Year class system

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the year class system

  1. What is the ‘year class system’?
  2. What is the compensation scheme?
  3. Why does the compensation scheme differ per programme?
  4. Does compensation between subjects have a negative effect on quality?
  5. The number of re-sits is limited; why is that?
  6. It all seems so school-like. Will it be deep enough?
  7. Are you given assistance in learning how to study?
  8. What does the EUR want to achieve with the year class system?
  9. Are all programmes using the year class system?
  10. How do you deal with students who have been ill for an extended period, or who, because of personal circumstances (death of a family member), have not earned all their credits?
  11. Isn’t it quite difficult to pass first year in one go?
  12. If I do not meet the required standard, can I repeat the year or do I have to leave anyway?
  13. How do you treat students who want to follow more programmes simultaneously?
  14. Does the EUR provide other possibilities for extra development if you choose not to follow a second programme?
  15. How do you treat students who are members of a society, or who for example, want to fulfil a board position?
  16. Do other universities plan to do the same?
  17. Do you have to be extra motivated before you register at the EUR?
  18. Is it wise to start a study if you are not 100% sure you have made the right choice?
  19. How can the university help if you are not 100% sure of your study choice?
  20. Does the EUR monitor performance throughout the academic year?
  21. So, I can confidently choose the EUR year class system?


1. What is the ‘year class system’?
With a year class system you pass first year in one go: you proceed onto second year with a clean slate. In fact, it is the same system used in secondary schools. To help you, you can compensate tolerable fails with passes, you are given a number of re-sit opportunities and more attention is given to study guidance. Every programme makes its own rules on the first year requirements. If it is apparent that you do not meet these requirements, you will receive a negative binding study advice. The consequence is that you have to stop with the programme and may not register with us for the programme for the coming three years. More information is available on the site of the programme of your choice, or will appear on the site in the coming months.

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2. What is the compensation scheme?
With the compensation scheme, you can compensate a fail with one or more passes. We look at your average grade(s). An average grade is a good indication of your general knowledge level. There is a limit to the compensation, for example, the fail may not be too low. There may also be subjects that may not be compensated. The precise interpretation of the compensation scheme differs per programme.

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3. Why does the compensation scheme differ per programme?
Because every programme has a different content and organisation of subjects, each programme is examined to determine the best way of implementing the compensation scheme. The exact scheme for your programme is on the site of the programme of your choice, or will be published there.

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4. Does compensation between subjects have a negative effect on quality?
Of course, you must have enough knowledge and skills to complete a university programme. The compensation scheme does not change that. Research into our Economics programme showed that students who were able to use the compensation scheme, were not of a lower standard than students who worked with the old system. Compare it to the vwo: at the end of the year, the average achievement of the student is evaluated. Thereby, there is (almost complete) compensation that is not at the expense of the quality.

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5. The number of re-sits is limited; why is that?
Scientific research has shown that every opportunity for a student to re-sit is a reason to postpone the study. In addition, precisely those delaying tactics break many students: they experience delays or drop out. By limiting the number of re-sits we want to encourage students to take the examination as seriously as possible and prepare properly at the first attempt. That is what we call smart studying. We regard re-sits as the last straw, not as a study strategy (‘I didn’t study enough for this exam, that’s why I have decided to sit it later’…).

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6. It all seems so school-like. Will it be deep enough?
Of course, the content of the subjects maintains the same academic level. What we have changed is the way education is organised. As an EUR student, you are offered a good and clear structure for the study. You know beforehand exactly what is expected of you. That has nothing to do with being school-like, just as it is not ‘academic’ to leave students to their own devices. We challenge you as a student to explore the material in detail and to pay serious attention to the development of academic skills.

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7. Are you given assistance in learning how to study?
To study successfully, besides brains, you also need tools. You have to learn how to study smartly. The fact that you are able to study at the university says a lot about your brains. In addition, many students have the necessary tools such as being able to plan well and to differentiate between major and minor issues. We offer support to less capable students, for example through training in how to study actively and efficiently and in time management.

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8. What does the EUR want to achieve with the year class system?
We want to motivate students to study smartly and therefore to be successful. We encourage you to study and perform on a daily basis. In addition, with the year class system we promote the team spirit. Your starting year class stays together as far as possible which strengthens the bond you have with fellow students.

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9. Are all programmes using the year class system?
Starting in academic year 2011-2012 the following four programmes are using the year class system: Public Administration, Education Science, Psychology and Sociology. In principle, commencing in 2012-2013 all programmes, with the exception of Medicine, will participate. Each programme will interpret the system in its own way. It is understood that the effects and results of the year class system will be continuously monitored, so that policy can be revised where necessary.

