RUG adapting bsa after all

The RUG is going to change the rules regarding the binding study advice (bsa) – but only for the 2015-2016 school year.

The university has stated that the requirement for students to achieve a propaedeutic certificate has been withdrawn for the most recent academic year.

According to RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens, the decision was made in anticipation of a letter which Jet Bussemaker should be sending to the Lower House in August in connection to court rulings on the issue. ‘The Board of the University has decided not to leave this group of students in doubt until a decision is made by the minister’, Deekens says.

‘Nothing wrong’

Up until now, the RUG has insisted that there was nothing wrong with its institutional rules regarding the bsa, despite judges from the Appeal Tribunal for Higher Education (College van Beroep voor het Hoger Onderwijs, CBHO) determining that various universities overstepped the law by adding requirements that students had to fulfill before achieving a bsa.

The judges deemed it wrong for universities to tack on new demands if a student has already been informed that he or she can move forward with his or her studies after the first school year. That is precisely what the RUG does: students have to complete all of their required first year courses within two years. But the university is revisiting that requirement for the 2015-2016 school year.

‘Students who were granted a provisionally affirmative study advice will be permitted to continue their studies, even if they have not yet achieved the propaedeutic certificate’, the RUG site reads.

In August, the Board of Directors will discuss the binding study advice with the students and staff of the University Council.

The universities of Leiden, Maastricht and Amsterdam (both UvA and VU) had previously decided to adapt their own bsa rules as a result of the CBHO ruling.