Exams, credits and graduation

Frequently asked questions

Last update: 7 July 2020

Exams

How will exams take place this semester?

All exams will take place remotely except certain exams for students in Medicine.

Teachers have a large degree of liberty to establish the format of the remote examination for their course. Some remote exams may require the use of Webex (e.g. oral exam, etc.) while others do not (e.g. take-home exam, essay, paper, group work, etc.). Teachers are advised to design the format of the remote exam in a way that is efficient, quality-based, takes into account possible technical constraints that students may encounter, and is in line with data privacy guidelines.

Are the current exam period and semester prolonged?

The semester officially ends on 4 September, which allows for some practical assignments (TPs, TDs) to be performed, when the latter cannot be suitably substituted. Some exams may hence also take place beyond 4 July, which has typically marked the upper limit of our exam period. Course sessions and exams scheduled after 4 July 2020 must be announced to students at least one month in advance.

The timetable and dates will be sent to you by your Study Programme Director.

Are exam retakes possible this semester?

Exam retakes can be exceptionally offered during the semester. The Study Programme Director will decide if this is possible.

The attempt at exams that a student does not pass (grade <10) is not counted. This also applies to attempts at exams of a course that is validated through compensation.

Who decides if for a course the examination is done remotely or exceptionally via in person assessment?

During the summer semester 2020, in-person exams are strongly discouraged. The University is preparing a large array of online tools for the assessments and exams to take place remotely.

A special approval is required from the Rectorate for all in-person exams during the summer semester 2020. An in-person exam cannot take place if the health safety of students and staff cannot be guaranteed. Please get in touch with the VRA office for more information.

When should exceptionally offered in-person exams be scheduled?

The exams should preferable take place within the framework of the schedule that was initially planned. Course sessions and exams can take place up until 4 September 2020.

What if I fail my exam during this semester? Will there be new regulations due to COVID-19?

Failure at an exam this semester will not count in the maximum number of attempts at a student’s disposal.

If an attempt to exam yields a grade which is lower than the grade of the previous attempt, which grade is retained?

The grade of the latest attempt is retained, even if the grade is lower than of the previous attempt. This also applies for cases when a student with a current pass mark (10 or higher) re-sits the exam but gets a mark lower than 10. Students are therefore advised to avoid re-sitting an exam if not well-prepared for it.

What if an exam attempt during the current semester leads to a mark lower than 10 but is nevertheless higher than a mark of the previous attempt?

These students may have multiple attempts to an exam during the summer semester 2020. During the current semester, attempts at exams that a student does not pass are not counted towards the maximum number of attempts. If attempts during the summer semester 2020 fail to secure a passing grade, the student who has benefited from the transition clause of the Law of 2018, and at the beginning of the academic year 2020-2021 has four or more attempts registered for a given course can no longer complete the course.

What is the situation of students having already 4 attempts or more of one exam and are part of the 2-years transition period due to end with the summer semester 2020 - would they be excluded if they do not secure a passing grade during attempts of this semester?

These students may have multiple attempts to an exam during the summer semester 2020. During the current semester, attempts at exams that a student does not pass are not counted towards the maximum number of attempts. If attempts during the summer semester 2020 fail to secure a passing grade, the student who has benefited from the transition clause of the Law of 2018, and at the beginning of the academic year 2020-2021 has four or more attempts registered for a given course can no longer complete the course.

If I retake an exam this semester that I’ve initially failed one year ago, would it count as an attempt if I fail it again this semester or not?

It will not count as an attempt. During summer semester 2020, all attempts at exams that a student does not pass will not be counted towards the maximum number of attempts. This exceptional measure applies to all retakes, independent of when the student first attempted the exam.

Remote exams

When is the remote exam modality announced?

The teacher must inform students of the type of remote exam, and the process of examination as soon as possible and well in advance before the exam.

When I will know if a remote exam will be video/audio monitored and/or recorded?

When the teacher informs students of the exam modality, the information notice will also mention if the remote exam will involve video/audio monitoring and/or recording.

