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Binding recommendation on continuation of studies (BSA)

Request for deferment BSA
Last updated on 7 June 2022

At the end of your first Bachelor's year you receive a binding recommendation on continuation of studies (BSA: Bindend Studieadvies). In your first year you must obtain a certain number of credits and complete possibly one or more specific courses complying with the BSA norm. Find the BSA-norm that applies to your faculty in the Teaching and Examination Regulations (OER) of your programme in the study guide.

If you do not meet the BSA-norm, you receive a negative binding recommendation for your study programme. This means you won’t be able to re-enroll this particular VU programme for the next three years. This also applies to other Bachelor's programmes that share the same first-year courses. 

Study delay due to personal circumstances

You can apply for a BSA deferment (postponement) if you encounter study delays due to personal circumstances. In that case you will receive more time to meet the BSA-norm. 

Report your personal circumstances to your academic advisor as soon as possible. If you deregister before 1 February, you will not receive the binding recommendation on continuation of studies.

More about the BSA

  • Corona and BSA (2021-2022)

    For all first-year students, the standard for the Binding Study Advice (BSA) will be reduced by 6 credits (6 EC). This applies to all students who started their Bachelor programme at VU Amsterdam in 2021-2022. With this reduction, we join the national agreement between universities to meet students because of the corona crisis: a difficult time in which it can be more difficult to pass the BSA.

    We reduced the norm for most programmes from 42 to 36 EC. A reduction of 6 EC also applies to programmes with a deviating norm, of 48 or 54 EC.

    Temporary postponement

    If you are (temporarily) unable to study this academic year optimally, for example as a result of the corona measures or due to personal circumstances you can apply for a BSA deferment (postponement). You may also apply if you missed on-campus compulsory activities due to home-quarantine. In these cases, you must report your situation to your academic advisor as soon as possible.

    Your academic advisor can also help if you have difficulty studying, are in doubt about your programme or if you would like guidance in planning your study.

  • Appeal against final BSA

    • The final Binding recommendations on continuation of studies is sent no later than 22 August. 
    • Students who disagree with the final ruling can appeal within six weeks after the final requests are granted.
      Address your appeal to:
      Het College van Beroep voor de Examens
      attn mw. A. van Donk
      De Boelelaan 1105
      1081 HV Amsterdam

BSA procedure per faculty

The BSA terms and conditions may differ per faculty.

  • ACTA

    Students of the Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA) can find more information on ACTA.nl [in Dutch].

  • AUC

    Students of Amsterdam University College (AUC) can find more information on AUC.nl.

  • BETA

    Important dates

    Before 1 February: If you deregister before 1 February, you don’t receive a BSA

    22 June, 2022: Deadline for submitting BSA deferment request

    28 July, 2022: Proposed final BSA decision is sent

    5 August, 2022 at 9:00 AM: Deadline for objecting to a proposed negative decision. You register for the hearing.

    16 or 17 August, 2022: Hearing

    22 August, 2022: The final Binding recommendations on continuation of studies is sent.

    On this webpage all information about these dates ande procedures can be found.


    Postponement of BSA  

    At the Faculty of Science (Bèta), the BSA standard of 2021–2022 is 42 EC for students who started in September 2021 (as described in the TER). However, due to the corona crisis, many students are dealing with stress and other circumstances. Lowering the BSA standard could take away some of that stress. Therefore, the universities have decided that under these special circumstances, they will generically reduce the BSA to 36 EC.
    Only first-year courses are counted in the calculation of the number of credits.  

    Students who started in 2020-2021, and who received a postponement of BSA, need to obtain 36 EC. Only first-year courses are counted in the calculation of the number of credits.  

    If you started in 2019 or before, the norm of 42 EC applies to you; only first-year courses are counted in the calculation of the number of credits.  

    The deadline for submitting a request for a postponement of BSA to the BSA committee is June 22th.
    Please use the form Apply for a BSA deferment for your request.

    Note: the form alone is not sufficient, adding the requested attachments is very important. Without proof of circumstances, your request has little chance of success. 

    If you want to request a postponement, make sure you are familiar with the procedure, because incomplete requests will not be processed:

    Phase 1 (June, July) – deadline for BSA postponement request June 22th and committee meeting in July

    The first meeting of the BSA Committee - which will discuss whether to grant a deferral to students - will take place in the first week of July 2022. In order for your request to be discussed at this meeting, you must submit your request (including the requested attachments) at latest June 22th. As a student you will not be present at this meeting. 

    What do you need to send for this request?

    1. You need to fill in the online form

    2. A motivation letter with a detailed explanation of your request and the reason(s) why you believe you should be granted a postponement.
    It is very important that you include a timeline in your letter showing when the study obstacles occurred, how they affected your study progress, and what steps you took to mitigate them.
    It is also important to indicate what obstacles you encountered and also what they led to. Also indicate if you participated in all the exam opportunities, and why or why not. The more specific you are in your description, the better the BSA committee will be able to understand the situation. (If uploading is not possible, you may email the motivation letter to bsa.beta@vu.nl, stating the ticket number of your request for postponement, your program and your student number).

    3. Evidence of your personal circumstances* (consider a doctor's statement, correspondence, obituary, medication prescriptions, referral letters, etc.).

    If there are personal circumstances*, you must report this to the academic advisor no later than June 1st:  VUweb - Student, Contact & Student guidance and support, Academic advisor.

    * Circumstances that may be grounds for postponement of the BSA standard are: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability/job restriction, and board activities.

    4. A grade list showing all passing, failing, and no-shows obtained.

    If your request is discussed in this meeting, you will receive the decision of the BSA committee on your VU email address in the second week of July.

    Follow-up procedure 

    Phase 2 (August) – (intended) final BSA decision and hearing

    For all students (with the exception of those who received a postponement of BSA in the BSA committee meeting in July) the following applies: On July 28th you will receive the intended final BSA decision. If you wish to object to a proposed negative decision, you must do so at latest August 5, 2022 before 09.00 a.m. by using this form.

    Please note that the form alone is not sufficient. Adding the attachments below, including proof of circumstances, is very important! Without proof of circumstances, your application has little chance of success.

    So, in addition to your completed deferral request form, you must include the following as attachments;

    1. A cover letter with a detailed explanation of your application and the reason(s) why you think you should be granted a postponement. It is very important that you include a timeline in your justification that shows when the study obstacles occurred, why they affected your study progress, and what steps you took to reduce these obstacles. It is also important to indicate what obstacles you encountered and also what they led to. Also indicate whether you took advantage of all the examination opportunities and also why or why not. The more specific you are in your substantiation, the better the BSA committee will be able to understand the situation. (If uploading is not possible, you may email the motivation letter to bsa.beta@vu.nl, stating the ticket number of your request for postponement, your program and your student number).

    2. Evidence of your personal circumstances* (consider a doctor's statement, correspondence, obituary, medication prescriptions, referral letters, etc.).

    If there are personal circumstances*, you must report this to the student advisor no later than June 1: VUweb - Student, Contact and Student Counseling, Student Advisor.

    *Circumstances that may be grounds for postponement of the BSA standard are: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability/job restriction, and board activities.

    3. A transcript showing all passing grades, failing grades, and No Shows obtained.

    If you object to the proposed negative decision, you will be invited to the hearing on August 16 or 17, 2022. You are expected to physically (at the VU) attend the hearing.

    At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to explain to the BSA committee why you should be granted a deferral on the standard.

    For this meeting the following applies:

    - It is not possible to indicate a day or time preference.

    - It is not possible to attend the meeting online. 

    - You will receive the invitation to the hearing on your VU email address. You will receive the exact time you will be heard no later than Friday, August 12.

  • FBMS

    Faculty BSA norm

    Psychology and Pedagogical Sciences
    For both the bachelor Psychology and for the bachelor Pedagogical Sciences you need to obtain a minimum of 42 out of 60 EC. Only first year courses count toward the required minimum of EC for a positive BSA. For students who started the bachelor in 2020, the BSA norm has been changed to a minimum of 36 EC.

    Human Movement Sciences
    For the bachelor Human Movement Sciences you need to acquire a minimum of 42 out of 60 EC, and you need to have scored at least a 4 for both Mathematics and Biomechanics. Only first year courses will be considered for meeting the BSA norm. For students who started the bachelor in 2020, the BSA norm has been changed to a minimum of 36 EC. The qualitative requirements for Mathematics and Biomechanics will need to be met additionally.

    BSA deferment

    • In case of personal circumstances* that interfere with your ability to study, you can appeal the proposed negative study advice and you might possibly qualify for deferment of the BSA.
    • In case of personal circumstances*, you need to report these circumstances to the academic advisor within three months after arising
    • You can submit a request for deferment at the BSA committee by using this form no later than July 30
    • You need to motivate your request by explaining why you need a deferment
    • You need to add evidence to support your request (for example, a medical statement, correspondence, obituary, etc)
    • Requests that were submitted before July 30 will be processed on the first meeting of the BSA committee in the first week of August.
    • If your request has been processed during this meeting, you will receive the decision of the BSA committee in your VU e-mail in the second week of August. In the case the BSA committee needs further clarification based on your request, this e-mail will also include an invitation to a hearing.
    • Requests that are received after July 30 but within two weeks after the date of the proposed negative study advice will be responded to with an invitation to come to the hearing.

    *Personal circumstances that can warrant a BSA deferment are: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability, and official work for a student body

  • FRT

    Faculty BSA norm

    In the first year you have to reach a minimum of 42 ECTS out of a total of 60. Achieving the qualitative requirement can be an additional compulsory condition.

    When your score is less than 42 ECTS, you'll receive a letter in August with a binding negative recommendation. You are forced to quit your study and are not allowed to re-enter this study at VU Amsterdam for the following three years. 

    For first-year students who started an undergraduate degree in 2021-2022, the standard is reduced by 6ECs due to corona measures. With this reduction, we join the national agreement between universities to meet students because of the corona crisis: a difficult time in which it can be more difficult to pass the BSA. 

    In November, January, (April) and July, as in other years, you'll receive an advice about your study advancement. There is no change in this.

    Contact your academic advisor if you think you will not be able to meet the adjusted standard. You can also contact your study advisor if you have difficulties studying, have doubts about your choice of study or would like help with your study planning. Report any personal circumstances as soon as possible to your study advisor. If you deregister from the programme before 1 February, you will not receive binding study advice.

    BSA Hearing

    • If you submit a postponement request of the BSA standard, you will be expected at the hearing. Requests will not be considered until the end of July.
    • If you object to the proposed negative study advice, you will be invited for a hearing as soon as possible.
    • During the hearing, students have the opportunity to explain to the BSA committee why they should be granted BSA-norm postponement.
    • Scheduled hearing dates: 

    - For the Bachelor's of Theology: 17 August 2022
    - For the Bachelor's of Theology and Religious Studies: 17 August 2022

    Postponement of binding study advice

    • Students who do not meet the BSA-norm receive their proposed negative study advice by mail. Students can expect this email at the end of July.
    • You can request a BSA advice postponement within two weeks of the date of the proposed negative study advice.

    Apply for a BSA deferment (postponement) with this form.  

