Bachelor’s Open Day: Cold weather and hot conversations

My name is Susanna Mandorf and I hold a PhD in Corporate Management with a specialization in Management Information Systems and E-Business. I teach about 200 students as a senior lecturer and tutor with the department Accounting & Information Management at Maastricht University SBE.

The Bachelor’s Open Day was held on a Saturday, so that prospective students to come with their parents on their first visit to Maastricht. Some showed up with their complete families (parents, younger children and infants) on the SBE campus, thereby revealing how important the experience of a Bachelor’s Open Day and the decision to pursue an academic career were for them.

In my exchanges with parents during the Open Day I found out that most of them viewed the Bachelor’s Open Day as one of the last occasions for them to play a role in their children’s education, before seeing them leave the home nest.

For this reason the day seemed to be filled up with all sorts of feelings. Many parents I spoke to tried to protect their children. They asked a lot of questions about Maastricht University’s Problem Based Learning educational system and the chances it offers the students to succeed in their study.

Jorine Hilhorst, the Open Day’s coordinator at Maastricht SBE, showed me some graphs about Dutch Universities’ completion rates. Looking at the graphs, I saw that the completion rates at Maastricht University are much higher than anywhere else in the Netherlands.

As Professor Stuart Dixon, Director of the Euro*MBA, explained during General Introduction, the high completion rate of 80 to 90 percent in Economic and Business studies is due to the PBL system, which provides higher learning results than traditional methods. With PBL, students tend to better remember what they learn and get higher scores during exams.

Completion rates International Business


Completion rates Economics and Business Economics

One of my tasks as an SBE tutor during the Open Day consisted in demonstrating what PBL meant in practice. I provided visitors with support to solve an actual business challenge by using the PBL’s Seven Step Approach.

Prospective students looked motivated and their parents asked many questions about study programmes. Informal exchanges developed into rewarding discussions highlighting new aspects and perspectives for everyone.

I experienced the Bachelor’s Open Day at Maastricht University as a big success. The weather may have been cold and snowy outside, but inside the university building the conversations were “hot”.

The feedback I received was very positive and I can only recommend everyone to join such an event.

The next Bachelor’s Open Day will take place on Saturday 9 November.


By Susanna Mandorf

Photos: Alexander Sawtschuk

Graphs: Sylvie Kersten (Exam Office)


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