All exams for the mechanics course in industrial engineering and management have been lost. The fifty students in the course now have to take a resit, and they’re not happy.
The students last week received an email about the exam, which they sat in April. ‘We thought we were getting our grades, but instead they told us we have to retake the exam on May 26’, says Temmo Rijken (21).
This solution is fairly unsympathetic, the students feel. ‘This is a very complex course, and now they’re asking us to retake the exam in the middle of the block, when we’re trying to focus on other courses’, says Temmo. ‘We can’t just do that. Most students would have to take a whole week to study for it.’
If it were up to the students, they’d prefer an alternative assignment. One they’ll get a month to complete, for instance, so they can manage their time and won’t suffer any delays in other courses.
Gerald Jonker, programme director at the bachelor of industrial engineering and management, understands the students’ concern and isn’t pleased with how the situation worked out. ‘We’re seriously considering their suggestions.’
The exam committee is now exploring alternative options. ‘But I can’t say anything about that, it’s up to the committee to make that decision. But we’re honestly trying to prioritise the students’ interests and come up with the best solution.’
Exactly what happens remains a mystery. All lecturers in the vicinity at the time of the exam have been emailed, the courier service has been questioned, and everyone with even the slightest access to the exam has been talked to. ‘We considered every possible angle, even the unlikely ones’, says Jonker. But so far, the case has not been solved.
It definitely wasn’t the course lecturer’s fault, he says. After the exam at the Aletta Jacobs hall, they placed the box in the room where all exams are temporarily kept. Lecturers can only access this room with the help of a concierge, who can see the door to the room at all times.
So while procedures were followed, the box was gone when the lecturer returned. ‘As far as I know, this has never happened before. It’s really unfortunate, especially for the students’, says Jonker.
What if another lecturer sees they accidentally took the wrong box with them? ‘The exam committee will have to decide whether the exams are still valid.’