Study efficiency 

The study efficiency is the ratio between the number of credits passed and the number of credits taken. This percentage forms the basis of our study progress rules and determines your further study career. It is therefore important that you calculate your study efficiency after each examination period, monitor it and try to increase it if necessary.

You can calculate your study efficiency using this formula:

(number of credits passed/number of credits taken) X 100


  • If you passed 42 credits after the second examination period, while you had taken 60 credits , you achieved a study efficiency of (42/60)X100 = 70%. 
  • If you passed for 6 credits after the first semester, while you had taken 30 credits in the first semester, you achieved a study efficiency of (6/30)X100 = 20%.
Did you receive binding conditions in September 2023?

In that case, when you re-enrol in the same programme, we expect you to:

  • Obtain at least 75% of your registered credits (after resits)
  • pass the courses for which you were already enrolled twice but you have not successfully passed yet

You can check whether you have binding conditions by consulting your transcript of records

Ground rules study progress

At VUB, we expect students to maintain a certain study progress. There are 4 ground rules for students who don't have binding conditions:

Summary study progress rules 

These rules apply starting from academic year 2023-2024.

Ground rule 1

You must obtain at least 60% of the credits you register each academic year. 

Example: If you registered 60 credits in this academic year, you must pass at least 36 credits by the end of this academic year.

Ground rule 2

You must pass for each course after 4 examination opportunities (or two registrations). This rule takes effect from academic year 2023-2024 (applied for the first time during deliberations in September 2024), but please note that examination opportunities you have already taken before 2023-2024 will be taken into account. 

Example: If you re-enroll in a course in 2023-2024 for which you did not pass in 2022-2023, then you are now registering for exam opportunities 3 (and 4) and you must therefore pass this course after the second exam period. 


If you don't meet rules 1 & 2:

Binding conditions will be imposed upon your re-enrollment in the same programme at VUB

Ground rule 3

You must make study progress each academic year and pass at least for one course. Your study efficiency must therefore be higher than 0%

Ground rule 4

You must pass at least 30% of the total number of credits you have registered when you enroll in a bachelor programme for the first time. This rule takes effect from academic year 2023-2024.

Example: you start in a bachelor year 1 and you registered 60 credits. Then you must pass at least 18 credits after the second exam period. 


If you don't meet rules 3 & 4:

Your re-enrolment for the same programme will be refused at VUB

Good to know

  • Whether you received binding conditions or a refusal for re-enrollment, you can read from the proclamation code on your transcript of records 
  • In case you have resits, your official study progress is calculated after the retake examination session. If you did not achieve the required study progress after the first examination sessions in January or June, you still have a chance to catch up on your study progress during the retake examination session.
  • If you are enrolled in 2 programs (e.g. combining bachelor or preparatory courses with master courses), your study progress is calculated separately for each program.
  • The study progress regulations do not apply to master-after-master programmes or postgraduate programmes, unless stated otherwise in the supplementary faculty education and examination regulations.

The information on this page summarizes the Teaching and Examination regulations of the VUB. Faculties can have additions to these central regulations. You can find them in the supplementary faculty teaching and examination regulations.

Extra rules for students enrolling in a new bachelor's programme

The rules below are the result of a new educational decree that will come into force as of academic year 2023-2024.

Course load

Students starting in the first year of a bachelor’s programme will be registered for the entire standard study track of the first year (= all first year courses). This usually consists of 60 ECTS credits. 

Exceptions to this new regulation are:

  • Students with a special status (disability, top sport, working students...)
  • Students who have already obtained a bachelor's or master's degree
  • Students studying in exceptional circumstances

A reduced course load can be requested by students in this situation. 


Students starting in the first bachelor's programme will be required to pass all the courses they took when they first enrolled in that bachelor's programme within two academic years.

Students who do not meet this threshold will be refused to continue this specific programme at all Flemish universities. This rule applies to everyone enrolling for the first time in Flemish higher education, as well as students who have started a new bachelor's programme.


  • Students with a reduced course load have to pass the registered first year courses of their reduced course load within two academic years.
  • Did you start a new bachelor's programme and do you have exemptions within that bachelor's programme? If so, you may already be taking courses from your second and/or third bachelor year. In this case, your threshold consists of all the courses you register in your first year of enrolment in this bachelor's programme (i.e. also the courses of the higher years). 
  • Are you enrolling in a programme for which you were already enrolled in the past? For example, you took a bachelor's degree at another Flemish university in 2022-2023 and are now starting the same bachelor's degree at VUB in September 2023. In this case, the threshold does not apply to you. The other study progress rules, of course, do.
  • Are you starting a new programme in the 2nd semester? Then your threshold consists of the courses you are taking during that 2nd semester. You must pass for all these courses/credits within 1.5 academic years.
Study progress of at least 30%

From students who have started in a new bachelor programme, we expect a study efficiency of at least 30% after the second term. Students who don't meet this study efficiency after the second term will be refused re-enrolment for this programme at VUB after their first year.

Reflection tool by Study Guidance

After the exams it's important to reflect back on the past period. We invite you to use our reflection tool, to try and find ways to improve your study progress. Based on your situation and approach during the past semester we give you advice on how to optimise your study behaviour and wellbeing.

Use the reflection tool

We'd like to stress again the importance of these study progress rules and urge you to use the reflection tool. However, you are not alone.

Check here what we have to offer

Binding conditions

Whether you received binding conditions can be read from the proclamation code on your transcript of records. Also make sure to check the ground rules for study progress first.

You did not achieve a study efficiency of at least 60%

This means that upon re-enrollment in the same programme, you must pass at least 75% of the registered credits.

