The number of students who have lodged an appeal challenging a decision of the Examination Board has increased dramatically at Erasmus University during the past few years. With only 185 cases in 2008, this number jumped to 250 in 2014. These were the figures reported in the Examination Appeal Board’s 2014 annual report that will be released next month.

According to Jerimi van Laar, manager of the Legal Affairs department, this increase is the direct result of the emphasis placed on a student’s study progress and changes in student loans and grants. These factors significantly affect students’ interests. “The introduction of binding study advice (BSA), and more importantly, changes made to student grants and loans have led to more objections to decisions made by Examination Boards.”

Very few appeals actually result in a hearing and a decision from the Examination Appeal Board. “In the majority of cases the student and the faculty eventually reach a settlement and the objection is withdrawn,” says Van Laar. In 2014 there were about 40 cases where the Examination Appeal Board had to render a decision. The number of complaints that the Examination Appeal Board declared to be actually well-founded is much lower: about five cases annually. However, not all of the appeals submitted in 2014 have been settled.

The list of decisions rendered in 2014 shows that many cases did indeed involve disputed study advice with 13 of the 28 decisions involving BSA. Other cases included admission to a master’s programme or a course (six cases) or the evaluation of a thesis or exam (five cases). ES