University of Groningen: Limited growth in the number of UG students
As per October 2021, the University of Groningen (UG) has 36,420 students, 1,103 more than in 2020 (35,317). This represents an increase of 3.1%. Some students register for more than one degree programme, which means that this year there are 38,290 registrations for Bachelor’s (BA) and Master’s (MA) degree programmes. This is an increase of 3.3% compared to the 2020-2021 academic year (37,049). This slight increase is primarily due to the increase in registrations by students from the European Economic Area (EEA). In 2020, the UG grew by 9,8%, compared to 2.4% in 2019. The number of first-year BA registrations rose slightly and the number of MA registrations dropped slightly. Just like last year, the UG is the third largest university in the Netherlands.
Weaker growth due to COVID-19 and Brexit
Growth was weaker than expected based on the number of applications received in the spring of 2021. So, although many students applied in the spring, fewer actually enrolled in a degree programme. A combination of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit has had an impact on this. The number of Dutch students enrolling in the first year of a degree programme has decreased, most likely as a result of scaled-down coronavirus measures, which have led to more Dutch students taking a gap year to work, travel, or study abroad.
First-year BA/MA registrations
Registrations for the first year of a Bachelor’s degree programme have increased by 2.5% compared to last year (2020: 7,393; 2021:7,577). The main reason behind this is the number of registrations from the EEA (+32% compared to last year). Dutch and non-EEA registrations are down by around 5% compared to last year. Due to Brexit, EEA students who would normally have gone to a British university, have now decided to study in other EEA countries, including the Netherlands.
The number of first-year MA registrations has remained almost the same compared to last year (2020:5,336; 2021: 5,347). EEA and non-EEA registrations have gone up, while Dutch registrations have gone down.
International students and degree programmes
In total, 9,094 students from more than 127 countries are now studying at the UG (2020: 122 countries). This is an increase of 1.9% compared to last year (2020: 8,922). What is particularly striking is that fewer students with British and German passports have registered this year. In contrast, the number of students with Irish, Indian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, and Spanish nationalities has increased. The numbers of other nationalities remained fairly stable compared to last year.
Registrations at Faculty level
Registrations at most faculties have remained fairly stable compared to last year. Many faculties experienced an increase of 0.5-5% (FSE, Arts, FEB, Medical Sciences, Law), while others saw a decline of 1-2% (Spatial Sciences, Theology, Behavioural and Social Sciences). The Faculty of Philosophy grew by 9%, mainly due to an increase in non-EEA students, and University College Groningen grew by 7.2% due to increases in EEA and non-EEA registrations. Campus Fryslân shows the strongest increase with 55% (2020: 188; 2021: 291) due to an increase in the number of registrations for newly created Master’s degree programmes and a new specialization.
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