What's next? a study on subject choices in Dutch secondary education

Monique A. Dijks


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In year 3 of Dutch secondary education, senior general and pre-university students choose their subjects for upper secondary education. Students’ subject choices determine to which studies in tertiary education they are directly admitted. Some students struggle with this decision and regret their decisions afterwards. The dissertation of Monique Dijks aims to better understand and explain the decision-making processes leading up to students’ subject choices. This may help student counsellors in their subject choice guidance and counselling.
It seems that a large group of students has already made a choice before the formal subject choice guidance and counselling takes place, while other students have no idea what to choose. Although committing early to one choice doesn’t have to be problematic, these students may have based their decision on incorrect or incomplete information, as they probably did not yet receive information from the school about the choice options. This emphasizes the importance of providing information early.
Students’ attitudes towards the choice options appears to have the largest role in their subject choices. However, students’ subject choice processes vary widely. For example, the relationship between the report card grades and students’ subject choices are different for boys and girls and senior general students tend to pick differently than pre-university students. In addition, the subject choice process regarding the study profile Culture and Society tends to be different than for the other study profiles. The fact that the subject choice processes differ widely calls for strong differentiation within subject choice guidance and counselling.
Originele taal-2English
KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
Toekennende instantie
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • Warrens, Matthijs J., Supervisor
  • Korpershoek, Hanke, Supervisor
  • Bosker, Roel, Supervisor
Datum van toekenning16-nov.-2023
Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
StatusPublished - 2023

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