Example: If you have binding conditions and register for 48 credits, you must have passed for at least 36 credits by the end of the academic year. 

Note! If there are courses you have to retake for the third time or more (exam opportunities 5 and 6 or more), you have to enroll for these and pass them to meet your binding conditions.  

You did achieve a study efficiency of at least 60%, but didn't pass one or more courses after 4 exam chances

Then you have to enroll for and pass these courses to meet your binding conditions. In this case you don't need to pass at least 75% of the amount of ECTS credits you enrolled for within the same programme. 

Note! This rule starts in academic year 2023-2024 so the first time it will be applied will be at the end of the 2nd exam session (resits) in September 2024.

Consequences study path

When you have binding conditions, the bar is raised higher than it normally is. Even more than usual, it's essential to compose your study path in such a way that it is attainable.

The study path counsellors have collected several tips on how to compose an individual study path.

Foreign students with a residence permit

Students who require extra time to finish a study programme need to submit proof of study progress in order to renew their Belgian residence permit (ID card). For more info please contact the International Office.

Didn't meet them?

What if I cannot meet the binding conditions?

If you haven't met your binding conditions by the end of the academic year, your re-enrolment for the same study programme will be refused. Read more on what such a refusal entails

Did exceptional circumstances keep you from meeting the binding conditions? In that case you can submit a substantiated file to the chairman of the examination board before the deliberations take place. More information on exceptional circumstances

Re-enrolment not allowed

On your transcript of records you received the following proclamation code: 'Enrolment not allowed'. Unfortunately, this means that you cannot re-enrol in this study programme at the VUB. This decision is binding and remains valid. It does not automatically expire after a number of academic years. You cannot simply re-enrol in this programme.

Note! If you are subject to the treshold and do not meet it after two academic years, you will be refused re-enrolment in the same programme at all Flemish universities.

This is not good news and can be difficult to deal with. Although Study Guidance cannot change the decision of the examination board, you are welcome at their Meeting Point to discuss your options. You can also have a look at the MoodSpace platform. 

Infographic Study Guidance Moodspace

If you need information about the appeal procedure, going to the Meeting Point is unnecessary. You can find everything about the procedure on this webpage.

Re-enrolment not allowed, what's next?

New programme

Maybe you've considered another study programme before? Then go find out more about this programme and check if this is feasible for you. You can follow another programme at the VUB if you have a positive learning account. You can also enquire at another educational institution. Read these tips if you already have an idea about which other study programme you would like to start.

You know you want to study something else but you have no idea what yet? It is not easy to have to make a new choice, but you do not have to do this alone. Study guidance will gladly help you further. Be sure to read the information and assistance here. An overview of English-taught programmes in Flanders can be found on this website. The page itself is in Dutch.

Convinced of the programme?

You can check if there are other higher education institutions that offer the same programme. The proclamation code the examination board issued for this programme is only valid for the programme at VUB, unless you did not meet the requirements of the treshold. In that case you cannot continue the programme at any of the Flemish universities.

Attention: it is possible that some educational institutions will also refuse your enrolment because you are not admitted anymore to this programme at the VUB or that they will impose binding conditions on you from the start. We advise you to communicate openly about your refusal, to avoid unpleasant surprises. 

After a break in enrolment of at least two academic years, you may re-apply for the programme for which you were refused access, with a reasoned file. (See: Teaching and Examination Regulations 23-24 Art. 88 Β§8). In this file you motivate why you want to restart the programme and in which way the circumstances have changed/ in which way you would be able to complete the programme successfully this time. You send this request to your faculty secretariat. The examination board will then decide whether or not to grant you permission to re-enrol. They may also impose binding conditions.

Stop studying

If you need some time for yourself or want to start working, you can (temporarily) stop your studies. 

Lodge an appeal

Lodge an appeal

You do not agree with the study progress decision made by the Examination board or you think that your rights have been violated? Then you can lodge an appeal.

Appeal procedure

International students

The proclamation code "Re-enrollment not allowed" holds implications for the residency status of international students in Belgium. Please contact your municipality to determine the consequences for your residence permit. For further questions you can also reach out to the International Relations office.

Exceptional circumstances

Does your study efficiency not meet the expectation due to exceptional circumstances? In that case you can submit a substantiated file to the chairman of the Examination Board by email to your faculty secretariat before the deliberations take place. The substantiated file has to contain at least a factual description of the exceptional circumstances, together with supporting documents, if possible. You can use this template and checklist. This file contains:

  • concrete, factual description of your exceptional circumstances, with proof.
  • Proof that these exceptional circumstances have prevented you from making the required study progress. There has to be link with your study path.
  • Proof that these exceptional circumstances are not the result of your own actions or choices.

It is not about:
  • Situations where there is no direct link with you study path.
  • Allegations without proof.

Is is about:
  • For example: Long term hospital stay with a clear impact on your study progress.
  • For example: Long term illness of the student of a family member with impact on the study path.
  • For example: The death of a family member during or right before the exam period.


The file must be submitted to your faculty secretariat:

  • up to and including the 16th of August, if the circumstances occured before the start of the second examination period (resits)
  • the latest 5 calendar days before the date of the deliberation of the second examination period, if the circumstances occured during the second examination period

Apart from your grades, the Examination Board will take this file into account when making a decision on your study progress. However, they can still decide not to allow you to re-enrol.

After the Examination Board has convened, you will find their decision in the form of the proclamation code on your transcript of records. You need to download this transcript of records in your Selfservice. The proclamation code is the only official result.