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Manual Binding Study Advice (BSA)

BSA threshold for academic year 2020-2021 lowered to 35 ECTS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the UG has been tracking the study progress of its students. It appears that the progress of current students is not significantly different compared to previous years. This means that despite the difficult circumstances, students have been working hard to obtain good marks and that most of our teaching has been able to continue in one form or another. The Board of the University is truly impressed by this.

At both a national and local level, student unions and associations have reacted negatively to the enforcement of binding study advice (BSA) during the coronavirus pandemic. They believe the present situation is having a negative impact on student wellbeing. As a result, Dutch universities have jointly decided to lower the BSA threshold for this academic year by 10 to 15 percent.

In light of this decision, on 19 January 2021, the Board of the University of Groningen opted to lower the BSA threshold by 10 ECTS credit points. First-year students who started their full-time Bachelor’s degree programmes during the current academic year will therefore receive positive binding study advice if they obtain at least 35 ECTS credit points (or 15 in the case of part-time degree programmes and AOLB (Academische Opleiding Leraar Basisonderwijs) students (). A lower BSA (from 60 to 50 ECTS credit points) applies to Bachelor’s degree programmes at University College Groningen and Campus Fryslân.

Was your binding study advice postponed during (or before) the academic year 2019-2020? In that case, you must satisfy the standard BSA threshold of 45 ECTS credit points (60 for Campus Fryslân and University College Groningen, 20 for part-time programmes and AOLB). This means the lowered BSA threshold of 35 ECTS credits points does not apply to you.
For example: You have obtained 35 ECTS credits points during the academic year 2019-2020 and your binding study advice was postponed. You will have to obtain at least 15 ECTS credit points to satisfy the BSA threshold of 45 ECTS credit points.

The Board of the University is of the opinion that lowering the BSA threshold will reduce pressure on first-year students and take into account the decision of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU). In addition, the decision also meets the needs for a lowering of the BSA threshold for degree programmes for which various course units or examinations had to be cancelled as a result of the pandemic.

Negative binding study advice will be issued to students who do not satisfy the requirement of obtaining 35 ECTS credit points. In such cases, these students will not be permitted to re-enrol in their degree programmes for a period of two years. If extraordinary personal circumstances apply, as a result of which study delay is incurred, then the decision to issue negative study advice may be decided on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, students should always report study delays to their study advisor (if this concerns 5 ECTS credit points or more) or to the student counsellor (if this concerns 15 ECTS credit points or more).

BSA and other reasons for delay

If you disproportionately incur study delay for whatever reason, your degree programme is always able to relax the BSA regulations for individual students. If you experience problems, contact the study advisor for your degree programme.

Should you have any questions, please email study or visit

The BSA handbook can be found on this page.

For further questions we recommend to contact your faculty or your study advisor.

Last modified:09 March 2021 09.33 a.m.
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