UTServicesCESSACCRegulationsBinding recommendation

Binding recommendation (BSA)

First-year bachelor's students need to earn a certain amount of credits in that first year. This is the binding recommendation, abbreviated as BSA.

A short explanation

BSA timeline

  • 1. Introductory interview

    At the beginning of the academic year, you will receive an invitation from your tutor, mentor or study adviser, in which the BSA will also be addressed. You will receive an invitation from your educational programme. If there are personal circumstances, you need to report them to the academic advisor as soon as possible (see chapter personal circumstances). 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. Moreover, if you have study-related questions, you can always go to your study advisor.

  • 2. Pre-recommendation

    This will be sent to you by e-mail or Osiris (week 52 at the latest) after the results of module 1 are known.

  • 3. Second pre-recommendation

    This will be sent in week 10 at the latest.
    The recommendations at 2. and 3. are not binding and can be negative, neutral or positive.

  • 4. Invitation

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

  • 5. 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.

The programme board can decide to defer the final recommendation to the second academic year. It can only be deferred due to a study switch/late inflow or due to personal circumstances.

The binding recommendation rule (BSA) applies to all UT bachelor's programmes. The programme board is responsible for issuing this recommendation. During the first academic year at least 45 EC, plus programme-specific requirements, must be obtained to continue your programme (exception: ATLAS requires 54 EC in the first year). More information about the BSA of your programme can be found in the programme-specific part of the UT Education and Examination Regulation (EER / OER) of your programme. Some programmes have set additional requirements within the binding recommendation. You can also contact your own study adviser.

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 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.

Information about the year of the BSA, what to do when personal circumstances occur and the regulations of the BSA can be found on this website.

Study delay due to Personal circumstances

Route to the application form for assessment of personal circumstances by the CPO
Start here
Submit your application before 1 July.

It can be possible that you failed or will fail to meet the BSA requirements because of circumstances that delayed your study. 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. The Personal Circumstance Committee (CPO) can advise your programme board at the end of the study year about your personal circumstances. Your study adviser can help you in this process.

Study delay may be attributed to various reasons. However, the Personal Circumstance Committee recognizes a limited number of reasons. By law and the UT Teaching and Examination Regulation, only the grounds for study delay that are mentioned under 3. can be recognized by the Committee.

If your study is 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 meeting with SACC's student counsellor

    Arrange a meeting with SACC's student counsellor. you must have arranged a meeting with a student counsellor before July 1st. The interview must take place before the Personal Circumstance Committee handles your application. In some cases, the conversation can be held by phone or it will be cancelled: in that case, you will be informed by the student counsellor or registry. The student counsellor can give advice and help you with the formulation of your statement in your application. If your appointment takes place after July 1st, please make sure that you submit the application before July 1st (see 3).

    An interview with the student counsellor is always allowed, also if it is not regarding the BSA. The student counsellor can guide or advise you on other (financial) regulations that may apply.

  • 3. Apply for assessment of circumstances

    Apply for assessment of circumstances. If you can't meet the BSA standard, you take action in consultation with your study adviser. You should apply for an assessment by the Personal Circumstance Committee. Submit the application before July 1st of the concerning academic year. You are advised not to submit the application too early because the Committee can't 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 at 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 of 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, a decision or recognition by the Top-Level Sports' Committee is required.
  • 4. Recommendation of the Personal Circumstance Committee

    The Committee will assess the legitimacy, the expected duration and the severity of your personal circumstances and gives 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.


This hearing is explicitly not intended to report (incl for the first time) new circumstances that already should have been previously reported to the study adviser and the Personal Circumstance Committee.

When you receive a negative pre-recommendation (regarding the final advice), 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 (regardinig your final advice) is unwarranted. How very much you are motivated for this study will not affect the decision. But the Programme Board will take into account your special circumstances. Sometimes it can be useful to clarify your circumstances; a hearing gives you the opportunity.

A hearing can be meaningful in case you want to:

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 another (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.


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.

Documents & regulations