According to the Keuzegids Universiteiten 2015 (Guide to Dutch Universities), the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen is again offering the best degree programmes in religious studies in the Netherlands. The Bachelor’s programmes in theology and religious studies have both been assessed as excellent and may continue to use the ‘Top programme’ quality label.
Just like last year, the University of Groningen’s degree programme in theology topped the rankings for theology programmes. It was closely followed by the Theological University Apeldoorn. The Elsevier Guide to Higher Education published in September had already reached the same conclusion. None of the other degree programmes in theology came close to those in Groningen and Apeldoorn. Religious studies in Groningen is also the best programme in its category. Although the Elsevier Guide put Groningen just behind Radboud University Nijmegen in its ranking list, Groningen pipped Nijmegen at the post in the Keuzegids Universiteiten. Here too, both these programmes finished way ahead of the rest of the field.
According to the Keuzegids: ‘The standard of the teaching material in Groningen is very high, the teaching is exceptionally stimulating and the programme itself cohesive. The same exceptional enthusiasm is seen in the lecturers, who should be applauded for their expertise, didactic qualities and supervisory skills. The skills teaching is exemplary, and the fact that the study load has been so well spread means that students do not fall behind in their studies.’
This year’s Keuzegids pays particular attention to the job prospects of students after graduating. Once again, theology came out well: ‘Although the number of jobs in the theology field is dropping, a wave of retirement has improved the prospects for students graduating in the next few years.’
As the Keuzegids puts it: ‘Groningen’s degree programme in religious studies also tops the tables. The content and the organization of the programme is well thought out – the assessments dovetail with the teaching material and the workstations and teaching rooms (facilities) satisfy all the requirements.’ Groningen stands out particularly for the way it teaches professional skills and encourages academic development.
The Keuzegids awards the designation Top Programme to degree programmes that attain a total score of 76 points (or more) in the assessment. Only 66 programmes have been awarded this honour throughout the country. Theology scored 88 points, which made it the highest-scoring programme at the University of Groningen. Religious Studies scored 76 points. The Keuzegids bases its assessments on student evaluations, pass rates and visitation reports.
(Guide to Dutch Universities) is published annually by the Centre for Higher Education Information (CHIO; Centrum Hoger Onderwijs Informatie). It is intended for secondary school pupils and counsellors who want to find out more about further education. There is a separate Keuzegids Masters for Master’s programmes at universities and universities of applied science. This will be published in early February 2015.
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