The exam for the subject Applied Multivariate Data Analysis was scheduled for Thursday evening at 6:30, but things took a different turn. Student Nienke Raaijmakers had just seated herself when the invigilator informed her that the exam was off. “At first we thought he was joking. But he was dead serious.” Five minutes later, Nienke was standing outside with some 300 fellow students. The university had managed to arrange an English-language version, so the international students were scribbling away inside.

Final exam

A number of Dutch students said they didn’t mind sitting the English-language test, but according to a faculty spokesperson this isn’t allowed under the faculty rules. “We’re very upset about what has happened,” writes the spokesperson.

The students are still in the dark about why the exam was called off. And the faculty’s statement doesn’t particularly clarify matters: “The exam was cancelled due to unavailability. This was an administrative error on ESSB’s part.” The faculty has promised that it would shortly be scheduling a new examination, and would be updating students by Friday at the latest.

Nienke hopes it won’t take long before she knows what to expect next. “I never thought I’d be so upset about not being able to take an exam,” she says with a wry smile. According to her, this was actually the final exam for a lot of master students. “This makes it feel like we have to do a resit.”