The student faction in the faculty council of FSE asserts that the current exam schedules passively encourage international students to skip weeks of regular teaching to visit their families. ‘Between Christmas break and the second exam period of the year, there are two weeks of teaching. This forces some students to spend part of their Christmas break on exam preparation’, the faction states.
As far as the student faction is concerned, the two-week exam periods will be split into two separate weeks. Within this new system, all the regular exams would be scheduled in the first week and all the resits of the previous period in the second week. Currently, the ‘new’ exams and the re-takes are spread randomly across the two-week exam period, the faction points out.
In the proposed new system, students who don’t need to take a resit would have the second half of the exam period off – an entire week free of exams, which would offer a window of opportunity to visit their family abroad. On top of that, the student faction believes that students who have the prospect of a week off will put in more effort to pass their exams in one go.
The faculty board thinks it is a sympathetic idea, but doubts whether it is feasible. ‘Within the suggested system, a student could have three exams in one week or even two exams back-to-back. This is really hard and stressful for students’, vice dean Klaas Poelstra says.
Yet the vice dean doesn’t want to reject the student faction’s plan outright. He wants to examine the possibilities within each separate FSE programme. ‘We will approach it with an open mind’, he states. ‘Maybe the new proposed schedule will not be implemented for all four exam periods, but for one or two of these periods per year.’