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Binding Study Advice

The binding study advice (BSA) was implemented by Wageningen University at the start of the 2014-2015 academic year. The following regulations are an elaboration on Article 58 of the Education and Examination Regulations (EER) and describe the guidelines for implementing the binding study advice in the first academic year of the Bachelor’s programme. We have listed the most frequently asked questions below in order to supply you with as much information as possible.

Questions and answers on the binding study advice (BSA)

1. How many credits (study credits) must I earn in total at Wageningen University in order to successfully complete the first year?

If you are following the standard programme of your particular educational choice, then each academic year consists of 60 credits. The norm that has been established for the BSA is 36 credits worth of first year courses. This means that in order to enrol for your study programme in the following academic year, you must earn at least these 36 credits in first year courses. For good study performance you are, however, recommended to try to earn at least 50 credits during your first academic year.

2. What must I do to receive a positive advice at the end of the year?

You receive a positive study advice at the end of the academic year if you have earned a minimum of 36 credits in first-year courses from your Bachelor’s programme, or when you have completed all the subjects from the first-year programme.

3. To whom does the binding study advice apply?

The binding study advice is applicable to all students who, as of September 2014, have been enrolled in their first year of a Bachelor’s programme at Wageningen University. Even if you have done a different study elsewhere, a binding study advice applies to your new programme.

4. I am going to start a new Bachelor’s programme, but in my former Bachelor’s programme (at WU or another university) I already received a positive BSA; do the BSA requirements then also apply to my new study programme?

Yes, see the answer to question 3. You will have to comply with the BSA requirements for every programme you enrol in for the first time after September 2014.

5. I am switching to a new Bachelor’s programme at Wageningen University. Do the courses that I completed earlier – and which are also first-year courses in this new Bachelor’s programme – count toward a positive BSA?

No, these courses do not count in the assessment to determine whether the standard has been met. You must earn 36 credits in new first-year courses within 1 calendar year or, if fewer than 36 credits remain to be earned in first-year courses, to complete the first year of your degree programme. One calendar year after you have switched to your new Bachelor’s programme, it will be decided whether you have met this norm.

6. Do exemptions count toward the determination of the BSA norm?

Exemptions do not count toward the determination of the BSA norm. Therefore, if you have been granted exemptions on the basis of having taken comparable courses in other programmes (outside WU), the associated credits will not count at the end of the year toward assessing whether you have met the BSA norm.

7. I began my Bachelor’s study after 1 October. Must I then still earn 36 credits before the end of the academic year to meet the BSA norm?

In case you enrol for the first year of your degree programme after 1 October, you are required to meet the BSA norm within one calendar year. This means that the year in which you must meet the BSA norm will commence at the start of your enrolment.

8. Do you always receive a negative BSA if you do not meet the norm, or are exceptions possible? For which personal circumstances can you receive a postponed study advice?

No. Exceptions are possible, i.e. if exceptional personal circumstances arise in your life. In that case you may receive a postponed BSA, despite not having met the BSA norm. These exceptional personal circumstances are taken into account in the final binding study advice, provided you have reported them in time. This includes, for example, illness, disability, family circumstances, participation in specific administrative activities, provided they are mentioned in the BSA Regulations. These circumstances must have resulted in such a delay in your studies that, as a result, it became impossible to meet the norm. We strongly advise you to contact your study adviser and dean in a timely fashion if exceptional circumstances are applicable to your situation. They can then help you adjust your study planning and advise you concerning how this affects the BSA. Take particular note of the fact that exceptional circumstances must be reported to the student dean at the latest within 2 months after their first occurrence (for example long-term illness), but it is advisable to report them earlier.

9. What is a postponed study advice?

At the end of term 6, it may occur that you receive a postponed study advice instead of a final positive or a negative advice. A postponed study advice means that, although you have not met the set BSA norm due to exceptional personal circumstances, you will still be permitted to enrol again in the degree programme. The Examining Board will determine whether such personal circumstances exist and to what extent these are the cause of your inability to meet the norm. The consequence of a postponed study advice is that in the following academic year the norm must still be met, otherwise you will receive a negative BSA. The credits received during the first year of enrolment still count.

Please note: if you receive a postponed study advice after period 6 of your first year, you will not receive any more interim advices during the following year.

10. Can I appeal a negative binding study advice?

Should you receive a final negative BSA, but you do not agree with this, then you can lodge an appeal. Possible reasons may be that not all the grades have been processed yet, were not displayed properly, or that you are appeal due to previously reported personal circumstances, or that the personal circumstances were not or not fully considered. An appeal to the negative BSA must be lodged within 6 weeks after receiving it. For details on the appeal procedure we refer you to the Student Charter, where you can find information about submitting an appeal in the section “Rechtsbescherming studenten” (safeguarding students’ legal rights).

When submitting an appeal, we request that you fill in the “format beroepschrift” (form for notification of an appeal) completely, attach a copy of the original decision, and send it by email to

For more information, please contact

11. Is there any point in taking resits in July if I have received a negative BSA?

If you have received a final negative BSA, you are still allowed to take resits in July. If after these resits you surpass the norm of 36 credits, the negative BSA will be rescinded and you will receive a positive BSA. It is, of course, more sensible to make sure that you are not dependent on the results of any resits in July.

12. Should I submit an appeal if I can still meet the norm in the resit period?

The final BSA will be issued prior to the resit period. This means that some students who received a negative BSA might, through taking one or more resits, still meet the norm. Should this be the case, then Wageningen University will rescind its formerly issued negative BSA and give the student who has since met the norm a positive BSA. This will occur even if the student has not lodged an appeal.

If there are other reasons why you do not agree with the negative BSA that was issued, then you should lodge an appeal. See Question 10.

13. I have received a negative BSA. What are the consequences?

If you receive a negative BSA, you will be de-registered at the end of the academic year and you will not be able to re-enrol for the same degree programme for the next three years.

14. Is the norm for the binding study advice affected by COVID-19 measures?

As of the academic year 2022-2023 the adapted norms for the binding study advice no longer apply. Please contact your study adviser if you require more information.