Government parties VVD, CDA and ChristenUnie want to give universities and universities of applied sciences the opportunity to exclude prospective students who score poorly in a selection procedure from the draw. Their coalition partner D66 is strongly opposed and is supported in this by Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (Education) and the left-wing opposition parties PvdA, SP and GroenLinks.
The cabinet wants to make it possible again for colleges and universities to select students based on lots. Dijkgraaf thinks that this will make the selection process fairer. He concludes from studies that certain groups have less chance if universities select students on the basis of, for example, grades, a letter of motivation and a test. The minister means, for example, students with a migration background, less prosperous parents or a disability, and also late bloomers. A selection procedure may also be combined with a lottery in the proposal.
Zohair El Yassini of the VVD is not enthusiastic about this proposal. “As far as I am concerned, drawing lots is not conducive to equality of opportunity because it makes it unprofitable to invest time and energy in choice of study and skills.” That is why he proposed in December together with the CDA to also make it possible to exclude students from the lottery. Now the ChristenUnie also appears to be in favour.
René Peters (CDA) seeks “the middle of two worlds” by supporting this plan. Loten ensures “maximum equality”, but also that the great talents can fall by the wayside. They benefit more from selection procedures.
D66, PvdA, SP and GroenLinks welcome the fact that the government wants to make drawing lots possible again, but are far from enthusiastic about the idea of VVD, CDA and ChristenUnie. “I am fundamentally against,” says Jeanet van der Laan (D66). “I stand for students graduating from high school and I’m not going to give them up based on a 6.”
Lisa Westerveld of GroenLinks says that it is “extremely difficult to predict” based on school grades how a student will perform later as a student. Selecting on the basis of such criteria ensures that programs such as medicine do not receive a “diverse palette” of students. “Not only women who achieved high marks in pre-university education, for example.”
Member of Parliament Harm Beertema of the PVV believes that Dijkgraaf is “reintroducing stupid coincidence” by allowing lottery tickets again. “We want the most suitable students on the most suitable education.” He would prefer that the bill be scrapped entirely.
By: ANP | Photo: ANP