A general survey at universities and universities of applied sciences has shown that students have never submitted this many complaints before. Also, the Appeals Tribunal for Higher Education has more cases than ever.

If students disagree with a decision made by their university, they can lodge an appeal with the Board of Appeal for Examinations (CBE) or with the Executive Board, depending on the cause for complaint. The vast majority of complaints are sent to the CBE and concern the binding study advice, exam marks or fraud. Matters dealt with by the Executive Board include complaints about tuition fees and enrolment problems.

On the increase

An inventory drawn up by the Higher Education Press Agency shows that the number of appeals submitted to the CBEs is on the increase. Twelve universities (Eindhoven University of Technology was unable to give any figures) received about 1,700 official complaints in 2013 and 1,900 the following year, and this sudden increase rose again, to 2,000 complaints in 2015. A rise of almost 20 percent. It would seem that the end is not yet in sight.

Education court busier than ever

If students aren’t satisfied with the outcomes of their appeals, they take the matter to court more often. The Appeals Tribunal for Higher Education (CBHO) in The Hague has been busier than ever. In 2010, the education court handled 100 student appeal cases. This number had more than tripled by 2015, when the court handled no fewer than 367 appeal cases. However, this increase seems to have levelled off a bit in 2016. “This is because there haven’t been many major changes in the law during the past year”, says CBHO secretary Monique van Fessem.