News - March 26, 2020

Binding Study Advice further relaxed due to coronavirus

Luuk Zegers

WUR is taking extra measures regarding the Binding Study Advice (BSA) for Bachelor’s students at the end of their first year. The required number of credits had already been lowered to 30 on account of the coronavirus crisis. Now some of the students who don’t manage that will be allowed another year to get a positive BSA.

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The BSA decrees the number of credits a first-year student must obtain to proceed to the second year. At 36 credits, WUR has the lowest BSA of all the Dutch universities. Because of the coronavirus crisis, and the interruption it can cause for some students, the BSA requirement was lowered to 30 credits on Friday 20 March. Further steps have now been taken.

WUR’s BAS arrangements in a nutshell

  • The BSA for the academic year 2019-2020 is lowered from 36 to 30 credits. So first-year students with 30 or more credits will get a positive BSA.

  • First-year students who obtain 24 to 29 credits this academic year will receive a conditional positive BSA. This means they will have until the end of the academic year 2020-2021 to obtain the standard 36 credits for their first year.
  • First-year students who obtain fewer than 24 credits this academic year will receive a negative BSA. That means they have to drop out of their degree programme. It is still possible – as always – to appeal to the examining board, which promises that this year ‘corona-related circumstances will be explicitly considered in the board’s assessment.’

The relaxing of the BSA is a national measure. Contrary to what has been reported earlier in the media, there is no question of the BSA being scrapped countrywide, but all universities are asked to provide extensions to ‘students who do not achieve a positive BSA because their studies have been hampered by the coronavirus.’ The higher education institutions may implement the measures in their own way.

Wageningen University’s Rector Arthur Mol explains why WUR has opted for these measures. ‘Students have been able to take all their courses normally for four periods. In period five, 96 per cent of the courses are being taught and examined. So students have not been held up by coronavirus measures until after period 5.’