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Elsevier: Groningen is the place to be for a programme in religion

01 October 2015

Professors in the field are agreed: if you want to follow a programme in religion, the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen is the place to be. And our students agree too. According to them, the University of Groningen offers the best Bachelor s degree programme in Theology in the Netherlands. This is one of the findings published this week in the Elsevier Survey .

There is no doubt in the minds of fellow professors in the field of Theology and Religious Studies; the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen is the best in the Netherlands. The Faculty tops the list of eight universities offering similar programmes with a staggering 41% of the votes. The Protestant Theological University (PThU) took second place and the Faculty of Theology, Religious Studies and Philosophy at Radboud University Nijmegen came third. The University of Groningen scored highest in every category.

Student opinions

But what is the opinion of the real experts: the students? Elsevier compiled a ranking based on the National Student Survey. Theology students put the Bachelor’s programme in Groningen in first place. The University of Groningen scored particularly well in relation to the other six Dutch institutes where Theology is taught in the categories organization & communication and competence of the lecturers. This programme is taught in close collaboration with the Groningen branch of the PThU, where some of the course units are taught. Last year, the programme in Groningen shared first place with the Theological University Apeldoorn, which this year came a close second.

Best Studies Elsevier 2015
Best Studies Elsevier 2015

According to the students, the one-year Master’s programme in Theology & Religious Studies in Groningen also tops the tables, followed by Nijmegen. This too is thanks to the outstanding quality of the lecturers. Although the two-year Research Master’s programme also scored well, unfortunately there are too few similar Research Master’s programmes in the country to make a fair comparison.

The Bachelor’s degree programme in Religious Studies in Groningen had to settle for third place, behind Nijmegen and Utrecht. Programme Director Dr Sipco Vellenga expects better scores in the future: 'We are launching a completely revised curriculum in 2016, which will revolve around topics such as religious and cultural diversity and religion and conflict. We will teach these subjects in course units about rituals and sacred places in religious contexts. We will also introduce new course units about the role of religion in modern politics and media. There will be a greater emphasis throughout the programme on acquiring research skills and preparing for the job market.’

Elsevier survey

Some 2,000 professors gave their views about the university degree programmes they consider best in their field. They were asked to assess the quality of the Bachelors programme, the range of Masters programmes and the quality of the lecturers and academic publications. They were not allowed to rate the programmes in their own faculty.

The main focus of the survey, however, is on the opinions of more than 230,000 students, as expressed in the annual National Student Survey in which students are asked to rate the facilities, programme organization, quality of teaching and lecturers, examinations and internal organization and communication for their own programme and university.

Last modified:25 July 2023 1.05 p.m.
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