The Appeals Tribunal for Higher Education
The Appeals Tribunal hears appeals in the field of higher education (universities and universities of professional education). The Tribunal consists of nine judges and is supported by three clerks.
What does the Appeals Tribunal do?
A student may lodge an appeal if he disagrees with a decision by the board of administration or with a ruling by the examination appeals board (CBE).
The Appeals Tribunal gives a final ruling on such an appeal. This may be about:
- tuition fee or examination fee; financial support; exemptions;
- decentralised selection; voluntary contribution;
- violation of the house rules and measures of order of the institution;
- admission to the bachelor’s or master’s degree programme; iudicium abeundi;
- rulings relating to examinations.
How does the Appeals Tribunal work?
- If a student disagrees with a decision by the board of administration, he must first start a procedure for filing a notice of objection with his the institution concerned. Information about such a procedure can be obtained from that institution. If the student disagrees with the result of this procedure, he may lodge an appeal with the Tribunal.
- This has to be done in writing. From that moment on it takes about four months before the Tribunal gives a ruling.
- The student may lodge an appeal with the Tribunal against a ruling by the examination appeals board (CBE). In both cases that must be done in writing. After that it takes about four months until a ruling is given.
Before a case is heard, it must first be prepared in writing. This means that the student must pay the Tribunal's registry fee in time and that the institution is given an opportunity to present a defence against the grounds submitted by the student. Then a hearing is held. In principle, a case is heard by three judges. Both the student and the institution / the CBE are given an opportunity to explain their viewpoints. A period of twenty minutes is reserved for a case, sometimes a hearing rakes more than one hour.
There will not always be a hearing. If a case is very clear, then the President of the Tribunal may give a ruling without a hearing having been held. An objection may be filed to such a ruling and then the student is given an opportunity after all to put forward his arguments during a hearing. Urgent cases Sometimes it is necessary that a ruling is obtained right away. This is comparable to interim injunction proceedings. Officially such a ruling is called a ‘provisional ruling’. For example: a student is denied access to the institution while his (repeat) preliminary examinations are to be taken a few days later. In such a case a hearing can be convened and a ruling can be given within a period of a few days to two weeks.
It is not mandatory to retain a lawyer. It is advisable, however, to use the services of a legal expert.
Lodging an appeal or requesting a provisional rulings costs € 44 per case (in 2012). This is called the Tribunal’s registry fee. If the Tribunal decides in favour of the student, this Tribunal’s registry fee is refunded to him.
Correspondence, including letters of appeal, should be written in Dutch.
For good order’s sake, the proceedings will be conducted in the Dutch language. If you do not speak Dutch or are not sufficiently fluent in the Dutch language, you may bring a person with you who is fluent in Dutch or authorise this person or someone else to appear on your behalf.