Amsterdam Business School, Netherlands, has come under criticism for “devaluing” bachelor degrees from Africa, apart from South Africa and Ghana.
The institution explained that an African bachelor’s degree is generally the equivalent of 2 years of academic education in the Netherlands.
In an updated post, tagged ‘information for students with an African bachelor’s degree,’ the ABS said applicants from other African countries, excluding Ghana and South Africa, would require bachelor’s or master’s degree to apply for a program in the institution.
“Applicants with an African bachelor’s degree (except for South Africa and Ghana) will need a Bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in the field of economics and business in order to be eligible for one of our MSc programs,” it stated.
That did not sit well with some graduates in Nigeria and other African countries who described the institution’s preference for Ghana and South Africa as racism.
“African bachelor’s degree?? Like there is one education system on the continent? Laziness! Institutional racism,” a Twitter user, @IreneNM, said while commenting on a screenshot of the publication shared on Twitter.
Another one, @TheIndiaMike, lamented, “The hilarity of this is that the Dutch tertiary education system is entirely predicated on mediocrity. This approach to ‘African degrees’ is bitterly hilarious, yet not entirely unsurprising coming from this bastion of neoliberal imperialist thinking.”
@Simplylidija tweeted, “Too lazy to research and come up with country-specific entry requirements that’s what this looks like to me.”
After being called out on Twitter, the school apologized, saying, “Thank you @DrFuraha_Asani @SaskiaBonjour @PollyWilkens and others for bringing to our attention that there are inaccuracies on our master’s program website. The information that is currently there, is indeed incorrect. We deeply regret this and will amend it as soon as possible.”
ABS explained, “Our Dutch system of higher education differs from other international systems of higher education. The most important difference is that in the Netherlands, we uphold a difference between a university of applied sciences and a research university, like the University of Amsterdam.
“In order to be eligible to an academic master’s degree at our research university (the majority are one-year Master programs), all students, both Dutch and international, need to have completed an academic bachelor’s degree from a research university.”
It added that all international degrees were evaluated on guidelines provided by the NUFFIC (Dutch organization for internationalization in education).
ABS further pointed out, “In general, although this differs per country, a bachelor’s degree obtained in certain countries on the African continent does give direct entry to a program at the Amsterdam University of Applied Science.
However, depending on the country, a completed bachelor’s degree (with the exception of some countries where they offer 5- or 6- year bachelor’s degrees) does not give direct entry to one of our academic Master’s programs at our research university. Usually, an additional completed master’s degree in the field of economics or business is needed for direct entry.”