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‘Paying’ to participate in an exam is not allowed

MAASTRICHT. Universities are not allowed to fine students who are late registering for a module or exam, says the Dutch Education Inspectorate. Nevertheless, this is common practice in many places, including Maastricht University. Here late registrations cost 35 euro. The only thing is that it is not referred to as a fine in Maastricht, but as an administration fee.

A law student from Leiden had to pay 225 euro because he was late registering for a number of exams. According to university association VSNU this is allowed, but when the Education Inspectorate was asked, it said that faculties are not allowed to fine students at all. They may specify a registration period, after which students are no longer accepted. It is tough luck for those who are late registering and in principle may not participate in the exam.

At Maastricht University, a student who registers too late for a module (and in doing so automatically registers for the exam) or for a resit, pays 35 euro administration fees. After all, the latecomers create a lot of extra work, the various faculties say: rearranging tutorial groups, sometimes taking on an extra tutor and classroom, ordering extra tables in the exam hall, printing out more exams.

The level of the fine was subject of discussion at a Maastricht University Council meeting last June. It was not increased at the time. Executive President Martin Paul agreed that the procedures would be simplified “so that students could register on time more easily”. The Executive Board will now look into the consequences of the Education Inspectorate’s statement on the UM’s policy.

Student organisation ISO calls the fines “ridiculous”. Questions have now been asked in Parliament. Most parties find it strange to fine students.



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