    • Explain why you should receive postponement. 
    • Provide evidence and proof that support your claim (e.g. doctors notice, correspondence, obituary notice etc.).
    • If you are facing special circumstances* please report to your academic advisor no later than 1 June.
    • If you are facing personal issues* that affect your academic performance, you can appeal against the final negative study advice and possibly receive a BSA postponement. 

    *The following circumstances may be reasons for requesting BSA deferment: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability or if you work for an official student body.

  • FSS

    Changes  Academic year 2021-2022

    For all first-year students of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), the standard for the Binding recommendations on continuation of studies (BSA) will be reduced by 6 credits (6 EC). This means the norm will be reduced from 42 to 36 EC. This applies to all students from FSS who started their Bachelor programme in 2021-2022. With this reduction, the faculty joins the national agreement between universities to accommodate students because of the corona crisis.

    Deferment of BSA

    • You can submit a request for the deferment of the BSA from 23 May until 30 June.
    • If you are applying due to personal circumstances*, you need to submit the request to the academic advisor as soon as possible.
    • In your request you should explain your reasons for needing a deferment.
    • You should also include proof with the form (for example, doctor’s notes, correspondence or an obituary notice).
    • The BSA committee will study the requests in a meeting in week 28.
    • You will be notified of the committee's decision by 21 July via e-mail.

    * In the case of deferment of the BSA, personal circumstances include illness, pregnancy, exceptional family circumstances, handicap/disability and official work for a student body.

    BSA Hearing

    • If you object to the proposed negative binding recommendation for your study programme, you can register for a hearing on 12 or 15 August 2021.
    • During the hearing, students have the opportunity to explain to the BSA committee why they should be granted BSA-norm postponement.
    • The BSA Committee will notify you as soon as possible about when your hearing takes place.

    Registration for the hearing is from 25 July - 5 August. Register by using the online registration form.

    Regulations for the Binding Recommendation on Continuation of Studies (BSA)

  • HUM

    Faculty BSA norm

    In the first year you have to reach a minimum of 42 ECTS out of a total of 60. The course Academic Skills is an obligatory part of these 42 points.

    When your score is less than 42 ECTS, you'll receive a letter in August with a binding negative recommendation. You are forced to quit your study and are not allowed to re-enter this study at VU Amsterdam for the following three years. 

    An exception to this rule is valid for the ACASA-studies and for PPE. These studies use the following minimum:

    • Archeology, Greek and Latin language and culture and Ancient studies - 48 ects
    • Philosophy, Politics and Economics - 54 ects

    For these studies the course Academic Skills is not an obligatory part of the binding recommendation.

    For first-year students who started an undergraduate degree in 2021-2022, the standard is reduced by 6ECs due to corona measures. With this reduction, we join the national agreement between universities to meet students because of the corona crisis: a difficult time in which it can be more difficult to pass the BSA. The norm for ACASA courses this year is 42 ects. For PPE, the norm is 48 ects. For all other programs, the norm is 36 ects (the subject AcVa remains a compulsory component).

    In November, January, (April) and July, as in other years, you'll receive an advice about your study advancement. There is no change in this.

    Contact your academic advisor if you think you will not be able to meet the adjusted standard. You can also contact your study advisor if you have difficulties studying, have doubts about your choice of study or would like help with your study planning. Report any personal circumstances as soon as possible to your study advisor. If you deregister from the programme before 1 February, you will not receive binding study advice.

    Hearing

    • Students who appeal to the proposed negative binding study advice are expected to appear at a hearing.
    • Schedule an appointment for your hearing in the online agenda
    • The BSA Committee will notify you as soon as possible about when your hearing takes place.
    • During the hearing, students have the opportunity to explain to the BSA committee why they should be granted BSA-norm postponement.
    • Hearings are scheduled on: 16 August 2022.
    • Make sure you also submitted a request for deferment. Requests will not be processed until the end of July.

     Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) follows a different procedure:

    • If you submit a request for deferment of BSA, your request will first be evaluated based on the provided information in writing.
    • If necessary, you will be invited for a hearing.
    • During the hearing, students have the opportunity to explain to the BSA committee why they should be granted BSA-norm postponement.
    • Hearings are possibly held on: 17 August 2022.
    • Make sure you also submitted a request for deferment

    Postponement of binding study advice

    • Students who do not meet the BSA-norm receive proposed negative study advice by mail. Students can expect this email at the end of July.
    • You can request a deferment (postponement) of the final BSA advice within two weeks of the date of the proposed negative study advice. 

    Apply for a BSA deferment.  

    • Schedule an appointment for your hearing in the online agenda (More information can be found under the heading 'hearing').
    • Explain why you should receive postponement. 
    • Provide evidence and proof that support your claim (e.g. doctors notice, correspondence, obituary notice etc.).
    • If you are facing particular circumstances* please report to your Academic advisor no later than 1 June.
    • If you are facing personal issues* that affect your academic performance, you can appeal against the final negative study advice and possibly receive a BSA postponement. 

    * The following circumstances may be reasons for requesting BSA deferment: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability or if you work for an official student body.

  • LAW

    Changes Academic year 2021-2022

    The board of the Faculty of Law has decided that the norm for the ‘binding recommendations on continuation of studies’ (BSA) will be reduced by 6 credits (6 EC) for all first-year bachelor students (started in academic year 2021-2022). With this reduction, the Faculty is in line with the national agreement between universities to accommodate students in the Covid-19 crisis.

    This means that for the four bachelor's programmes (Law, Notarial Law, Criminology and Law in Society) the BSA norm will be 36 EC instead of 42 EC. 

    NB The BSA letter sent in January mistakenly stated as standard: 60 EC. This was caused by a technical malfunction and is incorrect.

