National Student Survey 2017: increased satisfaction on Master Geo-information Science and Earth Observation

ITC takes part in the National Student Survey annually. It is a survey amongst students in which they are asked to rate their study experience on various themes. Though it is interesting to see how the faculty scores compared to its counterparts, it is mainly a very helpful instrument in increasing the quality of education and facilities.


This year’s results show a significant increase for appreciation of the Master Geo-information Science and Earth Observation, in comparison with both last year and with similar educational programmes at other universities.

Comparison nationwide

Compared to similar educational programmes in the Netherlands, the ITC Master on Geo-information Science and Earth Observation scores above average on almost all themes. For instance, there are (much) higher scores on study facilities, quality care, content, academic guidance and study information.

The highest theme scores are on study facilities (4.40), content (4.36), lecturers (4.35) and programme schedules (4.34). Study load (3.88) and career preparation (3.99) are themes which need attention. The only score that is (slightly) lower than the reference group average is the one on career preparation. Students seem to prefer more emphasize on linking their education at ITC to their career path.


Compared to the scores in 2016, satisfaction with the study programme in general increased from 4.08 to 4.32. The general atmosphere in the study programme scored 4.14 in 2016 and increased to 4.35 in 2017 and the score on whether the programme would be recommended to friends or family increased from 4.16 to 4.40.

Fourteen out of fifteen theme scores show an increase. No themes show a decrease and the score on general skills is equal to 2016. Academic guidance/counselling (+0.37: from 3.92 to 4.29) and testing and assessment (+0.35: from 3.92 to 4.29) show the highest increase. The extra attention for quality care in the past year seems to have paid off, with an increase of 0.31 (from 3.94 to 4.25).

Open Questions

In the answers to the open questions, most striking were the remarks regarding the study load and the wish for a 2-year programme. In addition, remarks were made regarding the wish for internships; the integration with EU students and the move to the campus; and the wish for more learning rather than retention. These remarks are consistent with earlier feedback from students and have played an important role in the decision on the transition to a 2-year programme in 2018. The remarks will be taken into account in the development of this 2-year programme and the desired move to the campus.


The Faculty ITC is very satisfied with the results of this survey and therefore thanks the students for participating in the survey and staff for contributing to these results. The results of this survey will again be used in ITC’s internal quality care system and further development of education and education support. The challenge is to make sure that the scores remain this high in the upcoming years and even though the results are very positive, there is always room for improvement.

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