Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Legal Protection

During or prior to the commencement of the course of study a (prospective) student or extraneous is faced with the decisions of staff or bodies of the college which bear consequences for the legal position of the person concerned. Should any (prospective) student or extraneous not be in agreement with such decisions he or she may, in some cases, protest to an "arbitrator" or lodge an appeal against it. The proviso is then that it should always concern a concrete and specific decision, with regard to the legal position of the person concerned, and not be a resolution of a general nature. In addition the notice of objection or appeal is to be submitted to the correct "arbitrator" in good time.

There are several "arbitrators". The Higher Education and Research Act of The Netherlands (WHW) and the Student Charter of the college both state which specialised "arbitrator" can be approached for which decision regarding the course of study and within which period.

The important "arbitrators" in higher education are:

In addition there are a number of regulations which are not specifically educational but which afford legal protection to those following a course.

Examination boards are not indicated as being an "arbitrator". The consequence of this is that they are not formally authorised to make pronouncements that are binding on both parties. The examination boards do, however, in practice play an important mediation role in the solving of disputes.

2. Mutually exclusive judgement

The Higher Education Appeals Tribunal considers other matters than the Examination Appeals Board. It is not therefore the case that, for instance, the board first referred to deals "in appeal" with the business of the board to which reference is made last. It is certainly the case however that a judgement of the Examination Appeals Board plays a part in the assessment of a dispute by the Higher Education Appeals Tribunal. The latter does not mean though that a case on which judgement has been made by the Higher Education Appeals Tribunal should be dealt with again.

3. Official language

All proceedings conducted by the Higher Education Appeals Tribunal and by the court are to be in the Dutch language. Other legal proceedings are generally conducted in the Dutch language; although in some oral cases English may also be spoken. In all cases judgements are written in the Dutch language. Those persons concerned who do not speak Dutch or who do so inadequately are advised to make use of an interpreter or to have themselves represented by an authorised representative who speaks Dutch. Any costs involved are in principal for the account of the person concerned.

4. Periods of time

The parties are given periods of time in legal proceedings in which a reaction is to be made. It is important for those concerned to observe these set periods. Should this not be done the chance is great that the objection or appeal be disallowed.

Published by  Legal Affairs 9 November 2016