Even more weekend exams

An increasing group of students will have to show up on the weekends during exam time. More and more exams are taking place on Fridays or Saturdays, irritating students and staff.
By Nanette Vellekoop / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

In addition to the faculties of Law, Economy and Business, Arts, and Science & Engineering, the faculty of Spatial Sciences is scheduling exams for Fridays evenings and Saturdays.

The faculties do not enjoy having to deviate from the normal schedule. It’s not just a drag for the students, but also for the lecturers who hold the exams, they say. But their hands are tied, because the exam halls are too small. Scheduling exams in the weekend is their only option.

Great annoyance

The student factions in the University Council want the Saturday exams to end. Late last year, the Student Organisation Groningen (SOG) did a survey among students from all faculties. According to faction chair Zeger Glas, Saturday exam were one of the greatest annoyances among students.

Lijst Calimero has made the abolishment of evening and weekend exams a point in their electoral platform. ‘Studying is a forty-hour job, but people have to be able relax healthily as well. Weekends and evenings should be filled with sports or social engagements, not stressful exams’, says faction chair Henk Jan Wondergem.

According to Democratic Academy Groningen (DAG) faction chair Jasper Been, the weekend exams are the result of a much larger problem: the unfettered growth the university is undergoing.

‘When the Aletta Jacobs hall was built, we had 18,000 students’, says Been. ‘Now we have 30,000. The lack of space to hold exams is one of the many consequences of the RUG’s enormous growth, and management is not doing enough to fix it.’

Expansion

RUG spokesperson Jorien Bakker says that university is trying to limit the number of weekend exams as much as possible. They are now trying to see whether they can change the time slots. ‘It would allow us to schedule more exams during the day, so we wouldn’t have to have any in the weekends.’

The Aletta Jacobs hall will also be expanded. ‘We’re creating six hundred extra spaces.’ When this expansion will be finished is not yet known, but the RUG does not think it will be before September 2018.

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