Study programme bans cum laude

 

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Master’s students in medicine at VU Amsterdam will soon no longer be able to graduate cum laude. The master's programme stopped giving marks last year as well, writes (in Dutch) university magazine Ad Valvas. It is the first medical school in the Netherlands to do so. Master’s students in medicine now receive feedback instead of grades. At the end of the year, they are assessed on whether they have done enough with it and whether they meet all the requirements.

 

By abolishing cum laude, VU hopes to deliver doctors who are prepared for lifelong learning. “What we saw a lot was that students were mainly concerned with getting a high grade, in other words what they were good at, rather than with what they weren’t so good at yet”, the head of the master of medicine Hester Daelmans tells Ad Valvas. “We try to teach our students not to be in competition with each other, but to work together.”

 

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Yet the ‘underlying problems’ are not all overcome by abolishing cum laude. As early as the selection stage of medical studies, students are singled out who are ‘prepared to do everything and have expanded their resume with all kinds of extra activities’. This promotes competition. (HOP, JvE)