Student - March 27, 2014

Hard and fast cut-off point

Linda van der Nat

Students whose graduation was delayed through no fault of their own will soon be unable to start work on their masters before completing the bachelor degree. This was one unintentional result of the now hard cut-off point between Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, the ‘harde knip’ rule.

Student organisations, including VeSte, are extremely worried about it. This might make students even more cautious about taking on administrative roles.

This unease has been caused by the scrapping of the law that guaranteed automatic progression from Bachelor’s to Master’s. That act also included what was known as the ‘strictness clause’ allowing access to the Master’s to be granted to students whose graduation was delayed by illness, board work or other reasonable excuses. Scrapping the act unintentionally disposed of these exceptions too.

‘For the active students who we represent, this is an awkward development,’ stated Simone Ritzer, a member of the student council for VeSte. She says that the ISO (inter-city students’ forum) has already raised the issue in parliament. ‘It seems as if the strictness clause was done away with accidentally, so there’s a lot of lobbying going on now. Despite positive responses from the ministry, there’s no sign of a solution yet.’

The university also says it finds the complete disappearance of the strictness clause to be regrettable. Tiny van Boekel, educational director: ‘A side-effect that is unintentional and undesirable, particularly for students who put time into administrative work. However, the lawmakers are the ones who have scrapped the student board members; we as a university can do nothing about that.’ The university is however examining whether it is possible to help fast-track students through.