Binding study recommendation has had his longest time

Student makes ‘education agreement ’

The BSA (binding study recommendation) will be abolished. No student will be sent away based on having ‘too little credits’ anymore. That is the core of a proposal that the Executive Board has presented to the Participation Council.

The spirit of time has changed, concludes Daniëlle Schwartz, one of the employees that has participated in making the proposal: ‘When I came here, everyone was talking about Performance agreements . And the BSA was used improperly; the emphasis was too much on the yardstick instead of on the valuable study recommendation.’ It went, she thinks, at the cost of the accessibility of higher education ánd at the expense of the student. ‘So I think that this is a good development.’

Right now, students that don’t get their 54 credits during their first year have to say goodbye to Windesheim. However, sending students away won’t happen anymore soon.

There will be a “study result standard” which decides whether someone can start their main phase after their first year. If the student has not reached that study result standard, the student ánd the study programme will make agreements about how to catch up on the delays in an ‘education agreement’. The study result standard will be the same for all students of all study programmes.

Ineke van der Wal, director of division Health Care and Social Work and also a ‘participant’ in this, explains: ‘Where the study result standard will be exactly, has not been set in stone yet but will probably be in the range of 45 up to 50 credits. Whoever is above this, may start with their main phase. A student that has gained less, can ask the study programme for permission to follow certain subjects from the main phase.’

Daniëlle Schwartz was involved with the experiment flex studying. There, and within other flexible part-time study programmes, agreements about individual study pathways are being made. Schwartz: ‘You see that students become the “owner” of their own study programme because of this – and with this proposal we want to want to achieve this with áll students.’ How many times will there be negotiated? Every year? ‘As long as a student has not yet finished his or her propaedeutic phase.’

The agreement is also meant to make sure that students finish their propaedeutic phase as quick as possible. Now it often happens that students start out with the main phase and hence forget that they still have to pass one or two propaedeutic phase subjects. That can drag on for years and Windesheim wants to get rid of this. Van der Wal: ‘If a student still has to pass one propaedeutic phase subject after two years, for example, then of course harsh agreements will be made that they have to rattle through to pass that subject.

Van der Wal thinks that Windesheim takes a ‘firm stand’ with regards to the national debate about the BSA. The plan doesn’t only set high standards for the students but also for student counselling. That is one of the aspects that the Central Participation Council will keep an eye on before they can approve. The Board hopes to be given the green light during the coming weeks.

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