November 30, 2015

Young men disadvantaged by forced dropping out in the Netherlands

Filed under: Health,Science by Branko Collin @ 11:47 pm

Girls’ brains develop faster than those of boys, and as a result boys aren’t always ready when it is crunch time in college, a literature review by researchers of Maastricht University and the University of Amsterdam concludes.

In 2009 Dutch institutions of higher education were given the right to ‘fire’ students with low grades (iudicium abeundi). The researchers fear that this measure unfairly disadvantages male adolescent students because their studying skills are less developed than those of female students of the same age. The study finds the non-cognitive brain functions favoured in today’s education, such as motivation, initiative and a talent for introspection, develop earlier in girls.

The study also finds large differences in non-cognitive skills within each gender, which is why the researchers recommend that interventions be aimed at both boys and girls. What these interventions could look like is too early to tell, the study reports.

The study entitled The Boys Against the Girls was commissioned by the Ministry of Education and was released earlier this month.

(Link: ANS, photo of a lightbulb by Emil Kabanov, some rights reserved)

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July 6, 2012

Dutch Olympians to be fined or fired by government

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 9:59 am

Hurdler Gregory Sedoc is one of five soldiers to get the boot.

Dozens of students taking part in the 2012 Olympics will be fined for failing to meet their study goals, Dutch News reports:

At least a quarter of the Dutch squad for this summer’s Olympics in London may end up with a fine for taking too long to finish their college or university degrees, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Of the 180-strong team, around 50 are still studying and are likely to end up with a €3,000 fine for taking more than a year too long to graduate.

The bitter irony is that the students still have it good. Having to pay a fine is nothing compared to losing your job, which is what will happen to two judokas, a hurdler, a middle distance runner and a shooter as of December 1. The five athletes are part of a project that puts top Olympians on the Defence department’s payroll. The project is stopped due to extensive budget cuts.

The five athletes were told they were fired by phone, Telegraaf reports

I doubt there are many other countries that treat their heroes this way.

The students will be fined because of a law that states nobody should take more than 5 years to finish a university or polytechnic education. The law itself fits nicely in a long standing tradition of painting students as lazy for political gain. Meanwhile studies confirm that Dutch students often work hard.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Vice-Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen used a total of 18 years to finish their degrees.

(Photo by Erik van Leeuwen, some rights reserved)

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