Binding study recommendation (BSA)

First-year bachelor's students need to obtain a certain amount of credits in their first year. This is called the Binding Study Recommendation (BSA)

In your first year of the Bachelor's programme, you need to acquire at least 45 ECs. Failing to meet this requirement, and in the absence of recognized circumstances, will result in a negative Binding Study Advice (BSA). This means that you will not be able to proceed with your studies and you will not be allowed to register for the same programme for the next three years. Every student receives a positive or negative BSA at the end of the first academic year.

The BSA explained (video)

How many ECs do I have to earn?

To continue your programme, you need to complete at least 45 EC in your first academic year. Your programme can also have set additional requirements. There is an exception: ATLAS students need to complete 54 EC in the first academic year.

  • BSA timeline

    At the beginning of the academic year, you will receive an invitation from your tutor, mentor or study adviser, in which the BSA will be addressed. If there are personal circumstances, you need to report them to the study advisor as soon as possible. If these jeopardise the standard duration of the study, it is imperative that the right actions are taken in time, because it might be possible to deviate from the normal programme. 

    Pre-recommendations

    A pre-recommendation will be sent to you by e-mail or Osiris (week 52 at the latest) after the results of module 1 are known. A second pre-recommendation will be sent in week 10 at the latest. Both pre-recommendations are not binding and can be negative, neutral or positive.

    Invitation

    When you have received a negative or neutral recommendation, you will be invited for a meeting with your study adviser. In this meeting, your study approach and study choice will be discussed.

    Final recommendation

    After the additional test week (week 30) you will receive the final recommendation in mid-August by e-mail/Osiris. This can be:

    • Positive: when you have obtained 45 credits or more of the first academic year and the programme-specific requirements;
    • Negative: when you have obtained less than 45 credits or did not obtain the programme-specific requirements.
  • I received a negative BSA. Now what?

    You are not allowed to continue your study programme next year. You need to de-enroll for the second academic year or you will be de-enrolled. You will not be able to enrol in this programme for a period of 3 academic years. You can apply for a hearing within 5 working days if you think that the intended final negative recommendation is unjust. You can lodge an appeal at the UT Complaints Desk if you think that the final negative recommendation is unjust. 

  • Can I appeal against a negative BSA?

    You can appeal against a negative binding study recommendation. Before you do so we advise you to consult a student counsellor or your study adviser. They can advise you on the approach and support a mediation attempt. 

    How?

    The appeal must be done in writing and signed before being sent to or handed in at the Complaints Desk UT. The term for submitting an appeal is 6 weeks following the date of the decision of the Board of Examiners who will give a ruling within 10 weeks of receipt of the appeal. When you put down in the appeal that it is “urgent”, the Complaints Desk will handle the appeal preferentially. It is advised to lodge an appeal as soon as possible after the receipt of your Binding Study Recommendation.

    Your appeal needs to contain your name, address, student number, phone number, email address, a clear motivation of your circumstances and other relevant documents.

    The Complaints Desk UT will send you a confirmation of receipt within a few days. Subsequently, your letter will be looked at in more detail and you will be informed about how your complaint will be dealt with.  

  • Can I request a hearing after receiving a negative pre-recommendation?

    When you receive a negative pre-recommendation (regarding the final advice), you will also get the opportunity to request a hearing. During a hearing, you get the opportunity to clarify to a representative of the Programme Board why the intended negative final recommendation is unjust. Your degree of motivation for this study will not affect the decision.

    Personal circumstances

    The Programme Board will take into account your personal circumstances. Sometimes it can be useful to clarify your circumstances; a hearing gives you the opportunity to do this. This hearing is explicitly not intended to report (for the first time) new circumstances that should have been previously reported to the study adviser and the CPO.

    A hearing can be meaningful in case you want to:

    • Adequately substantiate that it was not possible to report your circumstances to the Personal Circumstance Committee in a timely manner. Realize that you must submit evidence.
    • Report circumstances that occurred after the deadline of the Personal Circumstance Committee. You will have to substantiate that not obtaining the BSA standard is a direct consequence of these circumstances.

    The examples given above are situations in which you may use a hearing to clarify your point of view. The Programme Board will consider it in their final conclusion. This, however, does not guarantee that it will lead to a different (final) recommendation. The negative pre-recommendation indicates that you need to apply for a hearing within 5 working days. Consider this deadline! On the website of your educational programme, you will find more information on how to request a hearing.

As it is UT's aim to enable all students to graduate successfully, we have ensured that - along with the BSA - you will receive support during your first year and thereafter. Each programme has a study adviser who can help you with any study-related issues and many programmes also have a tutor or mentoring system.

My studies are delayed due to personal circumstances. Now what?

