MAASTRICHT. All Maastricht first-year students who find themselves with too few credits at the end of August and therefore do not meet with the requirements of the binding study advice (BSA), will be given respite, the Executive Board has decided.
It is not yet clear whether other universities will follow this example. They have also – after consultation with the minister – decided to postpone the BSA, but are drawing up guidelines as to who will be eligible and who won’t. Rector Rianne Letschert does not want to differentiate: “As a university, we have had an exceptionally unsettling year, first the cyber crisis, now the corona crisis. A lot is being asked of our lecturers and students.” Chances of more students than usual not meeting the BSA requirements, are realistic. “We want to be generous. Our students chose problem-based learning education, now suddenly everything is online. We are not an Open University that is experienced in such matters. For us, it is kind of crisis education. You have to take that into account and not put extra study pressure on students. That is why we have chosen an overall deferment of the BSA.”
It is a deferment not a cancellation: the missing credits will still have to be gained in the academic year 2020-2021. They won’t have to do this by themselves. The student will have to set up a plan of action together with the study advisor so that a positive study advice can be achieved in the following academic year. The study programmes have a “duty of care” towards students to also help them get through second year.
For the FHML programmes that don’t have a BSA, but do have standards for passing into the next year, the same generous policy will be applied.