Education minister toys with orientation test for higher education

Flemish education minister Ben Weyts (Flemish nationalist) would like to introduce an orientation test for all higher education courses.  The minister told VRT that if he had a free hand, he would introduce tests for students eager to start in higher education. “This isn’t a way of harassing students, but a means of helping them to orientate” says Weyts.

The education minister was speaking with young Flemings on #BelRiadh, VRT’s online discussion programme with young people hosted by Riadh Bahri.

“Open access to higher education in Flanders means students can embark on any course.  A quarter fail to get a diploma” says Weyts.  He believes too many students are not in the right place and that’s often the result of the fact that they didn’t get enough support when making their decision.

The education minister believes support at the end of secondary studies can be organised in a far better fashion. “Class councils can help, but the Columbus orientation test should show students where their talents lie”.

With a free hand Mr Weyts would organise tests at the start of every higher education course.  “I’m not talking about an entrance exam like the one that exists for medical students, but rather about an orientation test.  In this way students are shown what the course involves and what kind of level is required.  If necessary, they can beef up their competences”.

Orientation tests already exist for teacher training courses.  Afterwards students receive support in the fields in which they perform poorly. 

“In this way they can do some remedial work or decide this isn’t the course for them” says Weyts.

Minister Weyts also notes the orientation test could prevent money from being wasted.

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