Netherlands: University scandal
29 April 2011
“Value of Inholland degrees questioned,” headlines Volkskrant in the wake of revelations that the Inholland University of Applied Scienceshas distributed degrees to students who failed to meet required standards. In a report published on April 28, education inspectors have pointed out that four out of five training programmes (including communications and mechanical engineering courses) investigated at Inholland were not up to scratch. The programmes in question offered “alternative end-of-study paths” that allowed students to obtain credits recognised by the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) for work done at home, instead of standard exams. The newspaper also reports that “the level of four of the Inholland programmes was alarmingly low.” The Secretary of state for Education, Halbe Zijlstra, has announced that Inholland and other universities will now be subject to stricter controls, and institutions failing to meet standards will face fines.