More top athletes allowed to delay their studies

More top athletes allowed to delay their studies




Top athletes are given longer than ten years to obtain their diplomas by DUO, but who counts as a top athlete? Sub-top athletes will probably also qualify for an extension soon.

If you do not graduate within ten years, you have to pay back your supplementary grant, ov-student card and – if you have received one – your basic grant. There are exceptions (Dutch only): if you become ill or are in other special circumstances, you can apply to the Education Executive Service for an extension of this ‘diploma period’.


Top-class sportsmen are also allowed to do so. Two members of parliament wanted to know what a top athlete is, and the minister’s answers show (Dutch only) that DUO uses a narrower definition than sports umbrella organisation NOC*NSF.

For DUO, only the Olympic Games, European Championships or World Championships count. Who does not participate in those, has bad luck. The subtopics, who fight for qualification or participate in other major competitions, are not included.


A total (In Dutch) of 58 colleges and universities take top-level athletes into account and have joined the FLOT (Flexible Education and Top-Level Sport) action plan (pdf, in Ducht), which allows students to combine top-level sport with their studies. The Ministry of OCW and NOC*NSF are also involved.

Some FLOT students are currently not eligible for an extension of their diploma period and this is likely to change.



Managing editor Katja Wijnands

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