Better success at university after ASO study with maths

Summary

According to a study by researchers at UHasselt, first-year university students who had four or more hours a week of maths do significantly better than those with less of a maths background

One additional hour a week makes huge difference

Students who have followed at least four hours of mathematics per week at secondary school in general education have far better chances of passing their first year at university than students who had less maths. That is the conclusion of a study carried out among the student population of Hasselt University (UHasselt).

Researchers examined the marks of about 3,000 first-year students between 2008 and 2011. One remarkable find was that only 29% of students from the study stream Economy-Modern Languages in general education passed, compared to 46% of the students who did Economy-Mathematics. The study stream that offered the best preparation was Latin-Mathematics, with a pass rate of 69%.

UHasselt is planning to provide extra lessons to first-year students who had three hours or less of maths per week in secondary education. The university also wants to spark public debate so that pupil support agencies and teachers who help students with their choices know the advantages of an extra hour of maths.

Johan David of the support agency VCLB disagreed with the findings, stating that you cannot improve intellect with extra courses in maths.

Educational system

The Flemish educational system is divided into two levels: primary (age six to 12) and secondary school (12 to 18). Education is compulsory for children between the ages of six and 18.
Types - There are three educational networks in Flanders: the Flemish Community’s GO! network, and publicly funded education – either publicly or privately run.
Not enough space - In recent years, Flemish schools have been struggling with persistent teacher shortages and a growing lack of school spaces.
No tuition fees - Nursery, primary and secondary school are free in Flanders.
1

million school-going children in 2013

30

million euros Flemish education budget for new school infrastructures in 2013

11

percent of boys leaving secondary school without a diploma