As a student you are subject to different types of regulations on education and examinations, guidelines and naturally, the law. Many decisions are taken at the university regarding education, examinations and interim examinations. Some of these decisions concern you directly. If you disagree with a decision that concerns you, you can submit an appeal or an objection. In that case you may have a number of questions, such as:
- What decisions can I appeal against?
- Where should I submit my appeal?
- What is the appeal period?
- What is the appeal procedure?
- How long does the procedure take?
This Student Information Leaflet explains the procedure for submitting an appeal with the Examination Appeals Board (abbreviated to CBE). If this leaflet does not answer all your questions you can always contact your student counsellor or student advisor.
What decisions can I appeal against with the examinations appeals board?
The Examination Appeals Board is competent as regards the following decisions, as laid down in Article 7.61, first paragraph, of the Dutch Higher Education and Research Act (WHW):
- The decision regarding admission to examinations, the Bachelor's degree programme or the initial Master's degree programme. This concerns decisions by or on behalf of the Executive Board which are not decisions of a general nature and which are taken on the grounds of or pursuant to the provisions in Chapter 7, Title 2 of the WHW or Article 6, fourth paragraph, Article 7, fourth paragraph, and Article 8, fourth paragraph of the Dutch Act on trails regarding entry requirements to higher education (Experimentenwet) of 2005.
- The decisions taken on the grounds of the additional examination for admission to the Bachelor's degree programme or the Medicine study programme. This concerns an additional examination that is required if the further educational entry requirements (Art. 7.25, fourth paragraph and 7.28, fourth paragraph of the WHW) have not been met.
- The decision of a colloquium doctum committee (Art.7.29 of the WHW);
- The decision of the Examination Board or of an examiner.
Examples of a decision of an Examination Appeals Board or examiner are: determining the result of an examination or interim examination; refusing to grant an exemption; refusing to give the student the chance to resit an interim examination;
- The decision of or on behalf of the Executive Board regarding the calculation of the total number of credits obtained by a student (Art.7.9a of the WHW);
- The decision regarding the binding study advice and the decision regarding termination of enrolment based on a negative binding study advice (Art. 7.8b, third and fifth paragraphs of the WHW).
A decision is understood to mean a decision within the meaning of the Dutch General Administrative Law act (Algemene wet bestuursrecht, AWB), in other words "a written decision of an administrative body entailing a legal act governed by public law".
You can also submit an appeal:
- against the written refusal to make a decision;
- if a decision is not taken in a timely manner. This means within the statutory period for making a decision or, if there is no statutory period, a reasonable period after receipt of the request to make a decision. A reasonable period is eight weeks at the most.
Who can submit an appeal?
An appeal can be submitted with the Examination Appeals Board by an interested party, that is to say the person who is directly affected by a decision.
In principle, a person who is appealing against the result of an interim examination that he or she has already passed does not meet this requirement. In this situation he or she will generally not have an interest in appealing against a decision. There may be circumstances in which a person who has passed is nonetheless considered an interested party.
Grounds of appeal
If you disagree with the decision you can submit an appeal. However, you must be able to provide legal grounds for the appeal. The grounds of appeal are described in the WHW, i.e. the decision violates the law (Art. 7.61, second paragraph of the WHW). It may violate other general binding provisions, such as the Teaching and Examination Regulations of the faculty or the Rules and Regulations of the Examination Board, or a principle of good governance. Examples of a principle of good governance are:
- the principle of trust (the Examination Board fails to meet a promise it has made)
- the principle of equality (equal cases are not treated equally)
- the principle of due care
- the principle of justification (the decision is based on incorrect facts or is not well reasoned)
- the principle of legal certainty.
Naturally these must be well substantiated in your notice of appeal!
Period of appeal
The decision always specifies the period within you can submit an appeal. If the notice of appeal is received before the end of the specified period, you will have submitted it in time. The period of appeal is six weeks and starts on the day after the date of notification of the decision. If you send your notice of appeal by post, make sure you post the notice of appeal before the end of the period of appeal. In that case the notice of appeal must be received no later than a week after the end of the period of appeal.
If you fail to submit your notice of appeal in time, you run the risk of your appeal being declared inadmissible. This will not be the case if it cannot reasonably be stated that you have been in default. In that case it is possible to excuse the exceeding of the period of appeal. Note that holiday or illness are generally not considered valid grounds for exceeding the period of appeal. In that case it is advisable to authorise someone to submit the notice of appeal, or a preliminary notice of appeal, on your behalf. In a preliminary notice of appeal you can indicate that you will supplement the grounds of appeal at a later date.
It is assumed that the person submitting the appeal (the applicant) will have first contacted the relevant body or the relevant examiner/lecturer to discuss the applicant's objections (the substantive settlement effort).
If you would like to discuss the contested decision with the person or body that has made the decision or would like advice from a student adviser or student counsellor before submitting an appeal, don't forget that the appeal period is six weeks!
Notice of appeal
In your notice of appeal, always specify your name, address, telephone number, student number, e-mail address and your study programme. Clearly indicate the decision you are appealing against and the body or staff member who made the decision, as well as why you are appealing against the decision. If possible, include a copy of the decision against which you are appealing.
If you have any questions or if anything is not clear, make sure you contact a student counsellor, a student advisor or the secretary of the Examination Appeals Board in a timely manner. Whatever you decide to do, don't forget the period within which you can submit an appeal!
