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University of Groningen Religious Studies and Theology both Top Degree Programmes

16 November 2016

It is becoming a tradition: the Bachelor’s degree programmes in Theology and Religious Studies were both awarded the distinction Top Degree Programme by the Keuzegids Universiteiten (Higher Education Guide) . This makes Religious Studies the best Bachelor’s degree programme in Religious Studies in the Netherlands – as confirmed by the Elsevier Best Degree Programmes ranking. Theology has been listed as Top Degree Programme for the fifth consecutive time, making it one of the 20 best Bachelor’s degree programmes in the Netherlands.

Top Rated Programme

Religious Studies

Last year the University of Groningen’s Bachelor’s degree programme in Religious Studies had to make do with a third place, but the restructuring of the degree programme has paid off. This year the degree programme is once again at the top of the ranking lists, and entitled to the distinction Top Degree Programme, as in 2013 and 2014. The University of Groningen is closely followed by Radboud University, Leiden University and the University of Humanistic Studies. Groningen distinguishes itself with excellent information regarding study progress. The Groningen students are also pleased with lecture content and the quality of the lecturers.

Theology

Theology was designated Top Degree Programme for the fifth consecutive time. Here, too, students are pleased with the information provided, lecture content, and the lecturers. A fantastic score, even though the degree programme did not rank first among Theology degree programmes in the Netherlands. Students at the Theological University in Apeldoorn were apparently even more satisfied with their degree programme, and claimed first place. Wherein lies the difference? ‘The fact that Groningen is outranked by Apeldoorn is due, among other things, to the Groningen students being dissatisfied with the student workload,’ according to the Keuzegids: A workload that has in the meantime been adjusted. Director of Teaching Sipco Vellenga: ‘This year we launched a new curriculum that really focuses on improving the degree programme’s feasibility. Hebrew is now taught in the first year, and Greek only in the second year, so students are no longer required to study both languages in their first year. A unique feature of our new curriculum is that we also focus on Islam and the Quran, and we offer Arabic as an elective. With this new curriculum Groningen will clearly distinguish itself from other Theology degree programmes in the Netherlands.’

Best University

In the list of Best Universities, the University of Groningen is in joint first place in the category ‘Broad-Based General University’. The assessment of the University of Groningen in the Keuzegids included the following statement: ‘In recent years the UG has been receiving better assessments on average than the universities in the Randstad region in the west of the country. The percentage of students in Groningen students who evaluate their programmes as challenging and well organized is slightly higher than elsewhere. According to the Keuzegids, among the broad-based, general universities, ‘…. only Groningen and Nijmegen exceed average scores for more than one degree programme.’ In addition to Theology and Religious Sciences, the University of Groningen boasts another seven Top Degree Programmes.

Higher Education Guide

The Keuzegids Universiteiten is published annually by the Centre for Higher Education Information (CHOI; Centrum Hoger Onderwijs Informatie) and is intended for secondary school pupils and counsellors who want to find out more about university Bachelor’s degree programmes. The assessments in the Guide are based on student evaluations (National Student Survey), the national degree programme choice database Studiekeuze123 and NVAO visitation reports. There is a separate Guide for Master’s degree programmes.

Last modified:17 November 2016 1.35 p.m.

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