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Complaint, Appeal and Objection

Last updated on 28 May 2021

If you disagree with a decision or if you feel that you have been treated unfairly or have a complaint, then you can do something about it. Before taking any action, consider whether the problem cannot be resolved informally. Go to the person who made the decision or didn't treat you correctly, raise the issue, and try to work it out together. 

Complaint, Appeal and Objection

  • Complaint about education and exams

    Complaint about the administration, assessment or content of an exam

    • First contact the course coordinator.
    • If you do not agree about the way in which your complaint has been handled and your complaint is substantively about the way in which an exam was assessed, you can appeal to the Examination Appeals Board (College van Beroep voor de Examens).

    Handling procedure for the above complaints: 

    • Before the substance of your complaint can be addressed, it is sometimes necessary to conduct an investigation into the nature and content of the complaint.
    • Your complaint will always be treated confidentially.
    • You will receive an initial response about the handling of your complaint within three weeks.

    Complaint about registering for courses and exams

    •  It is not possible to sign up after the deadline.
    • You can submit a motivated complaint against a refusal to register after the registration period.
    • More information can be found on the page Too late to register.

    Complaint about the organization and quality of education

    Complaints in this area, which you cannot address to the Examination Board or the Education Secretariat, can be submitted via the Complaints Desk form.

  • Study Conflicts

    Have you come into conflict with a faculty employee or do you disagree with a lecturer about the assessment of a paper or do you disagree with the way your thesis is supervised? In that case, contact the academic advisor

  • Complaint handling registration request

    You can use this form if you have a complaint about the handling of your registration request or one of the elements related to this: such as admission, documents to be submitted, payment of tuition fees or issuing an authorization. 

  • Collective complaint

    Exceptionally, the law provides that not only an individual student, but also a group of students can file a complaint. Such a collective complaint is submitted in writing to the Faculty Board. How this should be done is described in the faculty regulations. If there is no such arrangement, a letter to the Faculty Board, signed by all students involved, is sufficient.

    If you would like to consult again before this step is taken, please contact the studentenombudsman.

  • Ombudsman

    You can contact the student ombudsman, Ms Lies Poesiat, with complaints. You can discuss with her whether you should submit a complaint, and if so, how and where. She can advise you and discuss with you what your rights and obligations are.

    The ombudsman handles complaints with strict confidentiality and is impartial. 

  • Harassment, violence, aggression

    The Executive Board of the VU Amsterdam considers it very important that every student can study in a safe, pleasant environment. Sexual harassment and other forms of undesirable behavior (such as violence, aggression) will not be tolerated. Unfortunately, unwanted behavior does occur. That is why VU Amsterdam pursues a policy to prevent and counteract this. Confidential advisers have been appointed for this purpose, there is a complaints procedure and an investigation committee.

    If you have to deal with intimidating or aggressive behavior by employees or fellow students, if you are being discriminated against or if you have sexual harassment, you can turn to a counselor.

    Names and phone numbers

    Fatiema Khadje, +31 20 59 82094

    Bas Scholten, +31 20 59 82851

    Mariken Blom,  +31 20 59 85027

    student.confidentialcounsellor@vu.nl

  • Complaint about facility services

    If there are problems with the copier, coffee machines, computer rooms or if you notice problems with another facility, you can turn to servicedesk.fco@vu.nl. 

  • Appeal: When in appeal

    If you do not agree with a decision by an examiner (teacher) or the Examination Board, you can appeal within six weeks. You can appeal against decisions about:

    • Passing the final exam
    • Admission to exams
    • A colloquium doctum and the elimination of deficiencies (entrance examinations)
    • A binding negative study advice
    • Admission to university first-degree teacher training courses
    • Admission to a master's program

    You can also appeal against decisions of examination boards and examiners, such as:

    * Decisions involving approval or rejection of a package of subjects
    * Refusing an exemption
    * A sanction

    You cannot appeal against a grade (assessment). If, in your opinion, that mark has been obtained unlawfully (e.g. because not all partial scores have been added up), you can turn to the Examination Appeals Board. 

  • Submit notice of appeal
    • The notice of appeal must be submitted within six weeks.
    • Please, use this form to file a digital appeal with the Examination Appeals Board.
    • If you do not have access to the form, submit the notice of appeal in writing, including your signature.
    • Also include your email address.
    • Finally, you can submit the notice of appeal by e-mail, in PDF format.
    • Send it to cobex.bz@vu.nl.
    • You can expect an initial response from the College by e-mail.

    Please note: Enclose a copy of the decision against which you wish to appeal, and enclose all documents that may be important for the assessment of the appeal, including documents / evidence / statements that you may have previously submitted to the Examination Board or at the BSA committee.

  • Objection

    If you want to object to a decision of the Executive Board, you can submit a notice of objection to that Executive Board.

    You can lodge an objection with the Executive Board regarding the following decisions:

    • Tuition fees
    • Financial support under the FOS scheme
    • Registration and deregistration
    • Admission to the bachelor's program on the basis of other degrees
    • Selection and placement in programs with selection
    • Violation of house and order rules 
  • Submit notice of objection
    • The notice of objection must be submitted within six weeks.
    • Enclose a copy of the decision you are objecting to.
    • A notice of objection must contain your signature. 
    • The notice of objection must be submitted within six weeks.
    • Please, enclose a copy of the decision to which you are objecting.
    • A notice of objection must contain your signature.
    • Also include your email address.
    • You can submit the notice of objection by e-mail, in PDF format.
    • Please, send it to bezwaarschriften.bz@vu.nl.
  • Objection procedure
    • The Executive Board confirms receipt of the notice of objection in writing.
    • The objection does not suspend the effect of the decision against which it is directed.
    • Before the Board takes a decision on the notice of objection, it investigates the relevant facts and the interests to be weighed, and gives the interested party the opportunity to be heard.
    • The hearing is done by the Disputes Advisory Committee, unless the decision relates to selection or placement.
    • Notices of objection about selection and placement are heard by an advisory committee set up for this purpose.

      Hearing can be omitted if:
    • The objection is manifestly inadmissible.
    • The objection is manifestly unfounded.
    • The interested party does not want to be heard.
    • The objection is fully granted.

    The Executive Board will make a decision within six weeks of receiving the notice of objection. The decision is put in writing and sent. 

    Read more about the objection procedure and annual reports

  • Appeal to the Appeals Tribunal for Higher Education

    If you do not agree with the decision taken by the Executive Board on your objection or with the decision made by the Examination Appeals Board, you can lodge a motivated appeal within six weeks to:

    the Appeals Tribunal for Higher Education
    Box 16137
    2500 BC The Hague

    • A court fee of € 46 must be paid for handling the notice of appeal.
    • You will get that amount back if you are successful by the Board.
    • A notice of appeal must contain your signature. That's why you can't submit it by email.

    If you have any questions about how to lodge an appeal with the Appeals Tribunal for Higher Education, please check the website www.cbho.nl. 

Contact

For questions please contact the Student Desk.

The Student Desk will help you.

Call us on +31 20 59 85020  (mon – fri: 10.30 – 12.30h and 14.00 – 16.00h).

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink, your personal dashboard on vu.nl etc., please contact the Student Desk: studentdesk@vu.nl

Ask your question via the form (log in with your VUnetID)