    Faculty BSA norm  

    Based on the Teaching and Examination Regulations (OER) of the Bachelor's programme Law in society, the programme is subject to a binding recommendation of continuation of studies (BSA). This means the following.

    • In your first year of enrolment, you must obtain at least 42 credits out of 60 (see article 14.1 OER for the programme Law in Society).
    • However, as mentioned above under the heading “Changes Academic year 2021-2022”, the board of the Faculty of Law has decided in January 2022 that the norm for the BSA will be reduced by 6 EC for all first-year bachelor students (started in academic year 2021-2022). This means that the BSA norm for the Bachelor's programme Law in Society will be 36 EC.

    If you do not meet the BSA-norm, you receive a negative BSA for your study programme.  This means you won’t be able to re-enrol into this particular VU programme for the next 3 years. 

    Students receive advice on their study progress in November, January and May. Deregister before 1 February, if your studies are not going well or you have doubts about your study choice and you want to avoid receiving a negative BSA. 

    More information for first-year students who deregister before 1 February. 

    Deferment of BSA

    • If you fall behind with your studies due to personal circumstances, you can submit a request for deferment of BSA. By doing so, you apply for an extension to the period in which you need to obtain the required minimum number of credits for your programme.
    • You can submit a request for BSA deferment between 1 May and 1 July 2022 until noon; via the registration form BSA deferment. Please note: If you are facing special circumstances* please report to your Academic advisor no later than 1 June.
    • Explain why you should receive deferment. 
    • Provide evidence and proof that support your claim (e.g. doctors notice, correspondence, obituary notice etc.).
    • If your deferment is approved, you will be notified in July. 
    • Requests for deferment of the BSA that are received after 1 July 2022 12 pm, will not be processed. If you receive a 'intended negative BSA' in mid-July, you can still make use of the hearings. For more information, see below. 

    *The following circumstances may be reasons for requesting deferment of the BSA: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability or if you work for an official student body.

    Hearing BSA 

    Students who receive an “intended negative BSA” in July, have the opportunity to explain their situation in a hearing organized by the BSA Committee.  These hearings are primarily meant for students who believe that their circumstances were not considered when meeting the BSA norm.

    BSA hearing

    • If you want to object the “intended negative BSA”, you must register for the hearing yourself (see link below).
    • During the hearing, students have the opportunity to explain to the BSA committee why they should be granted deferment of the BSA.
    • By registering for the hearing, you also permit the BSA committee to look into your file. If you object to this, you need to state this upon registration.
    • Hearings take place on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 August 2022.
    • The following people will be present: the chairman or secretary of the BSA committee and a minutes secretary.
    • Schedule your appointment (Registration is possible from 15 July up to Tuesday 2 August 2022). 
    • The hearing will take place at the VU Campus (Initium building). When you register, you sign up for a specific time. Please make sure that you on time!
  • MED

    BSA Hearing

    • Suppose you receive negative study advice from your Student counsellor in June.  You can report your circumstances to the BSA Committee if you feel these affected your study progress negatively. 
    • During the hearing, students have the opportunity to explain their situation.
    • If you want to attend a hearing, you must send the following registration form personal circumstances report. Please refer to the form [in Dutch] for the registration deadline and hearing dates. 

    BSA committee members

    • Mw. dr. J.H. Kleinveld (Chairman)
    • Mw. M.A. Westerhof-Sinke
    • Mw. mr. drs. L. Boogerman

    If you would like to contact the BSA committee, you can send an e-mail: BSA-commissie@vumc.nl

  • SBE

    Changes  Academic year 2021-2022

    Compliant with the agreements on national level, the Vrije Universiteit decided to lower the BSA norm with 6 EC for all first year students for the academic year 2021-2022. So if the norm of the programme is 42 EC, this becomes 36 EC in 2021-2022. And if it is normally 48 EC, this becomes 42 EC. Students who have already received a postponement before, this adjustment does not apply. They need to meet the norm in their first year which was in force before a postponement was given.

    The School of Business and Economics also continuously monitors the progress of our students and checks whether it is realistic for them to complete their bachelor's degree on time and actively informs students about their progress. Students who do not meet the BSA standard are proactively invited by the study advisors to discuss their situation and see if they can offer help there.

    Faculty BSA requirements

    • Business Administration (Bedrijfskunde): At least 48 of the 60 EC.
      • Students who started the programme in 2019-2020 (or earlier) can choose between the previous norm (at least 42 of the 60 EC, including the course Business Mathematics) or the new norm (at least 48 of 60).
      • Students who started in 2020-2021 and have received an extended BSA are allowed to meet the 42 EC standard.
      • Students who started in 2021-2022 are allowed to meet the reduced standard of 42 ec.
    • Economics and Business Economics: At least 42 of the 60 EC, including the course Quantitative Research Methods I.
      • Students who started in 2020-2021 and received an extended BSA are allowed to meet the standard of 36 ECTS, including the course Quantitative Research Methods I.
      • Students who started in 2021-2022 may meet the reduced standard of 36 ec if they finished the Quantitative Research Methods I course.
    • Econometrics and Operations Research: At least 42 of the 60 EC no additional requirements.
      • Students who started in 2020-2021 and have received an extended BSA are allowed to meet the standard of 36 ECTS.
      • Students who started in 2021-2022 are allowed to meet the reduced standard of 36 ec.
    • International Business Administration: At least 48 of the 60 EC.
      • Students who started the programme in 2019-2020 (or earlier) can choose between the previous norm (at least 42 of the 60 EC, including the course Business Mathematics) or the new norm (at least 48 of 60).
      • Students who started in 2020-2021 and have received an extended BSA are allowed to meet the 42 EC standard.
      • Students who started in 2021-2022 are allowed to meet the reduced standard of 42 ec.

