Admission Numerus Fixus 

Every student should be able to study what they want. Selection should only be introduced with a well-founded reason, such as a declining job market or a capacity limitation to ensure high-quality education. It is essential in the selecting of students that the right student ends up in the right place. According to ISO, a carefully crafted matching process with fair selection methods aligns best with this principle. However, selection is not a long-term solution, and programs that utilize selection/numerus fixus should primarily focus on scaling up their education while maintaining quality. 

Research shows that almost all selection methods entail biases. Many of these selection methods often disadvantage first-generation (prospective) students, (prospective) students from a migration background, and (prospective) students from a lower socioeconomic environment. The ISO observes the absence of a national vision or guideline on selection. ISO advocates for national frameworks for selecting candidates for programs. These national frameworks should address equity of opportunity and accessibility. 

Evaluation of Selection methods  

Currently, educational institutions are not obligated to externally evaluate or justify their selection methods. Therefore, the implementation of selection varies across institutions. ISO recognizes the significant responsibility placed on selection committees: they determine who enters the program and who is the best fit for it. Therefore, ISO argues that selection methods chosen by selection committees should not only be scientifically substantiated but also internally and externally justified based on national guidelines, with attention to equity of opportunity and accessibility. The ISO also emphasizes the importance of using different selection criteria to reduce the likelihood of biases. 

Current affairs

In February 2020, the Dutch House of Representatives passed a motion on the addition of drawing lots as a selection method that institutions can apply in the case of capacity fixes. The ISO is of the opinion that the drawing of lots can only be added as a selection method within the selection procedure for bachelor’s programmes. A separate draw (weighted or unweighted) without a selection procedure is undesirable according to the ISO. In practice, this means, for instance, that a selection is made by means of trial study and that an unweighted draw takes place under this selection. 

Viewpoint of the ISO

For the ISO, it is important that the right student goes to the right place. Therefore, the ISO is in favour of a developed form of selection. Unfortunately, the ISO observes that there is little consultation between institutions about methods of selection that ensure that the right student ends up in the right place. 

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