Submitting an appeal online
You can also submit your notice of appeal online with the EUR Legal Protection Facility. You can find the online service point on the website of the Erasmus Student Service Centre (ESSC) under the heading "Legal position". After submitting your appeal you will receive a confirmation of receipt and your notice of appeal will, often on the same day, be forwarded to the Examination Appeals Board for further treatment.
You can also submit your notice of appeal per mail (email@example.com) or in writing by sending it to the EUR Legal Protection Facility. The address is EUR Faciliteit Rechtsbescherming, Erasmus Building, room A1-53, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam.
Admissibility of an appeal
Admissibility of the appeal depends on whether the person submitting the appeal:
- has observed the statutory period of appeal;
- has remedied any procedural irregularities in a timely manner;
- has a direct interest in the contested decision.
The period of amicable settlement
After the Examination Appeals Board has received the notice of appeal, the secretary of the Examination Appeals Board will first send the notice of appeal to the body that is to review the decision in connection with the so-called amicable settlement effort.
The body in question has a three-week period to do so. Within this period the body must notify the Examination Appeals Board if an amicable settlement has been reached. If this is not the case, a notice of opposition should also be submitted within this period. However, the body in question can apply for a delay in submitting the notice of opposition. The chairman of the Board decides on this application for a delay.
After receiving the notice of opposition, the Examination Appeals Board sends a copy of this to the applicant. If desired the parties can respond again to the notice of opposition (statement of reply of the applicant and statement of rejoinder of the opposing party).
In cases in which the interest of the applicant calls for "interim relief" (in urgent cases), the applicant can apply for a provisional measure with the chairman of the Examination Appeals Board. This procedure will be implemented alongside the treatment of the main case. The chairman of the Board will hear both parties in each other's presence, and a report will be made of the hearing. After assessing the application, the chairman will issue a ruling on the provision applied for as soon as possible.
Hearing of the Examination Appeals Board
If the amicable settlement effort does not succeed, the applicant's appeal will be handled by the plenary Examination Appeals Board.
The parties will be invited to a hearing of the Board. The Board holds hearings at fixed times according to a schedule that is set in advance (on Monday morning, once every three weeks). The parties will be notified of the date and time of the hearing in a timely manner.
The Examination Appeals Board may also handle an appeal without hearing the parties, for instance if the appeal is evidently inadmissible or evidently unfounded, or if the parties have indicated not to wish to exercise their right to be heard. It may also be the case that the applicant's objection has in the meantime been met.
The parties may at all times be assisted by a counsel or authorise a power of attorney to represent them. They may also bring along witnesses and experts. You should inform the secretary of the Examination Appeals Board of the names of these witnesses and experts four days before the hearing.
All documents will be available for inspection one week before the hearing, unless these concern documents of a very personal nature (to be determined by the chairman of the Examination Appeals Board).
In principle the hearings of the Board are public.
The Board may also summon witnesses and experts.
At the hearing the parties will be given the opportunity to explain, again, their points of view.
Finally, the parties may supplement the contents of the notice of appeal, the notice of opposition, the statements of reply or rejoinder as well as the grounds on which these are based up until the end of the hearing.
The Examination Appeals Board may add related issues or separate issues that are not connected.
The ruling of the Examination Appeals Board
The Examination Appeals Board must issue a ruling within ten weeks of receiving the notice of appeal. This period can be extended by four weeks if desired.
The deliberations in which the ruling is issued are conducted in closed session. This part of the hearing is not public. The ruling is founded on the submitted documents and on the matters presented at the hearing.
As a rule, the Board will issue a ruling on the day of the hearing. In the period following the hearing the parties can enquire as to the Board's ruling. The written ruling will follow within a period of two to three weeks. This period may be extended.
The ruling may be as follows:
the appeal is inadmissible: this means that the content of the appeal cannot be evaluated because of evident procedural irregularities: the Board will not proceed to evaluate the content of the appeal;
the appeal is unfounded: the contested decision is upheld;
the appeal is founded: the contested decision is repealed in whole or in part. The opposing party has to make a new decision, taking into account the Board's ruling. Sometimes a period is set for this in the Board's ruling.
Note: The Examination Appeals Board cannot itself make a decision to take the place of the decision that has been repealed (in whole or in part) (Art. 7.61, sixth paragraph of the WHW).
An interested party can lodge an appeal against a ruling by the Examination Appeals Board with the Higher Education Appeals Tribunal. However, it is not possible to lodge an appeal if the ruling of the Examination Appeals Board regards a decision on:
the assessment of the knowledge or skills of a student as tested in an examination or in some other manner (Art. 8:4, under e of the AWB);
the setting of assignments, assessment standards or further rules for examination or testing (Art. 8:4, under e of the AWB).
- Dutch Higher Education and Research Act (Wet op het hoger onderwijs en wetenschappelijk onderzoek,WHW), Articles 7.59a, 7.60, 7.61, 7.62 and 7.63
- Dutch General Administrative Law Act (Algemene wet bestuursrecht, AWB)
- Rules of Procedure of the Examination Appeals Board that can be found on the website of the Board.
Rulings of the Examination Appeals Board
The rulings of the Examination Appeals Board are published on the website of the Board, under "Rulings".
Annual reports by the Examination Appeals Board
The annual reports of the Examination Appeals Board dating back to 2000 can also be found on the website of the Board, under "Annual reports".
Examination Appeals Board
Erasmus Building, room A1-53
Telephone: +31 10 408 1125
Higher Education Appeals Tribunal
You can find information about student counsellors on www.eur.nl. Go to the section "Advice & counselling" under 'Student counsellors'.
You can make an appointment with one of the student counsellors online.