“Want to join our poll?” With my team’s far from successful start of the play-offs still fresh in my memory, the first thing I thought of was a European or World Cup soccer tournament. But no, our team at ESA hasn’t created an office pool for soccer, but an intake poll. How many freshmen will enroll next academic year? Frankly, we haven’t got a clue here at Industrial Design. Preliminary estimates in our team range from 154 to 283 new bachelor’s students, and everything in between.
The intake restriction no longer applies to ID bachelor’s students who are about to start on September 1 of this year. Instead, students now have to do a study choice check that takes half a day. The second session is scheduled for next week. Several of my colleagues, as well as a couple of students, are ready to offer prospective students an attractive program that needs to help them decide whether the study program is right for them, and vice versa.
The fact that we don’t know how many bachelor’s – and master’s – students we can expect next academic year, makes planning difficult. Will the lecture halls, which need to be booked now, be large enough? Or perhaps they’ll turn out to be too large, in case far fewer students decide to enroll. What size groups will our lecturers be faced with? How many student mentors will we need to supervise every newcomer? How many coaches? Can we expect a higher dropout number around Christmas?
So far, dropout rates were low, in part thanks to strict selection procedures. The large number of international students enrolled in the master’s program also creates uncertainty. Will every single one of them actually travel to Eindhoven, or will they stay away because they were unable to find accommodation?
Lots of questions, which don’t apply exclusively to our department, Fortunately, my colleagues are flexible and inventive. Wir schaffen das together. I hope that I’ll win the poll with my estimation. For the honor of winning – of course – because I have no idea what the prize will be. But mostly because my estimate amounts to a nice average number of students. Not too many, not too few. We will know on September 1.