Scientific research into academic success

Higher education institutions constantly seek possibilities to improve their students' academic success. The results of teaching research provide important input for designing suitable measures at the subject and curriculum level, to support students optimally in achieving success during their studies.
It is also important to investigate the effect of measures taken and, on the basis of the outcomes, to tailor the teaching, evidence-based, steadily better to the (diversity of the) student population.

Risbo supports institutions and programmes in carrying out scientific teaching research focused on improving academic success. Here we draw a distinction between (a) teaching research, which is aimed at the effect of interventions and predictors of academic success before enrolment (such as the relationship between characteristics of students and their academic success, the effect of study-choice activities, the effect of selection instruments), (b) research which occurs during the programme (such as research into the timely identification of students who drop out, explanations for student drop-out, research into the effect of interventions at the subject and curriculum level, research into the optimum learning environment for specific student subgroups), and (c) research which occurs after the programme (research among alumni on characteristics from the learning environment which predict success in their careers).

Over the past decade several PhD students at Risbo has performed scientific research into academic success. The following dissertations have been written:
  • Wolff, R.P. (2013). Presteren op vreemde bodem: Een onderzoek naar sociale hulpbronnen, en de leeromgeving als studiesuccesfactoren voor niet-westerse allochtone studenten in het Nederlandse hoger onderwijs (19970-2010). Enschede: Ipskamp Drukkers BV. (ISBN: 978-94-6191-907-6)
  • Meeuwisse, M. (2012). Being Smart is Not Enough. The role of psychosocial factors in study success of ethnic minority and ethnic majority students. Enschede: Ipskamp Drukkers BV. (ISBN/EAN: 978-94-6191-192-6)
  • Baars, G.J.A. (2009). Factors related to student achievement in medical school. Den Haag: Uitgeverij LEMMA. (ISBN: 978-90-5931-521-1)
  • Vermeulen, L. M. (2006). The study of alumni: Professional success, commitment to the university, and the role of the academic learning environment. Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam.


Rick Wolff
+31 10 408 8614
Jan de Boom
+31 10 408 2165
Tel +31 10 408 21 24
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

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