Exams, credits and graduation

Frequently asked questions

Last update: 25 November 2020

Exams

How will exams take place this semester?

The exams of the winter semester 2020/21 will take place in the remote format. A very limited number of in-person assessments will be accepted for those study programmes and courses that require an explicit physical presence and interaction for their exams.

Teachers are advised to design the format of the remote exam in a way that is efficient, quality-based, and that takes into account possible technical constraints that students may encounter, and is in line with data privacy guidelines. Examples of such exams are open-book exams, essays, literature reviews, research papers, lab or project reports, etc. Written exams via Moodle (test/quiz), and remote oral assessments via WebEx (oral exam or student presentation) are also viable options of examination.

Are exam retakes possible this semester?

As in any semester, retakes can be offered to students with a justified absence from an exam during the winter semester.

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

The exams of the winter semester 2020/21 will take place in the remote format. Exceptions to remote examination are possible in very specific cases and require the consent from the Vice-rector for academic affairs.

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 count in the maximum number of attempts at a student’s disposal. Students with four failed attempts at an exam can no longer complete the course. 

If an attempt to an 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 the one of the previous attempt. This also applies to cases in which 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 is the situation of students having already 4 attempts or more at one exam and are part of the 2-years transition period (as written in the Law of 2018) due to end with the current semester - would they be excluded if they do not secure a passing grade during attempts of this semester?

A student benefitting from the transition clause of the Law of 2018 who during the winter semester 2020-2021 failed to secure a passing grade and reached a maximum number of four exam-attempts 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?

Yes, it will count as an attempt.

Remote exams

When is the remote exam modality announced?

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

When will I 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 online 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. 

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 recording 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).

What is a proctored online exam? 

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

What is the situation now with regards to using a proctoring tool? 

The University has decided not to use a professional proctoring tool for remote exams. The only tool allowed to be used during a remote oral exam is WebEx.

Can students refuse to submit to a remote exam?

Without a well-justified reason, a student who does not participate in the exam will receive an absence without justification. The Course Coordinator and Study Programme Director will assess the provided reason, and if justified, will assign the student an exam in a different format. 

What if the teacher on the basis of my remote exam concludes 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 in person or remote exam?

All 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 attend the initial exam. The alternative modality of assessment will be of a similar quality as the initial exam.

Credits and graduation

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

If the study programme includes a compulsory internship period which cannot be completed during the current semester, the student will benefit, in agreement with the Study Programme Director, from either

a) substitution work or

b) an internship starting during the next semester, 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.

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

Yes. The calendar of the current academic year is running as planned, with small modifications.

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

Yes. The progression rules of 50% ECTS is in place and applies for transitioning from one academic year to the other.

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. When re-enrolling for the winter semester 2020-21, these students were placed in the first study 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 was in my first study year and benefitted from the postponement of the 50% rule last academic year (2019-2020). What if I do not acquire the missing credits to reach the minimum of required credits by the end of winter semester 2020-2021?

Students enrolled in the first study year who do not catch up with the missing credits to obtain at least 50 per cent of credits required in the first study year during the current semester will be permanently excluded from the programme. 

Is there a progression criteria, i.e. a minimum number of ECTS credits that Bachelor students have to fulfil at the end of second study year in order to progress to the third study year?

It depends. If a student has acquired less than 50% of ECTS credits foreseen for the second study year, the student doesn’t access the third study year. In that case, students are advised to complete as many courses as possible of their second study year and to contact the Study Programme Director to discuss whether it is possible to nevertheless enroll in courses of the third study year. The study programme will evaluate and decide based on individual cases.

The current semester is my last possible semester to finish my studies. Is the semester taken into account for the calculation of the maximum study duration?

Yes, students for whom the winter semester 2020/21 is the last possible semester to finish their studies (maximum study duration) have to complete all study requirements for completion of the programme at the end of this semester.