    Hearing

    If you submit a request for deferment (postponement), you will be invited to a hearing. 

    Hearings are short sessions of 10 minutes. It allows the BSA committee to ask the student questions for clarification purposes. Hearings are not meant to discuss your situation in detail. Your evidence and proof supporting your claim should have all the provided details.

    The BSA committee may decide to grant a postponement without hearing if:

    • The special circumstances are such that it is obvious  a postponement of the BSA is granted.

    and

    • The student informed the academic advisor in time. 

    In this case, you will receive an e-mail and/or a letter within 14 days of your request.

    The hearings will take place during the week of 9 August and the first half of the week of 16 August.

    Postponement of binding study advice

    • If there are personal circumstances,* please report to your academic advisor within three months of the events arising.
    • Students who do not meet the BSA-norm receive proposed negative study advice by mail. 
    • If you are facing personal issues* that affect your academic performance, you can appeal against the final negative study advice and possibly receive a BSA postponement. 
    • You can request a BSA advice postponement within two weeks of the date of the proposed negative study advice.

    Apply for a BSA deferment with this form.  

    • Explain why you should receive postponement. 
    • Provide evidence and proof that support your claim (e.g. doctors notice, correspondence, obituary notice etc.).

    *The following circumstances may be reasons for requesting BSA deferment: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability or work for an official student body.

Students of the Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA) can find more information on ACTA.nl [in Dutch].

Students of Amsterdam University College (AUC) can find more information on AUC.nl.

Important dates

Before 1 February: If you deregister before 1 February, you don’t receive a BSA

22 June, 2022: Deadline for submitting BSA deferment request

28 July, 2022: Proposed final BSA decision is sent

5 August, 2022 at 9:00 AM: Deadline for objecting to a proposed negative decision. You register for the hearing.

16 or 17 August, 2022: Hearing

22 August, 2022: The final Binding recommendations on continuation of studies is sent.

On this webpage all information about these dates ande procedures can be found.


Postponement of BSA  

At the Faculty of Science (Bèta), the BSA standard of 2021–2022 is 42 EC for students who started in September 2021 (as described in the TER). However, due to the corona crisis, many students are dealing with stress and other circumstances. Lowering the BSA standard could take away some of that stress. Therefore, the universities have decided that under these special circumstances, they will generically reduce the BSA to 36 EC.
Only first-year courses are counted in the calculation of the number of credits.  

Students who started in 2020-2021, and who received a postponement of BSA, need to obtain 36 EC. Only first-year courses are counted in the calculation of the number of credits.  

If you started in 2019 or before, the norm of 42 EC applies to you; only first-year courses are counted in the calculation of the number of credits.  

The deadline for submitting a request for a postponement of BSA to the BSA committee is June 22th.
Please use the form Apply for a BSA deferment for your request.

Note: the form alone is not sufficient, adding the requested attachments is very important. Without proof of circumstances, your request has little chance of success. 

If you want to request a postponement, make sure you are familiar with the procedure, because incomplete requests will not be processed:

Phase 1 (June, July) – deadline for BSA postponement request June 22th and committee meeting in July

The first meeting of the BSA Committee - which will discuss whether to grant a deferral to students - will take place in the first week of July 2022. In order for your request to be discussed at this meeting, you must submit your request (including the requested attachments) at latest June 22th. As a student you will not be present at this meeting. 

What do you need to send for this request?

1. You need to fill in the online form

2. A motivation letter with a detailed explanation of your request and the reason(s) why you believe you should be granted a postponement.
It is very important that you include a timeline in your letter showing when the study obstacles occurred, how they affected your study progress, and what steps you took to mitigate them.
It is also important to indicate what obstacles you encountered and also what they led to. Also indicate if you participated in all the exam opportunities, and why or why not. The more specific you are in your description, the better the BSA committee will be able to understand the situation. (If uploading is not possible, you may email the motivation letter to bsa.beta@vu.nl, stating the ticket number of your request for postponement, your program and your student number).

3. Evidence of your personal circumstances* (consider a doctor's statement, correspondence, obituary, medication prescriptions, referral letters, etc.).

If there are personal circumstances*, you must report this to the academic advisor no later than June 1st:  VUweb - Student, Contact & Student guidance and support, Academic advisor.

* Circumstances that may be grounds for postponement of the BSA standard are: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability/job restriction, and board activities.

4. A grade list showing all passing, failing, and no-shows obtained.

If your request is discussed in this meeting, you will receive the decision of the BSA committee on your VU email address in the second week of July.

Follow-up procedure 

Phase 2 (August) – (intended) final BSA decision and hearing

For all students (with the exception of those who received a postponement of BSA in the BSA committee meeting in July) the following applies: On July 28th you will receive the intended final BSA decision. If you wish to object to a proposed negative decision, you must do so at latest August 5, 2022 before 09.00 a.m. by using this form.

Please note that the form alone is not sufficient. Adding the attachments below, including proof of circumstances, is very important! Without proof of circumstances, your application has little chance of success.

So, in addition to your completed deferral request form, you must include the following as attachments;

1. A cover letter with a detailed explanation of your application and the reason(s) why you think you should be granted a postponement. It is very important that you include a timeline in your justification that shows when the study obstacles occurred, why they affected your study progress, and what steps you took to reduce these obstacles. It is also important to indicate what obstacles you encountered and also what they led to. Also indicate whether you took advantage of all the examination opportunities and also why or why not. The more specific you are in your substantiation, the better the BSA committee will be able to understand the situation. (If uploading is not possible, you may email the motivation letter to bsa.beta@vu.nl, stating the ticket number of your request for postponement, your program and your student number).

