The Bachelor’s students of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen are very pleased with their degree programme. Based on the results of the National Student Survey, Elsevier has proclaimed the Religious Studies programme in Groningen to be the best in the Netherlands. The city of Groningen was also voted best student city in the Netherlands. In short, Groningen is the place to be for Religious Studies!
Although Theology (83) gained a higher total score than Religious Studies (75), Theology came a close second in the theology ranking list. Theology was the highest rated Bachelor’s programme at the University of Groningen and, at a national level, the third ranked Humanities programme, after the Theology programme in Apeldoorn (1) and Celtic Languages and Culture in Utrecht (2).
This year, the one-year Master’s programme in Theology and Religious Studies came in third after Radboud University Nijmegen and Utrecht University. A fair comparison could not be made for the two-year Research Master’s programme as no information was available for other institutions with similar programmes.
Of the six institutions that offer Religious Studies, the University of Groningen was ranked first by students. The differences in the top three are very small. Last year, Religious Studies at the University of Groningen had to settle for third place. This year, the programme has pulled ahead, in particular as far as testing and internal organization & communication are concerned. Compared to the second and third places – Radboud University Nijmegen and Leiden University, respectively – the curriculum was the lowest scoring aspect. However, the Programme Director expects a higher score next year: ‘In September 2016, we launched a completely revised curriculum, which revolves around hot topics such as the role of religion in politics and the media. We have also improved the structure of the programme considerably. Last year, we already put a greater emphasis on acquiring research skills and stimulating analytical thinking. It is here that we set ourselves apart from the rest.’
This year, the Theological University Apeldoorn scored slightly better than the University of Groningen, while last year it was the other way around. Both programmes score exceptionally well and are far ahead of all other Theology programmes in the Netherlands. Students at the University of Groningen have nothing but praise for the quality of their lecturers, the available facilities, and organization & communication. The programme organization passes with flying colours, but here too, Groningen expects a higher score next year. ‘The Theology programme has introduced a new learning pathways, in which the feasibility for students was an important factor. For example, students now learn Hebrew in their first year and Greek in their second, rather than both in the first year straight away’, said Vellenga.
Best Studies Elsevier is a production by Elsevier in cooperation with the research institute ResearchNed from Nijmegen. The survey is based on the opinions of more than 230,000 students, as expressed in the annual National Student Survey. In this survey, students assess their programme and university in terms of the available facilities, programme organization, quality of teaching and lecturers, testing, and internal organization and communication.
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