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Study delay

Due to special circumstances beyond your control (force majeure), your studies may be delayed. It is important to report any circumstances that cause you delay, so that we can limit the delay as much as possible. Moreover, in some cases the delay can be compensated financially.

Study delay and requirement to report this

If you are delayed in your studies in the first four years of higher education (i.e. including the period that you may have studied somewhere else, a (hbo) bachelor's program also counts), then this delay can be compensated financially, if the delay is caused by recognised force majeure situations.  To this end, you are obliged to report any special circumstances that may lead to a delay to a dean of students in time.

If you wish to submit a request for a provision of study financing (DUO, only applicable to European students), for example extension of the performance-related grant, timely notification of the special circumstances is also required. Reporting to an education coordinator is not sufficient; you must do this to the dean of students.

In addition, first-year students are obliged to report to a dean of students if there are special circumstances that could lead to a delay in their studies, in connection with the binding study advice (BSA).  The dean of students can advise the examination board to take this into account.

Non-EEA students with a study visa must reach at least 50% of the study load each year. Only if they fail to meet this requirement due to special circumstances, which were reported to a dean of students in time, can we prevent these students from being deregistered from the IND. See also Study progress monitoring non-EU students.

What are the circumstances?

Special circumstances can be for example: if you yourself are ill or have psychological complaints that hinder your study progress, serious illness or death of (one of your) parents, brothers or sisters, caring responsibilities, pregnancy and childbirth, or one-off events that have a major impact on your life and study progress. It's always about force majeure, so it's something you haven't chosen for yourself.

Delays due to a management position, exchange with a foreign university, work or a  sidejob or your own company in addition to your studies or other matters of your own choice do not fall under force majeure: this is your own choice and therefore does not fall under the regulations for financial compensation or postponement bsa, and therefore not under the notification obligation.

  • PLEASE NOTE in many occasions not reported means not counted. The circumstances will only be taken into account once you have reported them.  Read here if and where you have to report special circumstances.

Circumstances after your fourth year

 If there are circumstances in your fifth year of study or later, you do not always have to report them to the Dean of  Students.  It is often sufficient to report them to the education coordinator. He or she can help you with an adjusted study planning.  This particularly applies to premaster's students with a hbo-degree, who by definition are already in their fifth year of study or later. Therefore, they can no longer be financially compensated for study delays.

Other provisions in case of special circumstances

If you wish to submit a request to an examination board on the grounds of special circumstances, you can do so directly to the examination board.  Please consult your education coordinator first.

If you have difficulty taking examinations in the regular way due to medical circumstances, you can request online examination facilities. You do not need to make an appointment.

Extra: Study delay because of COVID-19 measures

Tilburg University and all its teachers and staff are making great efforts to implement high quality education under the Corona measures in 2020-21 and 2021-22 within the framework of the government measures. The examination committees monitor the quality of the education, the examinations and the exams. 

For the study delay that you nevertheless incur or could have incurred as a result of the COVID-19 measures, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has determined in its policy document that study delay incurred as a result of the consequences of measures against the spread of COVID-19 does not fall under 'educational force majeure'.  This means that you cannot appeal to the profiling fund for this. 

  • Servicedocument 22-09-2021,  see section 2.8, page 12 on the additional student finance measures and section 2.9, page 13 on the profiling fund (only in Dutch).

Master's students who graduated between September 1, 2020 and September 1, 2021, (have) received from DUO a reimbursement of €535 (equivalent to three months of tuition fees), see the DUO website for more information (under the question "Am I eligible for financial compensation of my school or tuition fees?"). This is also available for non European students.

Study delay due to illness or special family circumstances (e.g. one of your parents is seriously ill or you are caring for sick family members), falls under the regular recognised grounds for delay. This is therefore eligible for a grant from the profiling fund, but only according to the current criteria. This means that the delay must have occurred in the first four years of higher education (including the (hbo) bachelor's program). 

How and when to report?

If you wish to make use of a (financial) facility, you must report circumstances that cause or may cause you to delay your studies in the first four years of higher education to a Dean of Students within two months of their occurrence. If you want your circumstances to be taken into account when formulating the binding study advice, you must report them before 1 July at the latest.

Especially for students with a study visa: report circumstances that prevent you from meeting the 50% progress requirement before 1 August to deanofstudents@tilburguniversity.edu.

You can report the circumstances by sending an e-mail to deanofstudents@tilburguniversity.edu, in which you explain concisely and objectively what is going on. If necessary, you will receive a link from the dean of students to schedule an appointment online.

Furthermore, you must always be able to provide written proof of the circumstance you are invoking. This can be a medical certificate or another document (certificate of social work, therapist, official report, legal document, etc.).  You can enclose this with your e-mail (preferably in pdf format; no pictures), but you can also take it with you to the appointment.

In this overview you can read whether and where you have to report circumstances.

Which financial provision can you apply for?

You are only entitled to financial support or possible extension of the performance grant if you do not yet have a diploma and if you are delayed in the period in which you are still entitled to a DUO performance grant (in other words: the first four years of your performance grant).  Any delay you may experience thereafter will be at your own expense and risk.

This means (also for international students without a DUO grant) that you must have suffered the delay within the first four years of your (first) higher education study. If you first studied elsewhere for two years before you started your studies here, this period has already expired after two years at Tilburg University. You must submit your request for financial support or a performance grant just before the end of that period ( see chapter 2, section 1, article 7 of the Profile fund, if you have Dutch study finance).

If you don't have Dutch study finance, you can submit a request for financial support at the end of the final year of the nominal  program lenght, provided that the circumstances you refer to, still occurred in the first four years (see chapter 3, article 16 of the Profile fund).

Students who already have a HBO diploma or another higher education diploma , can no longer claim financial support, because they have already studied for (at least) four years and moreover already have a final diploma in higher education.

  • See also DUO:  study delay, on the various provisions of the performance grant (only available in Dutch).

When special circumstances are reported that (may) lead to a delay, it can be discussed which actions can be taken to limit the delay as much as possible.

Agreements are made about the study progress and the possible possibilities for financial compensation, or advice to the examination board. Even for students who no longer claim financial provisions, it is therefore advisable to report circumstances in time.

In the event of a delay due to special family circumstances, you can only claim financial support according to the profile fund (no supplementary DUO facilities available).  Only if you are (have been) ill yourself can you also call on the facilities of DUO (given that you have a Dutch grant from DUO). Both facilities are explicitly subject to the reporting obligation and the Dean of Students is the one who decides whether you are eligible. He is also the only person who is authorized to support an application.

Financial support is not automatic

Reporting special circumstances does not mean that you automatically qualify for a financial settlement or other provisions. The nature of the circumstances, the impact on your study and the causal relationship between the circumstance and the study delay will always be examined.

For the recognized grounds for study delay, see chapter 2, section 1, article 4 of the Student Financial Support Regulations in the Profile Fund - for students with a Dutch study grant;  chapter 3, article 13 for international students without Dutch study granbts.

This reporting obligation is described in articles 6 and 15 of the Student Financial Support regulations in the Profile Fund.

Special target groups

There are special arrangements for: 

Don't wait too long to report, even if you think it will be not too bad, or that you will solve it yourself.  Study delay is only taken into account from the moment you report it.