What to do when I have technical problems during my exam?

It is important to prepare for this eventuality before the exam. Please read the Guidelines "What to Do in Case of Technical Issues" for students or teachers carefully and take all necessary precautions to address possible technical issues in advance (i.e. before a remote exam takes place) and be prepared in case they occur during a remote exam. For your convenience, the documents contain hyperlinks to relevant tutorials. For certain issues, contact options are provided in case you are unable to resolve an issue by yourself. You can print this document, if you wish to do so, however, the links are only directly accessible if you use the digital PDF.

Can I refuse being audio/video monitored and/or recorded during a remote exam?

Students have the right to object to be audio/video monitored and/or recorded. The student must inform the teacher that she/he does not want to be video/audio monitored/recorded as soon as possible but well in advance of the exam and preferably immediately when the information about the exam modality is provided. The student must provide a reason for this objection. If the reason is justified, the student will be offered an alternative modality of remote assessment that does not involve video/audio monitoring/recording, but of a similar quality as the main remote exam (e.g. take-home exam, paper, essay, or similar).

In accordance with the GDPR the students are informed of the personal data processing concerning them through an information notice including the description of their rights and the modalities to exercise them.

Can I video/audio record my teacher during the remote exam?

The student must inform the teacher that she/he wants to video/audio record the teacher during the remote exam as soon as possible but well in advance of the exam and preferable immediately when the information about the exam modality is provided. The student must provide a reason for the intention to video/audio record the teacher. The teacher has the right to refuse being audio/video recorded during the remote exam. If the teacher does not object to being video/audio recorded, the teacher can request a copy of the recoding for personal storage. The student who proceeds to record a teacher during the exam must comply with all obligations under GDPR and the University will not be held responsible for his/her actions.

Can I switch off the video/audio during a remote exam?

When a student decides to switch off the video/audio during a WebEx exam, she/he must inform the teacher immediately of this decision and provide a reason. Based on this reason the teacher may annul the attempt of the student (if no valid reasons are provided or no credible ones) or allow the student to reconnect, or provide the student with an alternative modality of assessment (if a credible reason is provided).

How does the University collect, process and protect Personal Data in relation with the organisation, and implementation of remote teaching and exams?

In accordance with articles 12, 13 and 14 of the EU Regulation 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, the University provides information to the persons related to the processing of their personal data. For more details, please consult data privacy guidelines for teachers and students.

What is a proctored online exam?

Proctoring means to be put under surveillance during an exam in order to ensure academic integrity.

Since classes and exams are currently almost exclusively held online, the University of Luxembourg needs to ensure this academic integrity also in the online space. Like many universities, we are considering a software-based proctoring solution for the authentication of the test-takers and for maintaining test integrity.

What is the situation now?

For the time being, the University has decided not to use the tool under consideration for the proctoring of remote exams.

The University is still in the process of establishing that this tool fulfills all criteria in in terms of protecting the privacy of the users. This is a complex process which takes time.

The University will not use the tool under consideration until all aspects are clarified. Anyway the tool would be used only in a very limited number of exceptional cases

What does this mean for my exams?

Nothing changes. Other forms of remote exams that do not require this type of proctoring will be used for the time being: Webex, oral exams, take-home exams to be submitted via a plagiarism check tool.

We are considering proctoring for exams taken remotely online only in a limited number of exceptional cases where no other options are feasible to ascertain exam integrity.

Does this mean that no proctoring tool will be used during this exam session?

Proctoring remote exams via a software tool will not be used until the University has established that the tool in question fulfills all criteria in in terms of protecting the privacy of the users. This process is ongoing. As soon as a decision is taken, the University will provide further information.

Will students have time to test the proctoring solution if it is introduced?

Of course. If and when the remote proctoring tool is introduced, this will happen with adequate lead time, allowing for proper preparation and testing.

Can students refuse to submit to remote proctoring?

A student cannot refuse to take an exam. Students will however keep the right to refuse being proctored via the software. In this case, the University would assign the student an exam in a different format.

