Waiting time

Sometimes a programme is unable to offer educational activities at all times, which means you are unable to earn the credits you need. In official jargon, this is known as a ‘programme offering insufficient opportunity for completion’. An example includes the waiting times for residencies sometimes faced by Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine students.

All degree programmes must be organised so that in principle you can earn 60 EC credits in each academic year. You have a compulsory waiting time if, in any academic year, you cannot earn 60 EC credits and cannot undertake other activities to compensate for this.

What do you need to know and what arrangements are necessary when you face a waiting time?

First point of contact

If you anticipate a waiting time for work experience placements or residencies (the latter applies only for Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine students), the best option is to contact the Study Advisor for your programme or faculty. Together with your Study Advisor, you can discuss ways of minimising delays in your studies.

Advice and facilities

The available options include:

  • Adjust your study programme (e.g. completing electives first)
  • Temporarily interrupting your studies. You can do this via Studielink.

Please note! The information below only applies to students who receive a student grant from DUO.

Extending the deadline for obtaining a diploma

If the waiting time you face is likely to prevent you from earning your diploma within 10 years (Performance-related student grant DUO), you may be eligible for an extension to the deadline for obtaining a diploma. Contact a Student Counsellor at Student Services.

Things to consider when you cancel your enrolment

  • If you cancel your enrolment you will qualify for a refund of your tuition fees.
  • Please note that when you cancel your enrolment, you forfeit your right to a student and student travel product from DUO.
    If you are older than 30 before the waiting time starts or will reach that age during the waiting time, cancelling your enrolment can be disadvantageous for you. One eligibility requirement for a student grant is that you commence a course that offers a student grant before the age of 30.
  • Cancelling your enrolment also has other consequences for your student grant and insurance.
  • If you stop work in order to replace lost income or apply for benefits, you should take into account fiscal repercussions: you may have to pay additional tax.

Things to consider when you remain enrolled

  • You are enrolled as a full-time student, so you can continue to receive a student grant and a student public transport card.
  • You will pay tuition fees.
  • You may be eligible for financial compensation from Utrecht University. In order to qualify for this, you must meet the following conditions:
    • Your studies must actually have been delayed. You must have been unable to earn 60 EC credits in one year of your degree programme.
    • You cannot engage in any compensatory study activities.
    • There must be a compulsory waiting time, rather than a voluntary waiting time (starting later in the year because you were on holiday for six months does not count).