2. Evidence of your personal circumstances* (consider a doctor's statement, correspondence, obituary, medication prescriptions, referral letters, etc.).

If there are personal circumstances*, you must report this to the student advisor no later than June 1: VUweb - Student, Contact and Student Counseling, Student Advisor.

*Circumstances that may be grounds for postponement of the BSA standard are: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability/job restriction, and board activities.

3. A transcript showing all passing grades, failing grades, and No Shows obtained.

If you object to the proposed negative decision, you will be invited to the hearing on August 16 or 17, 2022. You are expected to physically (at the VU) attend the hearing.

At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to explain to the BSA committee why you should be granted a deferral on the standard.

For this meeting the following applies:

- It is not possible to indicate a day or time preference.

- It is not possible to attend the meeting online. 

- You will receive the invitation to the hearing on your VU email address. You will receive the exact time you will be heard no later than Friday, August 12.

Faculty BSA norm

Psychology and Pedagogical Sciences
For both the bachelor Psychology and for the bachelor Pedagogical Sciences you need to obtain a minimum of 42 out of 60 EC. Only first year courses count toward the required minimum of EC for a positive BSA. For students who started the bachelor in 2020, the BSA norm has been changed to a minimum of 36 EC.

Human Movement Sciences
For the bachelor Human Movement Sciences you need to acquire a minimum of 42 out of 60 EC, and you need to have scored at least a 4 for both Mathematics and Biomechanics. Only first year courses will be considered for meeting the BSA norm. For students who started the bachelor in 2020, the BSA norm has been changed to a minimum of 36 EC. The qualitative requirements for Mathematics and Biomechanics will need to be met additionally.

BSA deferment

  • In case of personal circumstances* that interfere with your ability to study, you can appeal the proposed negative study advice and you might possibly qualify for deferment of the BSA.
  • In case of personal circumstances*, you need to report these circumstances to the academic advisor within three months after arising
  • You can submit a request for deferment at the BSA committee by using this form no later than July 30
  • You need to motivate your request by explaining why you need a deferment
  • You need to add evidence to support your request (for example, a medical statement, correspondence, obituary, etc)
  • Requests that were submitted before July 30 will be processed on the first meeting of the BSA committee in the first week of August.
  • If your request has been processed during this meeting, you will receive the decision of the BSA committee in your VU e-mail in the second week of August. In the case the BSA committee needs further clarification based on your request, this e-mail will also include an invitation to a hearing.
  • Requests that are received after July 30 but within two weeks after the date of the proposed negative study advice will be responded to with an invitation to come to the hearing.

*Personal circumstances that can warrant a BSA deferment are: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability, and official work for a student body

Faculty BSA norm

In the first year you have to reach a minimum of 42 ECTS out of a total of 60. Achieving the qualitative requirement can be an additional compulsory condition.

When your score is less than 42 ECTS, you'll receive a letter in August with a binding negative recommendation. You are forced to quit your study and are not allowed to re-enter this study at VU Amsterdam for the following three years. 

For first-year students who started an undergraduate degree in 2021-2022, the standard is reduced by 6ECs due to corona measures. With this reduction, we join the national agreement between universities to meet students because of the corona crisis: a difficult time in which it can be more difficult to pass the BSA. 

In November, January, (April) and July, as in other years, you'll receive an advice about your study advancement. There is no change in this.

Contact your academic advisor if you think you will not be able to meet the adjusted standard. You can also contact your study advisor if you have difficulties studying, have doubts about your choice of study or would like help with your study planning. Report any personal circumstances as soon as possible to your study advisor. If you deregister from the programme before 1 February, you will not receive binding study advice.

BSA Hearing

  • If you submit a postponement request of the BSA standard, you will be expected at the hearing. Requests will not be considered until the end of July.
  • If you object to the proposed negative study advice, you will be invited for a hearing as soon as possible.
  • During the hearing, students have the opportunity to explain to the BSA committee why they should be granted BSA-norm postponement.
  • Scheduled hearing dates: 

- For the Bachelor's of Theology: 17 August 2022
- For the Bachelor's of Theology and Religious Studies: 17 August 2022

Postponement of binding study advice

  • Students who do not meet the BSA-norm receive their proposed negative study advice by mail. Students can expect this email at the end of July.
  • You can request a BSA advice postponement within two weeks of the date of the proposed negative study advice.

Apply for a BSA deferment (postponement) with this form.  

  • Explain why you should receive postponement. 
  • Provide evidence and proof that support your claim (e.g. doctors notice, correspondence, obituary notice etc.).
  • If you are facing special circumstances* please report to your academic advisor no later than 1 June.
  • If you are facing personal issues* that affect your academic performance, you can appeal against the final negative study advice and possibly receive a BSA postponement. 

*The following circumstances may be reasons for requesting BSA deferment: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability or if you work for an official student body.

Changes  Academic year 2021-2022

For all first-year students of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), the standard for the Binding recommendations on continuation of studies (BSA) will be reduced by 6 credits (6 EC). This means the norm will be reduced from 42 to 36 EC. This applies to all students from FSS who started their Bachelor programme in 2021-2022. With this reduction, the faculty joins the national agreement between universities to accommodate students because of the corona crisis.

Deferment of BSA

  • You can submit a request for the deferment of the BSA from 23 May until 30 June.
  • If you are applying due to personal circumstances*, you need to submit the request to the academic advisor as soon as possible.
  • In your request you should explain your reasons for needing a deferment.
  • You should also include proof with the form (for example, doctor’s notes, correspondence or an obituary notice).
  • The BSA committee will study the requests in a meeting in week 28.
  • You will be notified of the committee's decision by 21 July via e-mail.

