Filing an objection
You can file an objection against written decisions taken by a body within the university, for example decisions taken by the Executive Board. This can be decisions regarding admission to a bachelor, your registration or regarding tuition fees.
Against which decisions can you file an objection?
In principle, you can file an objection against a written decision taken by a body of the UM, if you do not agree with the decision and it is not possible to lodge an appeal against the decisions based on Dutch law (article 7.61 of the Dutch higher education and research Act). Concerning objections, this means that you can object decisions taken by or on behalf of the Executive Board regarding (de)registration, decisions regarding the ranking of numerus fixus education, like the bachelor’s programme Medicine or International Business, decisions regarding tuition fees or financial support through the UM ‘Profileringsfonds’. You might also file an objection in cases where a body of the UM has refused to take a decision.
How and where to file an objection
You can file an objection with the Complaints Service Point (CSP). The CSP forwards your objection to the Advisory Committee for Student Affairs (AC). The AC handles objections on behalf of the Executive Board (you can find an explanation of the procedure below). Please note: do not wait too long to file an objection. You need to file an objection within six weeks after the day that the (contested) decision has been published. The term starts the day after the decision has been published or has been send to you. If you do not file your objection on time, there is a chance the AC will decide your objection is inadmissible. This means you forfeit your right to file an objection!
An objection is filed on time when it the CSP has received it before the term of six week has passed. This is in accordance with Dutch law (article 6:9 paragraph 1 of the Dutch general administrative law act). You can read more on the deadlines that apply when filing an appeal here.
When you wish to file an objection, we ask you to fill out the objection form, provide your motivation for filing an objection – the grounds for your objection – and attach a copy or screenshot of the contested decision.
You can find an example of a motivation for filing an objection in the document below:
Once you have, carefully, followed all the steps in the objection form, gathered all the relevant documents and attached them, you can send your objection to the CSP.
Complaints Service Point
Deliver at the SSC:
Information desk Visitor’s Centre
6211 KL Maastricht
Monday - Friday. from 8.30 until 18.00 hours
Please write clearly on the envelope: attn. Complaints Service Point (CSP)
For questions regarding your legal position as a student or about submitting an objection, appeal or complaint you can contact the UM Studentdeans via: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rules of Procedure Maastricht University Complaints Service Point
Rules of Procedure Maastricht University Advisory Committee for Student Affairs
Dutch Higher education and Research act
What to expect from an objection procedure?
Once you have filed an objection with Maastricht University (UM), you have started an official legal procedure, to which (parts of) the Dutch General administrative law act (Algemene wet bestuursrecht) is applicable. The procedure will proceed as follows:
Acknowledgement of receipt
After you have submitted your objection, the CSP sends you a confirmation of receipt by email as soon as possible. The CSP then proceeds to forwards your objection to the AC. You receive a separate confirmation of receipt by email from the AC. The AC handles objections on behalf of the Executive Board.
Attempt for amicable settlement
The AC commences with sending your objection to the responsible UM body that has taken the contested decision. The AC requests this body to review within a reasonable time span if the objection warrants reconsideration of its decision or a possible amicable settlement. It is likely that the responsible body will contact you via email or phone to discuss your objection. The result of this inquiry may also be that no amicable settlement is reached, but that after contact with the responsible UM body you do not wish to proceed with your objection. In that case, your objection can be withdrawn by sending a notice of withdrawal to the AC.
Hearing and working language
If an amicable settlement is not reached within the set time span, you receive an invitation via email from the AC for a hearing. Prior to this hearing, the AC also sends you the written reply of the responsible body who has taken the decision on your letter of objection. This way, you are able to prepare for the hearing and reply to their arguments during the hearing. During the hearing, the representatives of the responsible body who has taken the decision are also invited.
The AC consists of three members: an external chair, an employee of the UM, and a student of the UM. In addition, a secretary assists the AC. The goal of the hearing is for AC to acquire all the relevant information in order to be able to give a sound advice regarding the objection to the Executive Board.
In light of the Dutch General administrative law act, hearings are held in Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch, you may bring someone who does. This can be a professional interpreter, but this is not necessary. If you cannot arrange for a Dutch speaker to accompany you to the hearing, you can request the secretary of the AC for the hearing to be in English. Please make sure you do this as soon as possible and within a reasonable time prior to the hearing. The chair of the AC decides on your request.
Advice and and decision on your objection
Taking into consideration the written documents that have been provided to the AC by both parties and the matters discussed during the hearing, the AC will advise the Executive Board on the objection procedure. The Executive Board ultimately takes a decision on the objection, taking the advice of the AC into consideration. The Executive Board has to take this decision within ten weeks after receipt of your objection by the CSP. This is in accordance with article 7.63b of the Dutch Higher education and research Act.
The decision of the Executive Board can be either of the following:
- The objection is not admissible: as a consequence of procedural defaults (e.g. submitting an objection after the legal term for submitting an objection has passed without a reasonable ground). The AC/EB will not assess the objection substantially in this case.
- The objection is unfounded: the contested decision stands.
- The objection is founded: the contested decision is (partly) invalid and the responsible UM body is required to take a new decision, taking into account the judgement of the Executive Board.
Competence of the AC
The competence of the AC is grounded in articles 7.63a and 7.63b of the Dutch higher education and research act. You can also read more about it in Chapter 8 of the Student Charter.
Timeframe of objection procedure
The Executive Board’s verdicts follows, in principle, within ten weeks after your objection is received by the CSP.
Appeal against the decision
If you do not agree with the decision taken by the Executive Board regarding your objection, you can file an appeal with the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State in The Hague. The deadline is six weeks after the decision of the Executive Board regarding your objection and there are costs associated with this procedure. For more information and contact details, please visit the website of the Council of State: www.raadvanstate.nl/studentenzaken