Wageningen UR does not want to tell the IND (immigration service) about foreign students who have gained too few credits. Such students would lose their residence permits.
Sting in the tail
There is a sting in the tail though. The relaxation of the law goes hand in hand with performance requirements. Students are expected to obtain at least half of the ECTS credits for each year's courses. If they don't manage that, their institution is obliged to report the fact to the IND. Wageningen University is not happy about this. 'We feel as a matter of principle that we should not be extension of the Ministry of Justice', says a spokesman. 'It is not our task to inform the IND about our students' results, so that they can proceed to withdraw their residence permits.'
A lot of work
Wageningen University also anticipates practical problems. 'In many Master's programmes you cannot measure people's progress because they are working on their dissertations for more than a year. So there is no point at which you can really evaluate whether students have gained half their credits. Plus, it would mean a lot of extra work: we would have to keep an eye on 800 students. Anyway, our foreign students do well. Most of them come here on a scholarship because it is extremely expensive to study here. So they make sure they finish in good time.'