Effects of participation in Excellence Programmes on cognitive and non-cognitive skills among higher education students in the Netherlands

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Abstract

Most existing studies on excellence programmes focus primarily on the characteristics of students and/or programmes. However, little is known about the effects of participation in excellence programmes on cognitive and non-cognitive outcome measures. This study uses longitudinal data on over 1,000 students from five higher education institutions in the Netherlands to examine the added value of the excellence programmes relative to the regular education programmes. This study contributes to the current literature on the effects of participation in excellence programmes in three ways: the use of a representative control group; investigating multiple cognitive and non-cognitive outcome measures; and longitudinal assessments over a period of two years with pre- and post-test measurements (i.e. at the start and the end of the excellence programme). Our findings suggest that students who participated in excellence programmes have developed positively on both cognitive and non-cognitive skills, but that their development was not substantially different compared to students who did not participate in excellence programmes. The results underline that the students who participated in excellence programmes already performed better on most cognitive and non-cognitive skill measures at the start of the programme compared to students who did not participate in excellence programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-63
JournalEuropean Journal of Higher Education
Volume11
Issue number1
Early online date2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • excellence programmes
  • higher education
  • skills
  • longitudinal data

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