When you have a residence permit for study purposes, you are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward your degree requirements for each academic year in which you are enrolled, and to be in good standing (i.e. you must pay tuition fees on time and meet other university requirements).
Basic Standard for Satisfactory Performance
You must meet the following requirements for minimum satisfactory performance each academic year:
• A minimum completion rate of at least half of the ECTS credits (50% of 60 ECTS in an academic year equals 30 ECTS).
• There is a maximum time frame determined by the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) in which you must complete your studies. If you have studied in the Netherlands before, or if you take longer to complete your studies, then you should be aware that this may affect the maximum amount of time that you can legally reside in the Netherlands.
Credits that are relevant for this regulation are the credits that are an obligatory part of the curriculum; credits that are obtained outside the curriculum do not count. Exceptions can be made should you be ahead of the nominal schedule or when you take extra courses instead of exemptions. For a course that is repeated, credits can only be counted for once. A failed course does not earn any credits.
Withdrawal of residence permit
When you do not meet the requirements for satisfactory academic progress, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam must report this to the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). The IND will subsequently proceed to withdraw your residence permit. The consequence of this is that you will not be able to continue studying at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam during the following academic year.
What if you have not passed enough courses or believe that you will not pass enough courses?
If you have failed components of your study program, the International Office advises you to investigate the reasons for not passing the examinations as soon as possible. Your Academic Advisor(s) may be able to help you with this and prepare a realistic study plan together with you.
The International Office advises you to do so, especially if personal circumstances (see below) are the reason that your performance is below the required standard. You can make an appointment for this with one of the Academic Advisors and/or the Student’s General Counsellors at the study and career centre. Please do not wait until May or June to visit the Academic Advisor; make an appointment as soon as possible.
The following personal circumstances are considered to be are considered to be excusable reasons: illness, disability, pregnancy, exceptional family circumstances, board membership activities. For detailed information, see article 2.1 of the implementation decree of the Higher Education and Research Act (WHW).
May each academic year
The International Office will check the study results of all students with residence permits for study. We will send this list to the Academic Advisors (and to the Student General Counsellors). Students will be informed about the outcome by e-mail. In case you do not meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress, you will be informed that you will receive a negative advice regarding continuation of your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for the next academic year in case you do not obtain at least 30 credits by 23 August.
You are advised to consult your Academic Advisor about the reasons for not passing the courses. It may be possible, for example, that not all acquired credits have been processed in the student information system. You may also have a valid reason for not having passed the examinations. In both cases, the Academic Advisor or Student’s General Counsellor will inform the International Office (without violating your privacy). As a consequence, the International Office will not report the negative advice status to the IND and your residence permit will not be withdrawn. The Academic Advisors can advise and help you to make a realistic study plan before the deadline of 23 August in case you do not have a valid reason and all credits are registered. It is not necessary to make a new appointment when the Academic Advisor has already been informed at an earlier stage.
23 August each academic year:
You must have completed 30 ECTS credits before 23 August. You cannot re-register for the next academic year if you fail to do so. Consequently, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam must report your status to the Dutch Immigration Service (IND), who will proceed to withdraw your residence permit. The International Office will inform you when you have been reported to the Immigration Authorities (IND).
Appeals against cancellation of the Residence Permit can be made with the Dutch Immigration Service (IND). Please be aware that retroactive registration is not possible at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
FAQ Satisfactory Academic Progress
Answers to specific questions can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions on Satisfactory Academic Progress.