8 March 2019 • HOP, Inge Schouten
Hogeschool Windesheim will not eliminate the binding study advice (BSA).
University of applied sciences Windesheim will maintain the binding study advice. The Staff and Student Council is not in favour of completely eliminating the BSA, but it is open to new forms of flexible studying.
The university of applied sciences has been experimenting with flexible studying since last year. In this new system, students determine their own study pace and pay their tuition fees per credit. So far only older-year students are allowed to participate in this experiment, but the university of applied sciences wants to open it up to first-year students as well. Minister van Engelshoven believes it’s a good idea.
Off the table
Along the same lines, the Windesheim board wants to eliminate the binding study advice. Currently, first-year students require 54 credits to continue with the second year. The council’s proposal also includes a 45-point norm. Anyone who achieves this is allowed to start the main phase. But students who have acquired fewer study points are not required to leave. That plan is now off the table, writes university of applied sciences publication Win’.
Last week the Staff and Student Council for the first time formally addressed the idea of eliminating the BSA. However, there is no detailed proposal yet. CMR chair Cor Niks explained that there wasn’t enough support for this plan. “It’s a visionary idea that hasn’t been properly fleshed out for us.” The idea was to eliminate the BSA in September. The council felt this was much to soon. The plan also failed to address the consequences. And there hadn’t been enough research to see if the degree programmes were properly prepared, said Niks.
Rules of the game
Niks acknowledges that flexible studies are more complicated with a BSA. The council is open to new experiments with flexible education and wants to give students more freedom. But rules are important, especially for first-year students. He believes they shouldn’t have too many options. Niks: “First-year students need a soft landing when they arrive at the university of applied sciences and require the right support to make their choices. It’s not a bad thing for students to have rules to guide them in the first year.”
The Staff and Student Council at Windesheim felt that the plan to eliminate the BSA was a bit hasty.