According to the Higher Education Ordinance, a period of study can be extended if there are particular reasons for doing so.

The special grounds that may provide the right to extend a period of study could be leave of absence because of illness, leave of absence for service in the defence forces or an elected position in a union or student organisation, or parental leave.

The requirement that third-cycle studies should be completed in the equivalent of four years of full-time study, or — if a doctoral student so requests — on a part-time basis, but no less than 50 per cent of full-time, is based on the assumption that no major obstacles to this arise during the period of study.

However, research activities always involve some risk of unforeseen events. Inadequate supervision, unexpected problems with experiment setup, or empirical material that turns out to be impossible to obtain are all examples of things that can cause delays. Even if these are serious problems, they do not per se imply an automatic right to an extended period of study.

Page last updated 2015-07-02