The student who fought his negative binding study advice at the Higher Education Appeals Board is now again studying in Rotterdam, his lawyer Marianne Wiersma announced. In the first instance the student presented mitigating circumstances, but the Examining Board did not accept these. Following intervention from the judge the Examining Board finally decided to admit the student.

After the student’s request was refused by the Examining Board, he went to the court. As a lawsuit can take a long time he requested a preliminary injunction. This entails that the measure in question (rejection of the student) does not take effect until the official lawsuit (proceedings based on the merits) starts. During the preliminary injunction, the judge was critical of N=N and wondered whether the regulation could be sustained. Shortly after the judge had awarded a preliminary injunction, the EUR settled with the student and he was allowed to resume his studies.

Court case dodged

A smart move by Erasmus University, because this avoids a lawsuit and the judge can then also not issue a definitive ruling about the N=N. The university does this more often, said Wiersma. Last year she also brought several cases in which she challenged the Erasmus University’s BSA. These were also settled, she explained.

Wiersma would like to have an official ruling about Nominal is Normal. “I don’t think this is a good regulation. The regulation is not intended to allow students to graduate more quickly, but to suppress students who are unsuitable. I think Nominal is Normal is not in the spirit of the law.” Wiersma particularly doubts whether the law is intended to introduce a BSA of 60 study points.

However, the only way to change this is to force a legal ruling. Something that until now has not been possible because of the intermediate settlements. “I would like to engage in a lawsuit against the Erasmus University norm, preferably for someone who has not achieved the norm and has no mitigating circumstances. This would then lead to a principle ruling and no special circumstances would influence this.”

Is this an open invitation for all students who are the victim of N=N? Wiersma: “Certainly.”

The Erasmus University itself has no doubts regarding the legal validity of the system, spokesperson Sandra van Beek already announced. The university even denies that the judge is challenging the BSA regulations and is of the opinion that the ruling is only about the student’s personal circumstances.