The idea is to give students a choice after they have completed their exams. If they receive a high mark that helps them maintain a high average, they can keep the mark. However, if the mark is low enough that it might prevent them from being awarded a cum laude degree or admitted to a Master’s degree, they can have the mark out of 10 converted into a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ mark. In that case, if they have passed the exam, they will be awarded the number of credits associated with the course, but the mark will not count towards their average.

Students should not have to bear the brunt

Councillors Klasen (Erasmus MC) and Assou (RSM) hopes that this measure will prevent students from being negatively impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. “Students are under a great deal of stress and tension due to this situation. In addition, people who do well in regular seminars and exams don’t necessarily do well in online seminars and exams, too. We hugely appreciate all the lecturers who are currently working their arses off to teach online seminars and master new tech skills, but obviously, not all of them are very experienced at that. Students shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of that.”

Klasen believes the plan will mainly be of use to students who wish to get a cum laude degree, embark on the honours academy or do a Master’s degree at, say, RSM, which only accepts students whose average mark is 7 or higher. “This will allow students to focus purely on passing their exams, without having to worry about how well they are scoring. And more in general, we hope the university will be lenient and offer additional re-sits, among other things”, he said.

At the moment of writing, the students’ petition had been signed by 242 people. The university has announced that it is thinking about all kinds of measures, including this plan, but also about the postponement for students who do not meet their binding study advice.