Curriculum organization in the Netherlands: Some research based evidences

In the Netherlands some resource project has been finished about the curriculum organisation. It was shown that certain organisational measures are more beneficial for study success than others. The results of this research are published in the Dutch language.

  1. Serial programming of courses is more effective that parallel programming. The students can focus on 1 or 2 subjects, instead of 5-9 different subjects. Otherwise the course will concur each other for the study time of the students. (van der Hulst & Jansen, 2000; Van der Berg, 2002).
  2. The study load is evenly distributed in a week and over the year. An accumulation of study time should be prevented. Often students focus on certain activities and will stay behind in other study activities. (Drift and Vos, 1987).
  3. The optimum of the F2F-hours focused on explanation the content is around 12 hours per week. If there are less or more F2F-hours, the study time of the students will decrease. There is an exception for practical activities. (Drift and Vos, 1987).
  4. Self-study hours should be included in the schedule to enable the students to finish the self-study activities before the next F2F-activity. (Drift and Vos, 1987).
  5. Spreading of exams is more effective. There is less ‘competition’ for the learning time of the students when preparing the exams. This also accounts for resits when the next courses already have started. (Jansen, 1996; Vos, 1998).
  6. Ruijter and Smit (1995) found that a certain tendency that students see the first sit a chance without consequences.
  7. In the first year of the study programs of the Erasmus University in the Netherlands the possibility is given to the students to compensate insufficient scores for the course with high sufficient scores for other courses. For more information about the compensation between courses click here.


  1. Berg, M.N. van den (2002). Studeren? (G)een punt! Een kwantitatieve studie naar studievoortgang in het Nederlandse wetenschappelijke onderwijs in de periode 1996-2000. Rotterdam: Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. Academisch proefschrift.
  2. Drift, K.D.J.M. van der en Vos. P. (1987). Anatomie van een leeromgeving. Een onderwijseconomische analyse van universitair onderwijs. Academisch proefschrift. Lisse: Swets en Zeitlinger (Dutch). 
  3. Hulst, M. v.d. & Jansen, E. (2000). Effecten van curriculumkenmerken op studievoortgang en uitval van studenten techniek. Tijdschrift voor Onderwijsresearch 24-3/4, 237-247 (Dutch).
  4. Jansen E.P.W.A. (1996). Curriculumorganisatie en studievoortgang. Een onderzoek onder zes studierichtingen aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Academisch proefschrift. GION, Groningen. (Dutch).
  5. Ruijter, C.T.A. & N.J. Smit (1995). Effecten van onderwijsprogrammering op studeergedrag. OC-Bulletin 35. Onderwijskundig Centrum Universiteit Twente. (Dutch).
  6. Vos, P. (1992) Het ritme van het rooster. Onderzoek van Onderwijs 1992, 51-53.(Dutch).
  7. Vos, P. (1998). Over de ware aard van uitstellen. Tijdschrift voor Hoger onderwijs, 16, 4, 259-274. (Dutch).