Erasmus University Rotterdam must pay a former psychology student damages of around 9,000 euros. This was the ruling of the Rotterdam cantonal judge. A marking error caused the student a year’s delay in her studies.

The bachelor’s student had already enrolled for a master’s programme at Amsterdam’s Vrije Universiteit, but had to do one EUR resit in mid-June. She scored a 5.2 for it.

This fail meant she could not graduate on time, and had to wait a year before being able to start at the VU. She pleaded for an expedited review and an extra resit, but to no avail.

It was a pass afterall

In the review performed a few days after the 1 September deadline, it turned out that the answer sheet in the multiple-choice exam contained a mistake. The student should have been awarded a 5.5, not 5.2. So it was in fact a pass.

This was too late for the Vrije Universiteit and the student was not allowed to start. She then worked in a shoe-shop for a year. In the meantime she filed a court case claiming 23,000 euros in damages, because she could only graduate a year later because of the mistake (and the teacher’s slow response).

'Little chance of a job'

The university repudiated the claim, while also arguing that the woman was ‘a mediocre student who would have little chance of a job after graduating’. But this was rejected by the judge.

After much deliberation, the court referred to a guideline for damages caused by study delay to award damages of around 9,000 euros. The university also has to pay the legal costs