Coronavirus crisis: extension bsa and additional student finance

First-year students who failed to obtain a minimum number of credits due to the coronavirus crisis will be granted an extension of the binding study advice (bsa). They are also eligible for additional student finance from DUO so that they can pay their bills.

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The cabinet made agreements concerning these issues with universities, institutions of higher professional education and student unions. The bsa will not be completely abolished: students still need to earn the required number of credits next academic year.

This decision is less far-reaching than the one made by Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, which decided to completely suspend the binding study advice for its first-year students. The agreements are recorded in a new letter by minister Ingrid van Engelshoven, which she sent to the House of Representatives.

In addition, the standard registration date for new students will be pushed forward one month, to June 1. Prospective students who were supposed to travel to auniversity or institution of higher professional education for their study-choice check will not be able to do so for the time being.

Additional student finance

The two national student organizations ISO and LSVb have mixed feelings about the measures. They applaud some of the decisions, including the extension of the bsa. But they do however criticize the lack of financial support for students.

According to the minister, students who lost their side-jobs due to the coronavirus crisis are

eligible for additional student finance from DUO. Students who have a maximum loan already but nevertheless have difficulty making ends meet, are allowed to apply for additional student finance. DOU will assess whether a student is eligible or not on a case-by-case basis.

Financial blow

But it seems like students will have to absorb the financial blow themselves, the LSVb concludes. “The minister says that students are in fact eligible for additional student finance when they are short of money due to corona, and that they are allowed to borrow money for a longer period of time in case they experience study delay. We worry about that. Freelancers, employers and the aviation industry receive financial support from the government, why not students?”

Normally, students have recourse to the so-called Profiling Fund under exceptional circumstances. That is why the ISO hopes that compensation for study delay will be discussed at a later stage. “It’s also understandable that this will be addressed a little bit later,” says chairman Kees Gillesse.


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