The ISO has long argued for accessible education in which everyone has equal opportunities. The starting point is: equal opportunities by making a difference. Three different phases are important when it comes to accessibility and equal opportunities in higher education: admission, connection and progression.
For the ISO, admission to higher education is all about (prospective) students who want to gain a place in a higher education programme. They must have the opportunity to follow the study programme they want to. They must be well supported in making the right choice and not run into unnecessary barriers. Selection and additional admission requirements should be avoided as much as possible. If a programme does impose additional admission requirements or selects, this must be clearly communicated and substantiated. It must also be possible to substantiate the chosen additional requirements or selection criteria properly and scientifically. Moreover, the background and situation of the (prospective) student must be taken into account during admission. Education benefits from diversity and everyone must have equal opportunities for admission to a programme. Admission is also custom work!
The various forms of education must fit in with each other as well as possible. Where this is not the case, students must be guided properly. When looking at good coordination, it is not only about the returns. The ISO sees student success in a broader sense and in a different way than efficiency. According to the ISO, student success is the success a student experiences in the area of personal development and self-fulfilment, due to the space for development that is offered. Student success can therefore mean different things to different students. Student success means something different for each student, ranging from obtaining a diploma without being bound by time pressure, to gaining new professional experiences that will benefit the student later in life.
The binding study advice (BSA) is important in the affiliation phase. According to the ISO, the BSA contributes to high performance pressure among students. In addition, the BSA’s referral function does not work in practice. A large proportion of students with a negative BSR subsequently enroll in the same programme at another educational institution. Moreover, the ISO sees a trend that the BSR is used as a way of selecting ‘after the gate’. For this reason, the ISO advocates making study advice non-binding and improving study guidance for students who are in danger of failing the BSA.
Not every student immediately finds himself in the right place at the right level of education. This is, of course, completely logical; not everyone develops at the same speed and it is, moreover, extremely difficult to assess what you like and what you are good at at at a young age. Fortunately, our education system offers the possibility of switching and moving on. Unfortunately, this has been made increasingly difficult for students in recent years. On the one hand due to financial pressure, on the other hand due to increased additional admission requirements and the required character of bridging programmes. Of course, it is important that students start their study programme well-rested and with sufficient knowledge, but the education system must also offer them the opportunity to choose another path without too much delay or mounting debts. The ISO therefore considers it very important to offer good transfer opportunities.