Binding Recommendation on Continuation of Studies

According to the Academic and Examination Regulations of the bachelor’s programme International Business Administration the faculty has a binding recommendation on continuation of studies (Bindend Studieadvies or BSA in Dutch). This means you as a IBA student have to meet the following criteria in his first year:

  • IBA: at least 42 credits including the course in Business Mathematics (=> the course in Business Mathematics must be successfully completed).

If you do not manage to meet the requirements during your first year you will not be permitted to continue your studies in that particular programme at VU University Amsterdam.

In order to help you through your first year as much as possible, the faculty uses an intensive form of academic advice which closely monitors each student’s progress. A tutor will support you during your first semester and you can make an appointment with an academic advisor at any time.

Moreover you will receive a recommendation on your study progress on four occasions during your first year. The fourth recommendation, issued at the end of the first year, is binding. If your study isn’t going very well or if you have doubts about your choice of study, it’s important to know that you can deregister before 1 February in order to avoid receiving a negative binding recommendation. By doing so you can restart your studies in September.

Exceptional/personal circumstances

It may be that you encounter exceptional circumstances during the first year of your studies, which have a negative impact on your academic performance. These might include such circumstances as pregnancy, special family circumstances, disability or impaired function, or official work for a student body, etc. Exceptional circumstances should be reported to the academic advisors within three months of the time at which they first occurred. If you have a disability or impaired function, report these as soon as possible after the start of IBA. The study advisors can work with you to help find a solution.

Study progress

Information and updates on study progress

Every student can monitor his/her results on VUnet. Check carefully if all your results are registered and if you received all credits.
During your first year of study you will receive an update on your BRCS three times: after the first examination period (November), before 31 January and before the last round of resits (at the latest in June). A study progress report will at least be included with the updates of January and May/June.

Disappointing results

If you are disappointed with your results and want to do something about it, you have several options:

  • Discuss your study progress with your tutor during the tutor sessions in period 1 and 2.
  • Get in touch with the academic advisors to discuss your study methods, possible circumstances that influence your results or your choice of studies. The academic advisors organise BRCS open office hours in January, where you can ask your brief questions on the BRCS. They will inform you about this in due course.
  • You can do a training (in Dutch) at the Course and Career Centre of the VU, for example on study methods. See for more information: www.vu.nl/cursussen.

NB If your study isn’t going very well or if you have doubts about your choice of study, it’s important to know that you can deregister before 1 February in order to avoid receiving a negative binding recommendation. By doing so you can restart your studies in September. If you encounter exceptional circumstances which could have a negative impact on your academic performance, you should report these to the academic advisors within three months of the time at which they first occurred. See also exceptional/personal circumstances for more information.

Good results

Students with good results can also have the need to talk to an academic advisor. There could be personal circumstances or maybe you have questions about the possibilities to do more during your study, like the Honours Programme or an exchange.

Academic advisors

You can get in touch with an academic advisor at any time.


Negative (interim) recommendation, what to do?

If you received a negative (interim) BRCS, you have several options:

  • Discuss your study progress with your tutor during the tutor sessions in period 1 and 2.
  • Get in touch with the academic advisors to discuss your study methods, possible circumstances that influence your results or your choice of studies. The academic advisors organise BRCS open office hours in January, where you can ask your brief questions on the BRCS. They will inform you about this in due course. The academic advisors are also available in the summer to discuss the consequences of a negative BRCS.
  • If you have doubts about your choice of studies, you can join the workshop on Choice of Studies (in Dutch) of the Course and Career Centre of the VU. The workshop will be offered in 2013-2014 in assiocation with the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, since many students will discontinue IBA because of the BRCS. The workshop is free of charge.
  • You can do a training (in Dutch) at the Course and Career Centre of the VU, for example on study methods. See for more information: www.vu.nl/cursussen.

NB If your study isn’t going very well or if you have doubts about your choice of study, it’s important to know that you can deregister before 1 February in order to avoid receiving a negative binding recommendation. By doing so you can restart your studies in September. If you encounter exceptional circumstances which could have a negative impact on your academic performance, you should report these to the academic advisors within three months of the time at which they first occurred.

Objection to the proposed negative binding recommendation on continuation of studies (BSA)

Students who do not manage to meet the requirements of the binding recommendation on continuation of studies (BSA) and wish to lodge an objection to the proposed negative binding recommendation on continuation of studies (BSA) should give notification of this, within 2 weeks of receipt, by filling in and submitting the “Request for Deferment of a BSA Based on Personal Circumstances” form. can be obtained via the Faculty’s website. Please note that these special circumstances should be reported to the study advisors within three months of the time at which they first occurred.

must be submitted, together with enclosures (documentary evidence and transcript), in triplicate, to:

The FEWEB BSA Committee
Through the programme secretariat
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The dossier consists of:

  • The completed “Request for Deferment of a BSA Based on Personal Circumstances” form
  • Documentary evidence to substantiate the request
  • A summary of the results that they have obtained to date (including failing grades)


If the extenuating circumstances are reported in good time to the study advisors, and if their nature is such that deferment of the negative binding recommendation on continuation of studies is clearly indicated, then the BSA Committee can grant such deferment immediately, without interviewing the student in question. In such cases, an email and/or letter is sent immediately (if not, then certainly within 14 days of the request being received) to the student in question. All other students who have submitted a request for deferment will be invited to attend a hearing.

It is vital that the submitted dossier contains all of the relevant details necessary for the BSA Committee to reach a judgement. The hearings take the form of short sessions in which the BSA Committee has the opportunity to fill in any gaps and, if necessary, pose questions to clarify matters. These sessions are by no means intended to involve detailed discussions of students’ circumstances, as these should already have been well documented in the original request. Such hearings take no more than 10 minutes.

The exact days will be published in due time.

Based on the details contained in the dossier and the information that emerges during the hearing, the BSA Committee reaches a decision on the student’s request for a deferment. This decision may include the granting of deferment or the issuing of a definitive negative binding recommendation on continuation of studies. Where possible, details of the Committee’s decision are sent to the student in question by email within a period of 14 days following the date of the hearing and/or in writing.

Deferment of the negative recommendation on continuation of studies means that the student in question is given the opportunity to pass the remaining first-year components during the following academic year. In this connection, such students are strongly advised to make an appointment to see the study advisor in July or August, with a view to drawing up a study schedule.

A definitive negative binding recommendation on continuation of studies means that the student in question has to leave the programme, and that they will not be permitted to register for this particular degree programme (regardless of the variant) at VU Amsterdam for a period of three years.

Any student who disagrees with the definitive negative recommendation on continuation of studies must lodge an appeal, within six weeks of the announcement, with the Examination Appeals Board, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam.