News - April 15, 2013

Hard cut-off point affects all students

Even students who started their Bachelor's degree before 2010 are going to be affected by the new hard cut-off point between Bachelor's and Master's programmes from this September. The student council is afraid that many of them will end up needing extensions.

The hard cut-off point is nothing new by now. It has long been clear that students in the Netherlands are now expected to finish their Bachelor's degrees before starting on their Master's. What is unexpected is that this rule is now going to apply to students who started their Bachelor's before 2010. Previously the university had indicated that an exception would be made for that group of students. But the final version of the new law rules that out.
'Very annoying,' responds spokesman Simon Vink. 'We were justifiably under the impression that the new measure would only apply to students who started their Bachelor's programme from 1 September 2010.' According to Vink, the university was only told recently by the inspectorate that it is not possible to make an exception for students who started before that.
Danger zone
The student council calls the situation 'wrong'. 'The university should have been more alert to the law that has been passed,' says VeSte member Wouter Jan van Roosmalen. 'According to the university there are about 700 Bachelor's students who started their Bachelor's before 2010. At least 180 of them will now be in the danger zone, sometimes because they have already taken or planned to take Master's courses. We don't want a single student to need an extension. The main thing now is for the students who are affected to be properly informed, and as soon as possible.' The student council is talking to the university about possible solutions, says Van Roosmalen.
Vink emphasizes that the university will make a point of helping students who get into difficulties. 'We don't want students to be victims of this ruling. It will not be possible to come up with a blanket solution, however, because that would be against the law. We shall look at each case individually to see how we can meet these students halfway.'