Why does the University wish to introduce this controversial tool anyway?

The University is under the obligation to ensure the integrity and safety of its exams. A remote proctoring software can help us reach this goal. We have a responsibility towards students and society. It is important for all our students that we protect the quality of our diplomas.

The University is considering using the proctoring tool for a limited number of exams where alternative forms of exams are not practical.

How does the proctoring solution work that the the University is looking into?

The tool provides a range of features to establish the test-taker’s identity and to monitor the person’s behaviour during the online exam. We are only considering to use monitoring features that are absolutely necessary for authenticating the test-taker’s identity and to ensure that the tests are taken according to the rules of the respective study course; proctoring can also ensure that the same rules apply to all.

The professor determines the basic proctoring options for the exam (i.e. for verification, recording or other features). The tool is entirely machine-based and its digital surveillance occurs without any human intervention. A professor cannot have access to live video from any exam-takers during the exam session. This means that no one would be watching you during your exam. The professor would receive a report for each exam-taker in which the tool may or may not flag "out-of-the-ordinary" behaviours. In such cases, the software allows the teacher to view a recording of the behaviour. If the teacher would come to the conclusion that non-compliant behaviour has occurred, the exam can be cancelled and an alternative exam can be offered.

What if the proctoring data (or the teacher on the basis of the data) mistakenly would conclude that I cheated – what could I do, what are my options?

As in the case of in-person exams, students could appeal against the result of an online exam.

Is there an alternative exam modality for students who cannot be part of the remote exam?

All remote exams will have an alternative modality for assessment (i.e. Plan B). The alternative modality of assessment is for students who for a justified reason cannot take part in the main remote exam. The alternative modality of assessment will be in a remote format and of a similar quality as the main remote exam.

Credits and graduation

I wasn’t able to do or finish my mandatory internship this semester. Will I have to repeat it?

In the case where the study program includes a compulsory internship period which cannot be completed by August 31, 2020, the student will benefit, in agreement with the study program director, from either

a) substitution work or
b) an internship starting from September 1, 2020 for the duration mentioned by the study regulation (règlement des études). Please bear in mind that in the case of a delayed internship period, there is an obligation to re-register for a new semester and the graduation will take place in 2021.

I am due to complete my study this semester. Will I be able to graduate?

Yes. The calendar of the summer semester 2020 is running as planned, with small modifications.

It is expected that students who are due to complete their study this semester will be able to do so and graduate by the end of the calendar year 2020.

I am about to finish my first or second year. Does the 50% rule for passing apply for this semester?

This rule is postponed for all Bachelor students in their first year who have obtained at least 1 ECTS credit in the academic year 2019-2020. These students need to (re)register again in their first year and are required to acquire the missing credits to reach the minimum amount of 30 ECTS credits by the end of winter semester 2020-2021.

I am currently a first year Bachelor student and I obtained an exemption from my current studies based on medical grounds. Can I benefit from the exemption of the rule of 50% (30 ECTS) to pass in the second year?

Transitioning in the second year is not possible if the rule of 50% (30 ECTS) is not fulfilled in the first year. You will have to (re)register in year 1 and acquire the minimum required number of credits before transitioning in the second year of the programme.

Is there a progression criterion, i.e. a minimum number of ECTS that Bachelor students have to fulfil at the end of the current semester in order to progress from year 2 to year 3?

It depends. If a student has acquired less than 50 per cent of ECTS credits foreseen for the second study year at the end of the current semester, the student does not advance to the third year. In that case, students are advised to complete as many courses as possible of the second study year and to contact the Programme Director to discuss whether it is possible to nevertheless enrol in courses of the third year. The study programme will evaluate and decide based on individual cases.

The summer semester 2019/2020 would have been my last possible semester to finish my studies. Is the semester taken into account for the calculation of the maximum study duration?

No, for students for whom the summer semester 2019/20 would have been the last possible semester to finish their studies (maximum study duration), the current semester is not taken into account.

This applies to all students, irrespective of the semester they are at the University.