Student - 20 maart 2020

Binding recommendation eased

Roelof Kleis

To help students in times of corona, WUR has reduced the requirements for the binding recommendation. First-year students require six credits less.

© Roelof Kleis

During a normal academic year, students must obtain 60 credits. If you pass all your exams, you will have those credits without problems. But not everyone achieves this. If you don’t, can you still continue your studies? Yes, you can, provided you obtain at least 36 of the total number of required credits. The binding recommendation (Dutch acronym BSA) then allows you to continue. The executive board has now lowered the minimal requirement to 30 credits, half of the maximum number of credits. All students have been informed today.

With this decision, WUR deviates from minister Van Engelshoven’s advice on the BSA. She wrote the following in a letter to parliament yesterday: ‘To do justice to the possible delay incurred by students, and to offer the students clarity upfront, institutes are requested to delay formulating a negative binding recommendation until the second year.’

The government supports the self-employed, employers and air travel industry, why are students not supported?

Students who run into financial problems as a result of the coronavirus may borrow more money from DUO. Many students work part-time in the catering industry. Extra loans are available retroactively from the start of this academic year. Students who already have maximum loans can also apply for extra money. DUO will assess each individual application.

Student union LSVb is critical and feels that students are left to their own devices in mitigating the negative effects. ‘The minister has basically stated that students are permitted to borrow more money if they are affected by the corona crisis and that they can borrow for a longer period of time if they fall back in their studies. We are concerned. The government supports the self-employed, employers and the air travel industry, why are students not supported?’