Tuition free board year – UU

  • Do you receive compensation for board activities of €4250 for your board position?
  • Are you taking up your post before 1 December 2021?
  • Do you comply with Article 4 paragraphs 1 a, c, e, f, and g of the Compensation for board activities grants scheme?

Then you have three options for receiving your compensation for board activities. Whatever option you choose, it will apply to the whole of the 2021-2022 academic year. You cannot change your mind later!

Option 1: Standard compensation for board activities

  • You enrol in your first Bachelor’s or Master’s programme for the 2021-2022 academic year; and
  • You pay your statutory tuition fees yourself; and
  • You may take examinations and graduate in that academic year (in September 2021 or August 2022, for example).
  • In other words, you may graduate, but you may not terminate your enrolment during the year. Graduation and terminating enrolment are two different things.

Option 2: Tuition free board year – old style

  • You do NOT enrol in the 2021-2022 academic year; and
  • You do not pay statutory tuition fees (exceptions to the requirement that you remain enrolled for the whole of the academic year are only allowed in the case of ‘old style’); and
  • You may not take any examinations or receive any higher education elsewhere; and
  • You may not graduate in that academic year (so not in August 2022 either!!!).

These regulations have been set down by the minister. We refer to this as the tuition free board year – old style. It is not possible to withdraw from this scheme during the course of the 2021-2022 academic year or to amend it, or to enrol in any higher education – anywhere in the Netherlands. Nor is there any legal provision for applying for the scheme for a limited number of months.

This option is often used by:

  • student board members who formally graduate from their Bachelor’s programme on 31 August 2021 at the latest, who then wish to spend a year on board activities, before starting a UU Master’s programme in 2022-2023.
  • Student board members who wish to take a year out from their Bachelor’s or Master’s programme including examinations and not continue or complete it until 2022-2023.

Option 3: Tuition free board year – new style

  • You enrol in your Bachelor’s or (financed) Master’s for the whole of the 2021-2022 academic year; and
  • You do not pay any tuition fees; and
  • You may not take any examinations or receive any higher education anywhere; and
  • You may not graduate in that academic year (so not in August 2022 either!!!).

These regulations have been set down by the minister. We refer to this as the tuition free board year – new style. It is not possible to withdraw from this scheme during the course of the 2021-2022 academic year or to amend it. Nor is there any legal provision for applying for the scheme for a limited number of months.

This option is often used by:

  • student board members who wish to take a year out from their studies and examinations and not continue their Bachelor’s or Master’s programme at UU until 2022-2023.
  • student board members who are formally graduating from their Bachelor’s programme on 31 August 2021 at the latest and are enrolling in a Master’s programme at UU in 2021-2022, at the same time wishing to perform board activities (in other words, not actually taking any subjects).

Important follow-up information!

  • A tuition free board year in combination with ‘graduation postponement’ of your Bachelor’s programme can lead to difficult situations. Because you are not allowed to receive any teaching during your tuition free board year, you cannot graduate during that board year (which runs parallel to the academic year). For example, you have successfully completed all the subjects for your Bachelor’s programme in 2020-2021 and apply for a postponement of your graduation. You then spend 2021-2022 on a tuition free board year. That means you cannot graduate until September 2022. To do so, you will have to re-enrol in your Bachelor’s programme (and pay tuition fees). However, this also means that you will not have received your Bachelor’s degree on 1 September 2022, which you will probably need if you are planning to progress to a Master’s programme.
  • A tuition free board year in combination with an enrolment in two Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes can also cause problems. If you are taking two degree programmes in 2020-2021, then you should definitely seek our advice if you intend to do a tuition free board year in 2021-2022. As a result of transitional arrangements involving tuition fees, this could have significant financial consequences.
  • Read the application procedure very carefully, to make sure you do not overlook anything. See: the application procedure old and new style 
  • Read the advantages and disadvantages of both tuition free board year options carefully as well, to avoid problems later on. See here: An overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the two tuition free board year options

You are advised to discuss your options with one of the student counsellors at UU. Send an email to bestuurlijkactiefuu@uu.nl, stating your name, student number, student organisation, and the board position you are proposing to take, and ask your question.

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