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10. How do you deal with students who have been ill for an extended period, or who, because of personal circumstances (death of a family member), have not earned all their credits?
Every programme offers students, who are reasonably entitled, the possibility to invoke ‘personal circumstances’ and includes more detailed information on this in its examination regulations. Extra measures for these extraordinary circumstances are for example offering the opportunity of an extra re-sit or the possibility of taking more than a year to complete first year. Therefore, we take extraordinary circumstances into consideration if these influence your study performance.

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11. Isn’t it quite difficult to pass first year in one go?
The objective of the year class system is certainly not to make studying more difficult; you don’t have to be afraid of that. Furthermore, with the compensation scheme you are less likely to stumble over that one difficult subject that suits you less. What we do is encourage you to study smartly. We make you actively involved in your studies, so that you actually study and stop postponing deadlines. Research has shown that students who spend sufficient time on their studies and prepare properly for exams, have a very good chance of passing first year.

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12. If I do not meet the required standard, can I repeat the year or do I have to leave anyway?
If you do not meet the required standard, and there are no mitigating circumstances (see question 10), then you receive a negative study advice. That means that you must stop with the programme. Furthermore, you may not start the same study again for a period of three years.

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13. How do you treat students who want to follow more programmes simultaneously?
With the new scheme, you can also follow two programmes simultaneously. However, if you follow more programmes side by side, you have to meet the requirements of the binding study advice for each programme separately. However, this last point does not apply to the Bachelor programme of Economics and Law.

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14. Does the EUR provide other possibilities for extra development if you choose not to follow a second programme?
If you perform well, the EUR provides opportunities for further development. You can, for example, after completing your first year, take the course Philosophy of an Academic Field alongside your programme, or take extra honours classes. The EUR offers a wide selection of honours classes for the really ambitious and talented student. If you are such a student, then you will find the challenge you are seeking there.

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15. How do you treat students who are members of a society, or who for example, want to fulfil a board position?
The time you may spend on societies or other activities alongside your studies are the hours that remain next to studying. If you plan your time properly, you will be able to do many activities next to your studies, and still manage to pass first year at your first attempt.

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16. Do other universities plan to do the same?
The EUR continuously works on improving the quality of education. This is what we have displayed over the last few years. For example, the EUR was a pioneer in the implementation of the Binding Study Advice and decentralised selection. Because all students will be confronted with the ‘eternal student regulation’ commencing 2012 (students who take more than four years to complete a three year programme will be fined), we expect that other universities will also implement similar innovations to counter study delays or drop outs.

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17. Do you have to be extra motivated before you register at the EUR?
It is expected that ambitious, motivated students who have consciously chosen for the EUR will benefit from this system. The EUR is happy to put energy into these students. By means of more intense education and extra guidance where necessary. Only then can you speak of improvement in quality. In this new study environment, students will then motivate and inspire each other: if it is the aim of all students to pass first year in one go, it will give everyone a positive boost.

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18. Is it wise to start a study if you are not 100% sure you have made the right choice?
For every programme at every university, it is important to give your study choice a lot of attention. This is no different at the EUR. With a smart approach to your studies, with us you will simply proceed to your second year with a clean slate.

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19. How can the university help if you are not 100% sure of your study choice?
With the year class system, we want to encourage prospective students to think very seriously about their choice of study. This is necessary, because the government offers less and less opportunity to switch. We are aware that the university plays a role in this selection process. That is why we offer, among other things, study choice interviews. If you are not 100% sure of your choice, ask for a study choice interview. For more information about this, check the site of the programme of your choice.

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20. Does the EUR monitor performance throughout the academic year?
The study advisor keeps a close eye on your progress. For all four programmes where we have already made a start, the study advisors look closely at the performance after every exam. In addition, there are fixed moments during the year when the study advisor draws up and informs you of your intermediate position. If there are indications that you need extra guidance, the study advisor will invite you for an interview. Lastly, you can check your performance and study progress online in real time. In addition, if you have any questions, you can make an appointment with your study advisor, or you can see him during the weekly consultation hours.

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21. So, I can confidently choose the EUR year class system?
Yes, we offer a clear and solid education programme: the year class system. With a compensation scheme, a limited number of re-sit opportunities and if you need it, extra study guidance. We encourage you to study smartly, by ‘keeping up’. If you show us enough dedication and ambition, a good match will be created and you will be able to proceed to second year without a backlog and with a clean slate.