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Failing your thesis

From now on master’s students at the School of Business and Economics must complete their thesis within seven months, otherwise they will have officially ‘failed’. And anyone who does not manage within the resit period of three months, will have to start from scratch. The latter means finding a new subject and a new supervisor. 

The regulation, retroactive to September 2011, should put an end to the common problem of many students taking too long to complete their master's. Faculty figures show that of those who started in 2007 and 2008, one quarter has incurred a delay of at least one year. The reason is that in order to have a better chance on the labour market, they often ‘pile’ on extra subjects while the thesis gets left on the shelf. In the meantime the faculty loses out on diploma subsidies and students take longer to complete their studies than necessary, as a result of which they are labelled long-term students and are charged lecture fees to the amount of three thousand euros.

Three weeks ago, SBE made an attempt to come in contact with 650 master’s students who have disappeared from view. “The response was huge,” says study advisor Wim Bogaert. “About 70 per cent has replied. We did the same last year, resulting in 350 students more graduating than the average number. So it is definitely worth it.”


Maurice Timmermans



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