As of September, three universities and one university of applied sciences will be experimenting with a binding recommendation for the continuation of studies (BSA) after the second year. Second-year students who do not get enough credits will not be allowed to continue. The universities are doing this because they are afraid students will stop putting in the effort once they get through the BSA in the first year.
There is little enthusiasm at Wageningen for a BSA for students after the first year. Back in March, Tiny van Boekel, the head of Wageningen University's Education Institute, told Resource that he feels Bussemaker's plans go too far: 'Students who get through the first year usually finish their degree.' However, the university is indeed planning to introduce a BSA for first-years - after much hesitation. Van Boekel says in an e-mail that this will probably be introduced in 2014-2015. A working group is currently completing its recommendations on how to implement the BSA.
Lot of interest
The institutions introducing the BSA for second-years are the University College Amsterdam, the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Leiden University and Delft University of Technology. The minimum number of credits students have to achieve varies. For most degree courses they have to get at least 45 of the 60 credits available, but the Amsterdam University College requires second-year students to pass all subjects. The current batch of first-years can rest easy though: the experiment only applies to students who start next September. Academic and applied universities have until 1 April next year to apply to take part in a second round of experiments. The minister says there is a lot of interest.