It can be possible that you failed or will fail to meet the BSA requirements because of circumstances that delayed your study. The Personal Circumstance Committee (CPO) can advise your programme board about whether your circumstances have led to the study delay. Study delay may be attributed to various reasons. However, Dutch law (and thus CPO) recognizes only a limited number of reasons.

If your studies are or might be delayed due to personal circumstances, you take the following steps:

  • 1. Notify your study adviser

    Report to your study adviser as soon as possible when your study is or might be delayed. If possible, a study plan will be drawn up.

  • 2. Arrange a meeting with a SACC student counsellor

    You must have arranged a meeting with a student counsellor before 1 July. The student counsellor can give advice and help you with the formulation of your statement in your application. If your appointment takes place after 1 July, please make sure that you submit the application before 1 July too (see 3).

  • 3. Apply for assessment of circumstances

    Apply for assessment of circumstances. If you cannot meet the BSA standard, you take action in consultation with your study adviser. You should apply for an assessment by the Committee Personal Circumstances. Submit the application before 1 July. You are advised not to submit the application too early in the academic year because the Committee cannot review circumstances that are in the future (chronic circumstances excluded). Depending on the circumstances, the application should be substantiated with supporting documents such as:

    • Illness, disability/impairment, psychological problems

      A certificate from a Dutch doctor or BIG-registered psychologist, indicating the circumstances during a period, is necessary. If you don't have one, your doctor can use the standard model for a medical certificate. You may also contact the General Practitioner that is located on the campus.

    • Pregnancy/delivery

      A certificate from your midwife or gynaecologist stipulating the expected date of birth is necessary. With pregnancy, it is assumed that a student will hardly be able to study (if at all) for a period of four months. If the delay amounts to longer than four months, a reason other than pregnancy/childbirth must be given for the prolongation of this period. In that case, a medical certificate is required for that period.

    • Special family circumstances

      You are advised to submit a supporting statement or document. This can be a certificate from your doctor/psychologist or a death certificate/obituary in case of the death of family members.

    • Recognised board positions

      A statement of the association mentioning your position and the period you are/were on the board is necessary. (Student activism: membership of University Council, Faculty Council, Programme Committee or board as mentioned in FOBOS, appendix B, Cat. 3).

    • Recognized top-level athlete or top-level artist

      In the case of Top-level Sports or Top-level Arts, recognition by the Top-Level Sports Committee is required.

  • 4. Recommendation of the personal circumstances committee

    The Committee will assess the legitimacy, the expected duration and the nature of your personal circumstances and give a recommendation to the Programme Director (you will receive a copy).

  • 5. Decision of the programme director

    The final binding recommendation (positive, negative or deferred) will be made by the programme director, considering the ruling of the Personal Circumstance Committee.

De-enrolled before/after 1 February

If you request de-enrolment before 1 February of your first bachelor's academic year, you will receive no final recommendation. If you re-enrol the next academic year for the same study programme, you will receive the final recommendation before the end of that academic year. If you request de-enrolment after 1 February of your first academic year, you will receive a final recommendation as referred to in Article 6 of the Education and Examination Regulations.

Documents & regulations

FAQ

  • General
    • What does binding recommendation on continuation of study (BSA) mean?

      The binding recommendation on continuation of study (BSA) is the final recommendation which the educational programme gives a bachelor student at the end of the first academic year. It's about the permission to continue the current study programme or not. 
      The recommendation is based on your study results and can be a positive or negative (binding) recommendation. It is also possible for the final recommendation to be postponed to the end of the next academic year at the very latest.

    • To whom does the BSA apply?

      The BSA applies to all first year Bachelor's students.

    • What are the requirements for the BSA?

      To continue your programme, you need to complete at least 45 EC in your first academic year. Your programme can also have set additional requirements. You can find these requirements in the Education and Examination Regulation (EER) of your programme.
      Exception: ATLAS students need to complete 54 EC in the first academic year.

    • I have a question about the BSA. Who can I contact?

      You can contact your study adviser, tutor or mentor if you have any questions.

    • I'm enrolled for 2 (or more) educational programmes. What is my BSA norm?

      For every programme you must meet the BSA norm. 

  • Sorts of recommendation
    • A pre-recommendation

      This is a provisional recommendation that you will receive two times in the first year: one based on your study results of module 1 and one based on your study results up until module 2. Pre-recommendations are not binding and can be positive, negative or neutral.

      When you've received a negative or neutral pre-recommendation, you'll be invited by your study adviser for an interview to discuss your study method and to discuss a reconsideration of choice of study. The possibility of still receiving a positive final recommendation will also be assessed. You should notify your study adviser a.s.a.p. if your personal circumstances affect your study progress.

