It is not yet completely certain how the students will be required to complete the various courses. “We will switch to alternative ways of administering exams, such as essays, take-home assignments or online exams. Exams will be organised in such a way that students will be able to sit them at home without any camera surveillance,” Richter stated. He also said that the faculty would take into account the different time zones in which its students find themselves. The method adopted to complete each course will be announced by 24 April at the latest, and the official exam timetable will be released on 1 May.
The faculty made this decision because of the growing uncertainty students were experiencing, among other things. “Our faculty has a large number of international students, many of whom are currently in their home countries. The situation was causing them to feel very insecure, because they weren’t sure whether they had to come back to sit their exams, and if so, when,” said Marianne Schouten, RSM’s spokesperson.
Late last week, the faculty announced that the exams might be deferred until late June or July, and that students would have to return to campus to take them. The faculty came in for heavy criticism from RSM students for doing so, as many international students had already terminated their lease agreements and so no longer have rooms in Rotterdam. They would have to return to Rotterdam for three weeks to sit their exams. Third-year IBA student Dorian expressed his objections in RSM’s Facebook group. He received a lot of replies from his fellow students, many of whom shared his objections. “With a few other students I then compiled a summary of the comments, selected the main issues and proposed solutions to them, all in the space of a few days,” said Dorian. A letter and a petition in which the students expressed their concerns were then submitted to RSM.
RSM spokesperson Schouten said the petition was one of the reasons why the school decided to allow students to complete all their courses online. Richter, too, mentioned the petition and letter in the message he sent out on Thursday. “We are very grateful to you for sharing your concerns with us, and we are taking the call for clear and timely communications very seriously indeed. That is why we wanted to make this announcement before Easter,” the dean wrote.
Schouten said it was not yet 100% sure that students would be able to complete all their courses by the scheduled end date of the academic year. “But it is clear now that all students will be able to complete the academic year from home.”