Personal circumstances, study delay and residence permit students

Students holding a student residence permit must make sufficient academic progress every year in order to keep their residence permits. Degree students must obtain at least half of the required number of study credits per academic year. Premaster and preparatory year programmes however need to be completed within 1 year (or 1 semester for short premasters). Leiden University will check this at the end of every academic year. If your academic progress is insufficient, the IND may cancel your residence permit.

If the IND cancels your student residence permit you will either have to leave the Netherlands or apply for a residence permit on other legal grounds than study at Leiden University.

At Leiden University the following procedures are in place: If you have not made sufficient academic progress, the Board of Examiners of your study programme decides if there is a so-called valid reason for this fact, and communicates this to the central ‘Students and Educational Affairs’ department (SEA). At the end of the academic year, SEA/Admissions Office informs the IND which students have made insufficient academic progress that year without a valid reason.

Personal circumstances

When deciding if a student has made sufficient academic progress, the Board of Examiners can take into account the student’s personal circumstances. Depending on the seriousness and duration of these personal circumstances, the Board of Examiners can notify SEA/Admissions Office that the insufficient academic progress was the result of a so-called valid reason. The Board of Examiners must also inform SEA/Admissions Office upon which category of valid reasons they have based their decision. The student may only make use of each category of valid reasons on one occasion. These categories are:

  • Illness

  • Handicap

  • Pregnancy

  • Exceptional family circumstances

  • Board  duties, as specified and recognised in the ruling on ‘financial support for students’

What do you need to do if personal circumstances hinder your studies?

As soon as personal circumstances threaten to hinder your academic progress you must contact your study advisor to discuss your progress and, if required, draw up an adapted study plan. In addition, preferably before 15 June and ultimately before 15 July of the academic year during which you do no obtain sufficient academic progress, you must submit a personal statement detailing the nature, seriousness and duration of the circumstances to SEA (c/o the secretariat SSO/PO, Postbus 9500, 2300 RA Leiden). This statement must be accompanied by documentary evidence, for example a doctor’s statement concerning the illness/handicap. The Student Counsellors will then evaluate the legitimacy, expected duration and seriousness of these personal circumstances and issue a report on their findings to the Board of Examiners of your study programme. The Board of Examiners can only take the above-mentioned personal circumstances into account if they have been correctly registered with SEA. Only then can any agreements drawn up with your study advisor be taken into consideration. A Student Progress Meeting must also have taken place between you and your study advisor, during which binding agreements have been made to minimise the delay to your studies.

In exceptional circumstances, in which a student’s academic progress has been hindered due to circumstances beyond his/her control, the Board of Examiners is entitled, without intervention from the Students and Educational Affairs department (SEA), to assign the following valid reasons: ‘academic circumstances beyond the control of the student’ or ‘hardship clause’.

The Board of Examiners will always send its decision to the student, with a copy to SEA/Admissions Office. Objections to this decision can be addressed to the Examination Appeals Board at Postbus 9500, 2300 RA Leiden, within six weeks of the date of issuance of this final decision.

Last Modified: 22-11-2016