      You'll receive a neutral pre-recommendation:
      - if the programme director is confident that you still may complete the module(s) with additional exams;
      - when you recently have switched to a different educational programme.

      Contact your study adviser if you have any questions.

    • Final recommendation

      This is the recommendation based on all your study results after the additional test week. This recommendation can be positive or negative (=binding) or the recommendation can be postponed.

      You'll receive a positive final recommendation if you have obtained at least 45 EC and have met the programme specific requirements of your first Bachelor's academic year. ATLAS students need to obtain at least 54 EC. Check your Education and Examination Regulation (EER) of your programme to see what the requirements are, or contact your study adviser if you have any questions.

      Please be reminded that you must sign up in time for your second academic year.

    • In which cases will a recommendation be postponed?

      The educational programma director may decide to postpone the final recommendation until your second academic year on grounds of switching studies or when, due to acknowledgement of personal circumstances, no decision can be made about your study capacities. The recommendation will be given no later than the end of the second year of enrolment for the relevant programme, but it can also be earlier. You will be informed about this by your programme.

      Please contact your study adviser if you have any questions.

    • I've received a negative final recommendation. Now what?

      You're not allowed to continue your study programme next year. You need to de-enroll for the second academic year or you will be de-enrolled. You will not be able to enroll for this programme for period of 3 academic years.
      Your can apply for a hearing within 5 working days if you think that the intended final negative recommendation is unjust. 
      Your can lodge an appeal at the UT Complaints Desk if you think that the final negative recommendation is unjust. 

  • Timeframe of correspondence
    • When do I receive a first pre-recommendation?

      In your first year of enrollment, you will receive a first pre-recommendation on the 31st of December. This recommendation is based on your study results of module 1 and is not binding. 

    • When do I receive a second pre-recommendation?

      In your first year of enrollment, you will receive a second pre-recommendation no later than week 10. This recommendation is based on your study results up to module 2 and is not binding. 

    • When do I receive the final binding recommendation?

      In your first year of enrollment, you will receive a final binding recommendation mid-August. This recommendation is based on all your study results, after the additional test week (week 30). 

    • When do I get a confirmation of my new (postponed) date?

      Within 6 weeks after the second year of enrolment in the relevant programme, the student receives a letter from the programme management, which states the BSA-standard that the student has to meet and the deadline before which the student has to meet the standard.

    • How do I receive my recommendations?

      You'll receive them by e-mail or via Osiris.

    • I haven't received any recommendation. Now what?

      If you haven't received any recommendation, please contact your study adviser a.s.a.p.  

    • The recommendation I've received isn't correct according to my calculation. Now what?  

      Please contact your study adviser a.s.a.p.

  • Switch or late enrolment, de- and re-enrolment
    • I've started late or switched to my current educational programme before the 1st of October. What is my BSA standard?

      If you've started with your programme at the UT before the 1st of October, there is no adjustment of the standard referred to in article 6 of the Education and Examination Regulations.  

    • I've started late or switched to my current educational programme after the 1st of October. What is my BSA standard?

      If you've started with your programme at the UT on the 1st of October or after that date, your final recommendation can be postponed. The recommendation will be given no later than the end of the second year of enrolment for the relevant programme, but it can also be earlier. You will be informed about this by your programme.

      Check the EER of your programme for specific requirements additional to the 45 EC rule (Atlas: 54 EC rule).

    • I've de-enrolled before the 1st of February. What applies to me?

      If you request for de-enrollement before the 1st of February of your first bachelor academic year, you will receive no final recommendation. If you re-enrol a next academic year for the same study programme, you'll receive the final recommendation before the end of that academic year.

    • I've de-enrolled after the 1st of February. What applies to me?

      If you request for de-enrollment after the 1st of February of your first academic year, you'll receive a final recommendation as referred to in article 6 of the Education and Examination Regulations.

    • I've not yet received any recommendation, but expect a positive final recommendation. Do I have to re-enrol?

      Yes, you can sign in via Studielink. As soon as you receive a positive final recommendation and as soon it is processed in the Student Information System Osiris, your re-enrollement will be automatically activated by CSA (provided you also have regulated the payment of tuition fees).

      See https://www.utwente.nl/en/student-services/admission-enrolment/enrolment/ 

    • My final recommendation is postponed. Do I have to re-enrol?

      Yes, you can sign in via Studielink. As soon as the postponement of your final recommendation is processed in the Student Information System Osiris, your re-enrollement will be automatically activated by CSA (provided you also have regulated the payment of tuition fees).  

  • Study delay
    • My study is delayed. What now?

