P35 – Does ‘matching’ help our students to make the right choice? The effects of a major policy change in Dutch higher education

Presentation
AUDITORIUM – MONDAY 16:45-17:45

Dr. F. Rutger Kappe, Drs. Pierre Poell

Inholland University of Applied Science, The Netherlands

Dr. F. Rutger Kappe, professor student success Inholland/VU, chair of Dutch G5 research group

Pierre Poell, strategic policy advisor, chair of Lica (Lica is a community of practice of higher education staff responsible for optimal articulation between secondary education and higher education).

Summary

Joint research was performed on ´matching activities´ in HE. The results of student (n>20.000) and teacher evaluations (n>500) as well as the effect of matching on the reduction of drop-out will be presented and discussed. The main research question is:  ‘does ‘matching’ work and which (set of) ‘matching’ activities results in the best effect?’

Abstract

What kind of ‘matching’ helps students to make the right choice?

The effects of a major policy change in higher education

In many countries HE institutions are faced with a large amount of early drop-outs and low first year retention rates. In reaction to the fact that in the Netherlands nearly 35% of the student drop-out or switch to another program, two major changes in the enrollment rules were introduced:

– the final date for enrollment was moved forward from 1 September to 1 May;
– legally based  ‘matching’ activities were introduced.
The goal of these ‘matching’ activities is to determine whether  the student has chosen the right study. This should consequently lead to a reduction in drop-out rates and switching of study program in the first year.

The ‘matching’ procedure and content of the programs differ between the HEI’s due to the fact that they were free in how to set up ‘matching’ and can also choose whether participating is compulsory or not. One large HEI based their ‘matching’ on the work of Visser (2012) who showed that the first exam is the best predictor of student success. Others HEI’s used the theory of Tinto (1987) and emphasized the role the social and academic integration. Also two HEI’s relied on a digital psychological questionnaire which measured cognitive and non-cognitive skills (Poropat, 2009).

Joint research is performed on the matching activities of six large HEI’s in the Netherlands. The results of student (n>20.000) and teacher evaluations (n>500) as well as reduction of early drop-out rates will be presented and discussed. The main research question is:  ‘does ‘matching’ work and which (set of) ‘matching’ activities results in the best effect?

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