre-registrations are Dutch. “That number is the same as the numbers from three years ago, when we didn’t have an English-taught Bachelor’s track.” He expects that significantly fewer foreign students will come to Eindhoven in September as a result of the language requirement. “I’m counting on a total influx of approximately 280 first-year students, but more students would also be fine of course, we can handle that without any problems.”

The large group that started this academic year – Kuerten speaks of 386 first-year students – is doing quite well, according to the program director. “The exam results of this group after Q1 were even slightly better on average than in the two previous years, despite the fact that they had to follow much education online due to the corona crisis.”

Kuerten hopes that the first steps towards the introduction of an enrollment quota for the academic year 2022-2023 will be taken as soon as possible. “We actually wanted it for coming academic year, but we didn’t have enough time to arrange it. That’s why I hope that things will proceed swiftly so that we can move on.”

What the influx limit will look like exactly first needs to be discussed with the Executive Board, Kuerten says. "The board eventually sets the limit. We aim for an annaul influx of about 350 first-year students, so I expect that we will need to set the limit at 400."

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