At the law faculty, bad grades now count, too

The Faculty of Law wants to get rid of the option to erase exam grades and to not have particular exams graded.

The possibility to remove one bad grade a year gives students the opportunity to retake the exam without further consequences. Within the UG, only the law faculty offers this option.

The Board of Appeal for Examinations (CBE) has reservations about the legal feasibility, education director Jaap Dijkstra announced. ‘We should be cautious about that at this faculty.’

The regulation also makes it more questionable whether someone actually graduated with honours and detracts from the quality of examination, the CBE said earlier. It also means extra work for lecturers, the board of examiners, and the exam administration. Faculty cutbacks make their work even harder.

‘Don’t-grade button’

Under the other arrangement, students who suspect they’ve botched an exam can use a so-called ‘don’t-grade button’ to indicate that they don’t want it reviewed. This option was once introduced because it would save teachers from wasting time grading ‘hopeless exams’.

The board of examiners wants to abolish this regulation as of next academic year, because it sends the ‘wrong signal’ to students who come to exams ill-prepared and puts extra pressure on the already scarce exam capacity.

Study stress

The option also leads to additional study stress and long study periods, study counselors note. In addition, manually grading the exams leads to delays in grading all other exams.

Also, exams that are incorrectly graded occasionally lead to lawsuits from students. That’s not good, says law dean Wilbert Kolkman. ‘We prefer people teaching, not preoccupied behind the scenes.’

Protest

Student parties Ten Behoeve van Rechtenstudenten (TBR) and Progressief Rechten (PR) on the faculty council can live with the fact that bad graded will simply count from now on, but they’re less fond of the idea to scrap the ‘don’t-grade button’.

‘We also wonder if you gain exam capacity. The students who do come now are probably not going to cancel after abolishing the regulation either,’ says Niek Bruins (TBR).

Zahra Farshchi of PR asked for a commitment to keep the ‘don’t-grade button’ for another two years. She partially got her wish: the rule will be abolished immediately in the bachelor but kept for one more year in the master. ‘That’s the only concession I can make’, said dean Wilbert Kolkman.

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