Binding Recommendation (BSA)

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What is a binding recommendation (BSA)?

The University of Twente will be enforcing a Binding Recommendation on continuation of studies (Binding Study Advice - BSA) for all Bachelor's programs. This means that students who have completed at least 3 modules can continue their programme. When less than 3 modules are completed the programme can issue a positive recommendation if there is sufficient confidence that the student has chosen the correct study programme.
You can get information on this subject from your own study advisor. Personal circumstances will, however, be taken into consideration when formulating the recommendation. The standard and procedures for ATLAS students are different compared to the information here. ATLAS students should contact their study advisor if they have any questions.

As it is the university’s aim to enable all suitable students to graduate successfully, we have ensured that - along with the BSA - you will receive intensive support both 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.
Information on the reasoning behind the BSA, regulations and special circumstances can be found on this website.

What can you expect?

At the start of the year, you will have an interview with a tutor, mentor or academic advisor in which the BSA will be addressed. You will receive an invitation. After the results of the first module are known, you will receive a pre-recommendation by mail or Osiris. This is not binding and can be negative, neutral or positive. Students, who have not passed the module, are given a negative recommendation. And if you do pass the module, you will be given a positive recommendation. The Programme Board may also decide to give neutral pre-recommendation, for example if they are confident that you can achieve the module with an additional examination or if you have recently switched to a different study.

Students, who receive a negative or neutral study recommendation, will be invited for a meeting with the study advisor. In this meeting, the study approach and the study choice will be discussed.
If there are personal circumstances, you need to report them to the academic advisor (see chapter personal circumstances) as soon as possible. Moreover, if you have study-related questions, you can always go to your study advisor.

After the additional test week (week 30) you will receive, around week 33, the final recommendation by mail/Osiris (before 31 August). This recommendation is positive if you have passed 3 or more modules in the first year; it is negative if you have passed 2 or fewer modules. The Programme Board may also decide to postpone the final recommendation until the second year (deferred recommendation), because of e.g. a study switch or personal circumstances.

Why the BSA?

A guiding principle in the vision of the University of Twente is that students are involved as partners in the set-up and execution of their education. The education is a product of the collaboration between the university and its students; a product that can only come to fruition when responsibilities and efforts are shared.
The UT offers students a challenging education but this can only be experienced as such if the student has chosen the correct study programme. Adequate student guidance, good matching and cooperation with the surrounding universities of applied sciences must ensure this. Whereas it is the UT’s challenge to offer well-organised education, so too can students be expected to show dedication and ambition.
Experiences of the various departments have shown that students who earn less than a certain number of ECs in the first year have little chance of completing the course successfully. With several programmes, it has also appeared that not passing or postponing certain subjects has a negative effect on the successful completion of a study. Students who find themselves in this situation appear not to have chosen the right programme or one in which they can achieve their full potential.
The main objective of the BSA is that students “find their right direction” more quickly.

Another aim of the BSA is to challenge students to perform well and get good grades from the beginning of their course of study. They must, however, be able to undertake extra-curricular activities, such as participating on a committee or helping organise a study trip.
If, in the first year, a student completes three of the four modules successfully, he/she should be able to finish the programme on time. However, if the student is delayed despite sufficient effort, the reasons for this need to be seriously addressed. In other words, the BSA also places an obligation on the department.
Earning the standard number of ECs must be seen as the absolute minimum requirement. The goal should be to complete the B1 programme in the first year. Educational and exam programmes have been designed such that students are encouraged to achieve this and, with sufficient effort, should even be able to earn 60 ECs in their first year.


Each programme has Education and Examination Regulations (OER) which regulates the rights and obligations of students with respect to education, tests and examinations. The general rules and regulations surrounding the BSA are described below (Article 6.3 OER). University College ATLAS has a different OER.
A program can set additional requirements within the BSA. Whether these also apply to your programme, can be found in the programme-specific appendix to the OER. The OER can be found on the Education page of your programme.
Previously translated OER Article

