RUG scraps p-in-2

The RUG will adapt its rules for the binding study advice (bsa). The requirement for students to achieve their propaedeutic diploma in their second study year is being done away with.
By Peter Keizer / Translation by Traci White

The university’s decision to get rid of the so-called ‘p-in-2’ rule comes after education minister Bussemaker wrote a letter addressed to the Lower House and all Dutch universities. The missive stated the minister’s desire to bring an immediate end to the illegal application of the bsa. ‘No clause can be to the detriment of students,’ she writes.

The justices of the Appeals Tribunal for Higher Education previously ruled that universities may issue a negative recommendation only once. That, Bussemaker emphasises, means that once the binding study advice has been given in the first year, no additional requirements – such as having to obtain your propaedeutic diploma in your second year – can be placed upon the students.

The RUG did just that. Since 2010, in addition to the 45 ects in the first academic years, the bra handbook has also called for students to achieve their propaedeutic diploma in their second year (p-in-2). If the student failed to do so, he or she would not be allowed to continue in the programme.

‘Nothing wrong’

The RUG insisted that there was ‘nothing wrong’ with their own approach, which was implemented in order to increase the student graduation rate. But they are now backing down from that position. ‘The letter which the first year students receive at the beginning of the academic year will be adapted to reflect the new situation. Students who were granted a provisionally positive recommendation will be permitted to continue their studies, even if they have not completed the propaedeutic requirements’, according to a press release.

Even though inappropriate application of the bsa ruling is in conflict with the law, according to Bussemaker, the university is operating under the assumption that the way they applied the p-in-2 rule was appropriate. ‘Thus far, no RUG students have gone to the Appeals Tribunal for Higher Education in appeal against the bsa decision. The minister has now clarified a ruling by the tribunal, so the RUG will now change its own rules’, says spokesperson Riepko Buikema.

Scrapping the p-in-2 rule will not have any impact on the students who were sent packing in the past. Buikema says, ‘Former bsa decisions will remain in effect. Students who previously received a negative recommendation cannot appeal it now.’

On Monday morning, the RUG had decided to hold off on scrapping the p-in-2 rule until it could be discussed in the University Council at the end of the month. The university later changed their mind. Read the original article here


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