* In the case of deferment of the BSA, personal circumstances include illness, pregnancy, exceptional family circumstances, handicap/disability and official work for a student body.

BSA Hearing

  • If you object to the proposed negative binding recommendation for your study programme, you can register for a hearing on 12 or 15 August 2021.
  • During the hearing, students have the opportunity to explain to the BSA committee why they should be granted BSA-norm postponement.
  • The BSA Committee will notify you as soon as possible about when your hearing takes place.

Registration for the hearing is from 25 July - 5 August. Register by using the online registration form.

Regulations for the Binding Recommendation on Continuation of Studies (BSA)

Faculty BSA norm

In the first year you have to reach a minimum of 42 ECTS out of a total of 60. The course Academic Skills is an obligatory part of these 42 points.

When your score is less than 42 ECTS, you'll receive a letter in August with a binding negative recommendation. You are forced to quit your study and are not allowed to re-enter this study at VU Amsterdam for the following three years. 

An exception to this rule is valid for the ACASA-studies and for PPE. These studies use the following minimum:

  • Archeology, Greek and Latin language and culture and Ancient studies - 48 ects
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics - 54 ects

For these studies the course Academic Skills is not an obligatory part of the binding recommendation.

For first-year students who started an undergraduate degree in 2021-2022, the standard is reduced by 6ECs due to corona measures. With this reduction, we join the national agreement between universities to meet students because of the corona crisis: a difficult time in which it can be more difficult to pass the BSA. The norm for ACASA courses this year is 42 ects. For PPE, the norm is 48 ects. For all other programs, the norm is 36 ects (the subject AcVa remains a compulsory component).

In November, January, (April) and July, as in other years, you'll receive an advice about your study advancement. There is no change in this.

Contact your academic advisor if you think you will not be able to meet the adjusted standard. You can also contact your study advisor if you have difficulties studying, have doubts about your choice of study or would like help with your study planning. Report any personal circumstances as soon as possible to your study advisor. If you deregister from the programme before 1 February, you will not receive binding study advice.

Hearing

  • Students who appeal to the proposed negative binding study advice are expected to appear at a hearing.
  • Schedule an appointment for your hearing in the online agenda
  • The BSA Committee will notify you as soon as possible about when your hearing takes place.
  • During the hearing, students have the opportunity to explain to the BSA committee why they should be granted BSA-norm postponement.
  • Hearings are scheduled on: 16 August 2022.
  • Make sure you also submitted a request for deferment. Requests will not be processed until the end of July.

 Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) follows a different procedure:

  • If you submit a request for deferment of BSA, your request will first be evaluated based on the provided information in writing.
  • If necessary, you will be invited for a hearing.
  • During the hearing, students have the opportunity to explain to the BSA committee why they should be granted BSA-norm postponement.
  • Hearings are possibly held on: 17 August 2022.
  • Make sure you also submitted a request for deferment

Postponement of binding study advice

  • Students who do not meet the BSA-norm receive proposed negative study advice by mail. Students can expect this email at the end of July.
  • You can request a deferment (postponement) of the final BSA advice within two weeks of the date of the proposed negative study advice. 

Apply for a BSA deferment.  

  • Schedule an appointment for your hearing in the online agenda (More information can be found under the heading 'hearing').
  • Explain why you should receive postponement. 
  • Provide evidence and proof that support your claim (e.g. doctors notice, correspondence, obituary notice etc.).
  • If you are facing particular circumstances* please report to your Academic advisor no later than 1 June.
  • If you are facing personal issues* that affect your academic performance, you can appeal against the final negative study advice and possibly receive a BSA postponement. 

* The following circumstances may be reasons for requesting BSA deferment: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability or if you work for an official student body.

Changes Academic year 2021-2022

The board of the Faculty of Law has decided that the norm for the ‘binding recommendations on continuation of studies’ (BSA) will be reduced by 6 credits (6 EC) for all first-year bachelor students (started in academic year 2021-2022). With this reduction, the Faculty is in line with the national agreement between universities to accommodate students in the Covid-19 crisis.

This means that for the four bachelor's programmes (Law, Notarial Law, Criminology and Law in Society) the BSA norm will be 36 EC instead of 42 EC. 

NB The BSA letter sent in January mistakenly stated as standard: 60 EC. This was caused by a technical malfunction and is incorrect.

Faculty BSA norm  

Based on the Teaching and Examination Regulations (OER) of the Bachelor's programme Law in society, the programme is subject to a binding recommendation of continuation of studies (BSA). This means the following.

  • In your first year of enrolment, you must obtain at least 42 credits out of 60 (see article 14.1 OER for the programme Law in Society).
  • However, as mentioned above under the heading “Changes Academic year 2021-2022”, the board of the Faculty of Law has decided in January 2022 that the norm for the BSA will be reduced by 6 EC for all first-year bachelor students (started in academic year 2021-2022). This means that the BSA norm for the Bachelor's programme Law in Society will be 36 EC.

If you do not meet the BSA-norm, you receive a negative BSA for your study programme.  This means you won’t be able to re-enrol into this particular VU programme for the next 3 years. 

Students receive advice on their study progress in November, January and May. Deregister before 1 February, if your studies are not going well or you have doubts about your study choice and you want to avoid receiving a negative BSA. 

More information for first-year students who deregister before 1 February. 

