Universities will ease up on BSA this year after all
The number of ECTS that students have to earn to get a positive BSA will be lowered by 10 to 15 percent. Universities can decide on the particulars themselves, and the rules may vary per department. The UG’s board of directors will decide on the matter on Tuesday, a university spokesperson said.
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) lowered the minimum requirement by 6 ECTS. The UvA said this means that, on the whole, students ‘need to pass one less class in order to continue to the next year’. The University of Leiden also announced how it would relax the BSA rules: students will only have to earn 40 ECTS, rather than 45.
The Groninger Studentenbond (GSb) is happy with the announcement. However, they feel the measure won’t actually be effective unless the UG lowers the BSA from 45 to 35 ECTS.
‘Lowering the norm by 15 percent leads to fewer than 40 ECTS. Since most of the courses at the UG are worth 5 ECTS, it would be best to just lower the whole thing down to 35 ECTS’, says GSB chair Marinus Jongman.
Just like they did last year, the GSb has been calling on the UG to abolish the BSA for the entire year. They say the first-year students who started during the pandemic are unduly stressed because of it.
Two weeks ago, GSb and student party Lijst Calimero presented the stories of five hundred students, in which they talk about their experience with the BSA. It was a last-ditch effort to convince the university to do away with the rule.
Other student organisations responded somewhat positively to the news. Lyle Muns, chair of the national student union LSVb, says she would like to see the BSA abolished altogether. ‘But this takes some of the pressure off at least.’
The Intercity Student Consultation (ISO) is ‘happy with the leniency’. Chair Dahran Çoban: ‘This is a good move by the universities. It shows that they know this isn’t a normal year. It’s good to see that the university boards have heard our appeal from earlier this week.’
In the autumn, education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven announced she would abolish the BSA for universities of applied sciences for this academic year, but not for research universities. This was because universities said that their students weren’t unduly impacted in their progress. They therefore wanted to stick with the BSA.