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Binding Study Advice: No Impact

VU International News and Reviews No. 121 October 08 2018

October 2018

Researchers from the Amsterdam Center for Learning Analytics (ACLA) have published a study on “The Consequences of Academic Dismissal on Academic Success”. ACLA had a non-profit set-up and was founded by researchers from the Vrije Universiteit.

The study has analysed the impact of the “Binding Study Advice” that allows Dutch universities to dismiss students who fail to acquire the set minimum proportion of first year’s study points (often 45 out of 60 for a full year). Contrary to earlier studies, the researchers looked where the dismissed students went – to similar programmes elsewhere or other applications within their university.

It concludes that there are no significant differences in study success between students who just made the minimum threshold (escaping the dismissal) and those who just failed – and had to leave. The latter choose the same programme elsewhere (43,4%) or a similar programme in the same university 41,9%). After that switch, they show similar retention rates and time to degree as those who escaped dismissal. Consequently, they conclude that the “Binding Study Advice” adds no effectiveness to the Dutch HE system, except maybe by inducing the dismissed students to extra an effort.

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