      There are various (personal) circumstances which result in difficulties with studying and which can hinder your study progress in such a way that your experience study delay. Study delay in your first academic year can have consequences for meeting the binding recommendation standard. Discuss your situation and the possibility of submitting a request for assessment of your personal circumstances with your study adviser and/or a student counsellor. The Committee Personal Circumstances (CPO) assesses your application

    • In which cases can I apply for an assessment of my personal circumstances?

      It is possible that due to your personal circumstances, your study progress is influenced negatively. When you might not be able to meet the standard of 45 EC (for Atlas: 54 EC) as a result of your personal circumstances, you can apply for an assessment of your personal circumstances

    • What should I do be eligible for the assessment of personal circumstances? 

      Report to your study adviser a.s.a.p. if you have experienced a study delay, or think you will experience study delay due to personal circumstances. Discuss your situation with your study advisor and, if necessary, a study plan will be drawn up. This study plan will be included in your BSA file.  

      If necessary, you can apply (in consultation with your study adviser) at an early-stage (after module 1) for an assessment of your circumstances by the Committee Personal Circumstances (CPO). This is only possible in cases for which non-assessment can have a negative influence on your personal situation. For applications, you need to fill out the online application form.  

      Otherwise, you'll take action (in consultation with your study adviser) when you can't meet the BSA standard. You need to submit the application for assessment of your circumstances before 30th of June of the current academic year at the CPO.

      Your need to make an appointment with a student counsellor, before the CPO will handle your application. The deadline for making an appointment is the 30th of June.

      Experience shows that students find it hard to write a personal statement. The student counsellor can advise and help with formulating your personal statement for the application. The student counsellor can also advise you on other (financial) regulations that might apply.

    • What are the recognized personal circumstances?

      The recognized personal circumstances are:
      - illness or psychological problems;
      - physical, sensory or other impairment;
      - pregnancy/childbirth;
      - special family circumstances;
      - recognized top-level athletes or top-level artists (FOBOS, Top-Level Sports-/Top-Level Arts Scheme);
      - membership of the University Counsil, Faculty Board, Programme Committee;
      - recognized (board-) membership of organizations van organisaties according to Category 3 (FOBOS, Activism Grants Regulation, Appendix B).

    • What are the requirements of an application for assessment of my personal circumstances? 

      - You must report your personal circumstances. This is necessary if you want to apply for facilities and regulations. In case of (impending) study delay your should make an appointment with your study adviser and/or a student counsellor a.s.a.p. (urgent). Discuss the possible consequences for your study planning and possibilities for your study progress.

      - Hand in the application form with the required documents (proof).

      - Before the CPO will handle your application, you must have spoken to a student counsellor. The deadline for making the appointment is the 30th of June. 

    • Which documents (proof) must accompany the application for an assessment?

      Necessary documents (proof) in case of:
      - Illness, psychological problems, disability/impairment: a certificate from a Dutch doctor or Dutch BIG-registered psychologist. If needed use the standard model for a medical form or contact the campus General Practitioner.  

      - Pregnancy/delivery: a certificate from your midwife or gynaecologist stipulating the expected date of birth. With a pregnancy, it is assumed that a student will hardly be able to study (if at all) for a period of four months. If the delay amounts to longer than four months, a reason other than pregnancy/childbirth must be given for the prolongation of this period. In that case a medical form is required.

      - Special family circumstances: add supporting documents. This can be a certificate of your doctor/psychologist or a death certificate/obituary in case of the death of family members.

      - Recognized board positions (membership of University Council, Faculty Council, Programme Committee or board as mentioned in FOBOS, appendix B, Cat. 3): a statement of the association mentioning your position and the period you are/were in the board.

      - Recognized top-level athlete or top-level artist: recognition by the UT.

    • How can I apply for an assessment of my personal circumstances?

      Fill out the online application form for assessment of your circumstances. Via the website www.utwente.nl/en/ces/sacc/regulations/personal-circumstances/ you will be directed to the right form.

    • When should I apply for an assessment of my personal circumstances?

      The application for assessment must be done before the 30th of June of the current academic year by submitting the online application form for assessment of your circumstances, accompanied with proof.  

    • Who will assess my personal circumstances?

      The Committee Personal Circumstances (CPO) assesses the legitimacy, the expected duration and the severity of personal circumstance and sends the result to the Programme Director.

    • What happens with the result of the assessment of my personal circumstances?

      The Committee Personal Circumstances (CPO) assesses the legitimacy, the expected duration and the severity of the personal circumstance and sends the result to both the Programme Director and your study adviser. Your will receive a copy. The Programme Director will take that result into account when deciding on your final recommendation (positive or negative). The Programme Director may also decide to postpone your final recommendation when due to your personal circumstances your study abilities can't be judged. The final recommendation can be postponed to the end of your second academic year at the very latest.