Education minister acts on student stress, cuts course credit requirement


Education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf is changing the rules which determine if first year students should be allowed to continue their degrees,  in order reduce the stress caused by the current system.

At the moment it is up to colleges and universities to decide how many of the 60 credits a student should have obtained to progress to the second year. Many take 45 as the lower limit while some insist students have obtained all 60 credits to move up.

Dijkgraaf has now announced he is setting an upper limit of 30 credits as the standard.

The current set-up, he said, is causing too much stress for students who are already struggling for whatever reason. ‘Too much pressure can paralyse students and reduce their performance, making it hard to see if the student is right for the course,’ the minister said.

Students’ union LSVB has welcomed the minister’s move but says the credit-based admission system should be scrapped altogether.

Research published in 2021 showed 12% of Dutch students suffered from serious psychiatric complaints, with performance-related stress a major factor.

The minister wants to introduce the change from the 2025-26 academic year.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation