Flexible study

What is flexible study?

In the academic year 2019-2020, Utrecht University started the experiment of flexible study for selected target groups and under certain conditions. Flexible study makes it possible for students to take fewer courses during the academic year, and to pay only for those courses (plus a 15% surcharge for administration costs). The aim of the experiment is to find out whether this form of flexible study leads to wider access to higher education, greater student satisfaction, more opportunities for individual development and a lower drop-out rate. This experiment runs up to and including the academic year 2023-2024. Dutch Parliament will decide in 2023 whether the experiment will be turned into a law so that all study programmes can make flex-study possible.

For which degree programmes is flexible study possible?

Flexible study is only possible for one of the following bachelor's programmes:

What are the conditions for flexible study?

There are four conditions:

  • You register or re-register as a full-time student.
    Flexible study is not possible if you are an auditing, premaster or part-time student.
  • You belong to one of the following target groups:
    • Flexible study allows you to combine your job and study more easily.
    • You are an Elite Sports Student.
    • You are a member of a student board and receive at least €425 from Utrecht University in 2021-2022 as compensation for board activities.
    • At the start of the degree programme you provide informal care for your father, mother, brother or sister, son or daughter. This kind of informal care goes further than 'usual help'. It is unpaid help that has not been imposed as an obligation on someone. Help for individuals without a health condition, such as childcare for healthy children and grandchildren, does not come under this target group.
    • You have a chronic illness or disability.
  • The programme may limit the number of flex students. Check the information provided with the programme.
  • You are eligible for the statutory fee.

Registration and selection

You must register via Studielink and participate in the registration and selection procedure for the bachelor's programme. Once you have been admitted, you will receive further information from the bachelor's programme on how to apply for flexible study. For further information, click on the link above for your bachelor's programme.

Binding study advice

For first-year students who are eligible for flexible study, other requirements may apply to the Binding Study Advice. More information can be found on the website of your bachelor's programme.

Tuition fees

For each credit (ECTS) you pay 1/60 of the statutory tuition fees, plus 15%. This surcharge has been determined by the Minister of Education.

Flexible study is not an economical option in all cases:

  • You plan a number of courses for the full academic year, but stop during that year (e.g. after two or six months). In that case you won't receive a refund of the tuition fees you have been charged.
  • If you intend to take courses that are worth more than 52 ECTS, the surcharge of 15% will make this a more expensive option.

If you have paid tuition fees to another education institution for 2021-2022, you will have to pay the statutory tuition fees again to Utrecht University.

No Proof of Payment of Tuition Fees (Bewijs van Betaald Collegegeld) will be issued for another education institution.

The tuition fees can be paid as a lump sum or in instalments. More information about the payment method

Deregistration and refund of tuition fees

If you deregister, you will not receive a refund of tuition fees. No exceptions are possible unless you are forced to stop the study due to demonstrable unforeseen circumstances. To this end, you must make an appointment with a student counsellor through Student Services.

Student grant

As you are a full-time student, you are entitled to a student grant (DUO). How long and what you will receive as a student grant will depend on your student grant history.

Financial compensation for a delay in your studies

This is only possible:

  • For the part that you have already said in advance you wish to take as flexible study.
  • If you are unable to complete this part due to circumstances beyond your control, as referred to in the Financial support scheme in cases of circumstances beyond one's control (Regeling Financiële steun op grond van overmacht);
  • If you meet the other conditions of this scheme.

More information about circumstances beyond your control.