Students hardly appeal to UM’s Covid-19 leniency regulation

10-12-2020

MAASTRICHT. They graduated later than planned or have suffered a delay because the education programme had to be adapted because of Covid-19. A total of 27 students have recently appealed to Maastricht University’s Covid-19 leniency regulation. Fifteen requests were accepted.

Those who cannot apply for the DUO compensation regulation (e.g.: master’s students who have suffered a delay and who are going to graduate before February 2021, receive a one-off 535 euro) or other UM measures (such as relaxing the binding study advice, a smooth transition between bachelor’s and master’s programme, lowering of institutional tuition fees) but who have suffered a delay in their studies because of Covid-19, can approach the ‘UM Coulancecommissie Covid-19’. Twenty-seven students did so in the past few months: fifteen requests were accepted, twelve were rejected.

A considerable number received their bachelor’s diploma of Medicine at a later time because an exam was postponed. They will be compensated for the extra tuition fees paid. A medical student who could only do his internship later, was referred to the faculty, which has its own compensation regulation. A master’s student was advised to report to DUO for the 535 euro compensation.

Only 27 applications is very few, said Thomas Vaessen, student member of the University Council during a meeting of one of the Council’s committees, last Wednesday. For example, why did not more medical students whose exams were also cancelled, get in touch, he wanted to know. “And why did some applicants receive compensation and others didn’t? Is that a case of arbitrariness?”

Some came to the wrong address with their applications, explained University Council Committee chairperson Jenny Schell, who was indirectly involved in the leniency committee. They were given compensation elsewhere. “Should we not be looking into whether everything went alright with the allocations and rejections?”, Vaessen continued. Rector Rianne Letschert said that there was no reason to assume that the leniency committee hasn’t done its work properly. But if anyone wants to have an investigation, an official appeal will have to be made by the University Council indicating the reason why, added the rector. The council members wanted to give it some more thought.