Deferment of BSA

  • If you fall behind with your studies due to personal circumstances, you can submit a request for deferment of BSA. By doing so, you apply for an extension to the period in which you need to obtain the required minimum number of credits for your programme.
  • You can submit a request for BSA deferment between 1 May and 1 July 2022 until noon; via the registration form BSA deferment. Please note: If you are facing special circumstances* please report to your Academic advisor no later than 1 June.
  • Explain why you should receive deferment. 
  • Provide evidence and proof that support your claim (e.g. doctors notice, correspondence, obituary notice etc.).
  • If your deferment is approved, you will be notified in July. 
  • Requests for deferment of the BSA that are received after 1 July 2022 12 pm, will not be processed. If you receive a 'intended negative BSA' in mid-July, you can still make use of the hearings. For more information, see below. 

*The following circumstances may be reasons for requesting deferment of the BSA: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability or if you work for an official student body.

Hearing BSA 

Students who receive an “intended negative BSA” in July, have the opportunity to explain their situation in a hearing organized by the BSA Committee.  These hearings are primarily meant for students who believe that their circumstances were not considered when meeting the BSA norm.

BSA hearing

  • If you want to object the “intended negative BSA”, you must register for the hearing yourself (see link below).
  • During the hearing, students have the opportunity to explain to the BSA committee why they should be granted deferment of the BSA.
  • By registering for the hearing, you also permit the BSA committee to look into your file. If you object to this, you need to state this upon registration.
  • Hearings take place on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 August 2022.
  • The following people will be present: the chairman or secretary of the BSA committee and a minutes secretary.
  • Schedule your appointment (Registration is possible from 15 July up to Tuesday 2 August 2022). 
  • The hearing will take place at the VU Campus (Initium building). When you register, you sign up for a specific time. Please make sure that you on time!

BSA Hearing

  • Suppose you receive negative study advice from your Student counsellor in June.  You can report your circumstances to the BSA Committee if you feel these affected your study progress negatively. 
  • During the hearing, students have the opportunity to explain their situation.
  • If you want to attend a hearing, you must send the following registration form personal circumstances report. Please refer to the form [in Dutch] for the registration deadline and hearing dates. 

BSA committee members

  • Mw. dr. J.H. Kleinveld (Chairman)
  • Mw. M.A. Westerhof-Sinke
  • Mw. mr. drs. L. Boogerman

If you would like to contact the BSA committee, you can send an e-mail: BSA-commissie@vumc.nl

Changes  Academic year 2021-2022

Compliant with the agreements on national level, the Vrije Universiteit decided to lower the BSA norm with 6 EC for all first year students for the academic year 2021-2022. So if the norm of the programme is 42 EC, this becomes 36 EC in 2021-2022. And if it is normally 48 EC, this becomes 42 EC. Students who have already received a postponement before, this adjustment does not apply. They need to meet the norm in their first year which was in force before a postponement was given.

The School of Business and Economics also continuously monitors the progress of our students and checks whether it is realistic for them to complete their bachelor's degree on time and actively informs students about their progress. Students who do not meet the BSA standard are proactively invited by the study advisors to discuss their situation and see if they can offer help there.

Faculty BSA requirements

  • Business Administration (Bedrijfskunde): At least 48 of the 60 EC.
    • Students who started the programme in 2019-2020 (or earlier) can choose between the previous norm (at least 42 of the 60 EC, including the course Business Mathematics) or the new norm (at least 48 of 60).
    • Students who started in 2020-2021 and have received an extended BSA are allowed to meet the 42 EC standard.
    • Students who started in 2021-2022 are allowed to meet the reduced standard of 42 ec.
  • Economics and Business Economics: At least 42 of the 60 EC, including the course Quantitative Research Methods I.
    • Students who started in 2020-2021 and received an extended BSA are allowed to meet the standard of 36 ECTS, including the course Quantitative Research Methods I.
    • Students who started in 2021-2022 may meet the reduced standard of 36 ec if they finished the Quantitative Research Methods I course.
  • Econometrics and Operations Research: At least 42 of the 60 EC no additional requirements.
    • Students who started in 2020-2021 and have received an extended BSA are allowed to meet the standard of 36 ECTS.
    • Students who started in 2021-2022 are allowed to meet the reduced standard of 36 ec.
  • International Business Administration: At least 48 of the 60 EC.
    • Students who started the programme in 2019-2020 (or earlier) can choose between the previous norm (at least 42 of the 60 EC, including the course Business Mathematics) or the new norm (at least 48 of 60).
    • Students who started in 2020-2021 and have received an extended BSA are allowed to meet the 42 EC standard.
    • Students who started in 2021-2022 are allowed to meet the reduced standard of 42 ec.

Hearing

If you submit a request for deferment (postponement), you will be invited to a hearing. 

Hearings are short sessions of 10 minutes. It allows the BSA committee to ask the student questions for clarification purposes. Hearings are not meant to discuss your situation in detail. Your evidence and proof supporting your claim should have all the provided details.

The BSA committee may decide to grant a postponement without hearing if:

  • The special circumstances are such that it is obvious  a postponement of the BSA is granted.

and

  • The student informed the academic advisor in time. 

In this case, you will receive an e-mail and/or a letter within 14 days of your request.

The hearings will take place during the week of 9 August and the first half of the week of 16 August.

Postponement of binding study advice

  • If there are personal circumstances,* please report to your academic advisor within three months of the events arising.
  • Students who do not meet the BSA-norm receive proposed negative study advice by mail. 
  • If you are facing personal issues* that affect your academic performance, you can appeal against the final negative study advice and possibly receive a BSA postponement. 
  • You can request a BSA advice postponement within two weeks of the date of the proposed negative study advice.

Apply for a BSA deferment with this form.  

  • Explain why you should receive postponement. 
  • Provide evidence and proof that support your claim (e.g. doctors notice, correspondence, obituary notice etc.).

*The following circumstances may be reasons for requesting BSA deferment: illness, pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability or work for an official student body.

Contact

Do you have any questions? Please contact the Student Desk.

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