Art 6.3 (Binding) recommendation on continuation of Studies

  1. At the end of the first year of enrolment for the programme, each student receives a final recommendation on the continuation of his studies within the programme. This recommendation is based on the student's study results and may be positive or negative.
  2. An introductory interview is held with every student before 1 November of the first year in which he is enrolled for the programme.
  3. In the first year in which he is enrolled for the programme, the student will receive a first pre-recommendation on the continuation of their studies by 31 December at the latest. This pre-recommendation is not binding.
  4. In the first year in which he is enrolled for the programme, the student will receive a second pre-recommendation on the continuation of their studies by 1 March at the latest. This pre-recommendation is not binding.
  5. Any student who receives a negative pre-recommendation as referred to in paragraphs 3 and/or 4 will be invited for an interview with the study adviser to discuss the study method and a reconsideration of the choice of study
  6. The Executive Board has mandated the programme board to issue the recommendation on continuation of studies as referred to in paragraphs 1, 3 and 4.
  7. The dinal recommendation referred to in paragraph 1 may include a rejection if the student has obtained less than 3 modules in the first year of enrolment. Any additional requirements have been included in the programme-specific appendix. The rejection will apply for a period of three academic years. A final recommendation that includes a rejection is referred to as a binding recommendation on the continuation of studies.
  8. In determining the number of ECs obtained, only the units of study scheduled for the first year of the programme for which the recommendation is issued will count.
  9. No final recommendation on the continuation of studies as referred to in Article 6.3 paragraph 1 will be issued to students who request deregistration before 1 February of the first year of enrolment. If any such student reenrols in a subsequent academic year, the final recommendation will be issued at the end of that subsequent academic year.
  10. For students who transfer to a different programme within the UT before 1 October, there will be no adjustment of the standard as stipulated in Article 6.3.7. Otherwise, the provisions intended in Article 6.3 paragraph 7 will apply mutatis mutandis
  11.  For students who transfer to a different programme on 1 October or later, the definitive recommendation will be deffered, dated at the very latest at the end of the student's second year of enrolment.
  12. The student has the right to be heard by the programme board in connection with the issue of a binding recommendation (WHW Article 7.8b Paragraph 4).
  13. In its deliberations on attaching a rejection to a recommendation on the continuation of studies, the programme board will take into account the student's personal circumstances at his request. The programme board will only take into account in its deliberations personal circumstances that have been reported to the study adviser by the student as soon as can reasonably be expected after they arose.
  14. Personal circumstances are understood to be illness of the person involved, physical, sensory or other impairment on the part of the person involved, pregnancy and childbirth of the person involved, special family circumstances and membership in the University Council, the Faculty Council or the programme committee (WHW Implementation Decree 2008, Article 2.1). Personal circumstances also include top-class sport on the part of the person involved or a Category 3 board in accordance with the FOBOS Regulations.
  15. The personal circumstances must be submitted to the Personal Circumstances Committee (CPO – “Commissie Persoonlijke Omstandigheden” in Dutch) in consultation with the study adviser. This report must be substantiated with items of evidence.
  16. The CPO assesses the validity and seriousness of the personal circumstances and reports the results to the programme board and the relevant study adviser.
  17. The programme board will take the judgement of the CPO into account in its handling of the student’s request as referred to in Article 6.3, paragraph 13.
  18. When it is impossible to render an opinion concerning the student's capacity to study as a result of personal circumstances, the final recommendation may be deferred, with the end of the second year of the student's enrolment as the final date.
  19. The decision of the programme board with respect to the binding recommendation states the possibility of filing an appeal.

Art 6.4 – (BINDing) recommendation: several programmes

If a student is enrolled for several programmes simultaneously and has met the BSA standard at one of those programmes, the obligation to meet the standard for the other programmes ceases.

Special circumstances

Personal circumstances may make it difficult for a student to study for a period of time (if at all). Personal circumstances might be illness, handicap, special family reasons and pregnancy. If these jeopardize the standard duration of study, it is imperative that the right course of action be taken in time, because it might be possible to deviate from the normal programme.

The basic procedure:

  1. The student reports as early as possible to the study adviser that his / her studies are being or might be affected due to personal circumstances
  2. Together, the study advisor and student discuss the situation and possibly make a study plan that takes these circumstances into account. The study plan is included in the student’s BSA file.
  3. If the personal circumstances require such, the student can, at an early stage, have them assessed by the CPO, in consultation with the academic advisor (after module 1). This is only done for cases for which non-assessment can have a negative influence on the personal situation of the student. Applications can be submitted using the online application form.
  4. In all regular cases, the student will take action if the BSA standard might possibly not be met. The student subsequently submits an application for assessment of the circumstances to the CPO (deadline 30 June 2016). 
    The CPO consists of the chairperson, a student counsellor, a programme director and a study adviser.
    • in case of illness, handicap/disability or special circumstances, the supporting document is a certificate from a doctor or psychologist indicating the degree to which the study progress has been impeded and an estimate of the expected duration thereof. The student may also contact the campus General Practitioner for this certificate.
    • in case of pregnancy, the supporting document is a certificate from the 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
  5. The student must arrange a meeting with the student counsellor (deadline 30 June 2016; interview will be scheduled before 15 July 2016). The student counsellor can advise you and help formulate the problem, as well as advice on other (financial) regulations that might be applicable.
  6. The CPO Committee assesses the legitimacy, the expected duration and the severity of the personal circumstances and gives a recommendation to both the Programme Board and the student.
  7. The Programme Board gives the final recommendation (positive or negative) taken into account the ruling of the CPO Committee. The Programme Board may decide to defere the final recommendation.


When you receive a negative pre-recommendation, you will also get the opportunity to request a hearing. You’ll get the opportunity to clarify to a representative of the Programme Board why, in your opinion, the negative pre-recommendation is unwarranted. For more information on how to request a hearing click here.


A student can appeal against a negative binding recommendation. This must be done in writing and signed before sending to or handing 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 Recommendation.