Frustration is the best word to describe how 25 temporarily suspended students are currently feeling. Not only because they have been excluded from attending any exams and lectures at CBS. But also because the suspension included a termination of enrolment from the university, causing a wide range of serious consequences for them. Consequences that could remain in force until 2020-2021.
But then, on Thursday January 23, the students affected received a letter from CBS Legal. The letter said that CBS had become aware that the temporary suspension does not include the students being discharged. Therefore, CBS will now take care of the re-enrolment of the temporarily suspended students, although they will remain suspended until August 2020.
“CBS has subsequently been made aware that the temporary suspension does not include termination of enrolment at CBS, cf. Order No. 23 of 9 January 2020 on access to full-time university studies (ministerial order on admission and enrolment), section 37 (per contra). CBS will therefore ensure that your enrolment is reactivated,” it states in the letter that CBS sent to the students.
“This letter is no comfort to us! And how is CBS going to ensure us the rights they never should have taken from us in the first place? That’s unclear to us,” says Signe, one of the suspended students. She is commenting on behalf of a group of six suspended students (her full name is known by the editorial team at CBS WIRE).
Banned from round one
Initially, Signe and the group were positive about the letter they received from CBS Legal, as it seemed to be a step in the right direction at first sight. But after reading it again, they thought otherwise.
One reason for the letter’s mixed reception was that the termination of enrolment included in the suspension meant they were no longer eligible for student residences, university exchange schemes or SU. But the re-enrolment of the students means things now look different.
For instance, the students are now allowed to apply for an exchange trip provided it takes place after their temporary suspension period has ended.
According to Signe, this is a problem because the termination of enrolment has meant that the students have missed out on applying for an internship during the first application round.
“In the first application round, all students can apply for all universities. In the second round, you can only apply for those internships that were not chosen in the first round. So, by making the mistake of discharging us, CBS has denied us the right to apply in the first round, and we are now forced to apply in the second,” she says.
Therefore, Signe and the rest of the group of students are not overjoyed by the news that they can now apply anyway.
“It’s as if CBS is saying: ‘Here you are, you can now apply for an internship’, but they’re not apologizing or providing solutions to compensate us for what we’ve lost because of this mistake,” Signe says.
No money, no roof
Losing the chance of applying for an internship in the first round has not been the only consequence for the students. At least one student was even evicted due to the discharge from CBS.
In order to be eligible for a dorm room, you must be registered at a university. Therefore, the accommodation was given to another student who is registered, leaving the individual concerned turned out of house and home.
And according to Signe, this would not have happened if CBS had not included a termination of enrolment in the suspension.
Besides the problem of losing the roof over their heads, the suspended students are also facing financial difficulties despite the reversal of the termination of enrolment. First, it meant the students were no longer eligible for SU. But now that they are being re-enrolled, the reality is different but complicated.
“We’ve been in contact with SU officials and it is very complex,” Signe says and explains:
“At first glance, it seems that we can now get SU. But if you’re behind by more than 30 ECTS, you can be declared inactive, which means that you lose your rights to SU until you’ve made up for the lost ECTS points. So now we must find out whether or not we’re considered inactive, since we’re still excluded from exams.”
“Furthermore, if we’re not admitted for the fourth semester, we will be 30 ECTS points behind and we thereby risk our SU ending in summer and all the way until January 2021.”
According to Signe, the termination of enrolment has caused a whole range of problems for the students, and the letter from CBS Legal reversing it has triggered countless questions and frustration among the suspended students.
One aspect the students are questioning is why they have received no in-house help at all from CBS.
“Where is our internal spokesperson at CBS? If this had happened in the job market, there would have been some professional advisors who could have taken action to prevent such repercussions. I’m surprised that CBS treats its students like this without anyone intervening,” Signe says and adds:
“This is not our mistake – it’s down to CBS! And now we’re in a very difficult position where CBS has denied us several rights without justification, while no one is speaking out for us.”
And for Signe and the group, the least CBS could do is apologize and make up for the “mistake” as they call it.
“CBS should apologize and compensate us for its wrongdoing by helping us with the university exchange problems, the SU issues and assisting those who have lost their homes. We’ve been put under a lot of unwarranted stress that we would not have had to struggle with but for this mistake,” Signe says and continues:
“Clearly, this shows that CBS has made decisions that have very seriously affected us without making sure that it had the authority to do so. This makes us wonder whether there are other mistakes in the decision.”