KU Leuven Student Representatives 0

Examination Flexibility

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Brussels, 1st May 2020

Dear KU Leuven Community, Rector Sels, Dr. Eyckmans, Dr. Lemahieu and KU Leuven examination decision board,

In these times of high uncertainty, KU Leuven’s community must stand together and collaborate to find the best solutions to the COVID-19 crisis. Exams are one of the most vital parts of our studies and recently there has been a lot of discontent, distrust and confusion with the way they have been addressed.

The student representatives understand the importance of maintaining rigorous and high-quality examination standards, however we believe that such standards can be attained without putting students' health at risk. The decision of holding mandatory physical exams for all students who are in Belgium, and online assessment to those who are abroad, will inevitably lead to an unfair situation for all students, but most importantly it will pose a serious risk for student’s health and that of their families.

We truly acknowledge the hard work KU Leuven is putting to ensure a timely graduation of its students and to find the best solutions. And we, as student representatives, would like to help by providing a solution which takes into account the concerns of both Belgian and International students. In moments of high uncertainty, flexibility is needed, this is why we would like to raise a petition for allowing students to have the choice to decide between doing online or in person examinations.

This petition is based on the feedback and concerns received from the students: Many students are facing a lot of stress, demotivation, uncertainty, worry and fear. But it is also true that not everyone encounters the same situation at home nor has access to the most optimal environment to take an exam at home.

By enabling students to choose whether to do exams online or in person, the problem of fairness in the assessment, and most importantly the health risks can be avoided, as each individual will be able to assess which is the best option for their particular situation.

This is why we would like KU Leuven to bring the focus to solutions which address the exam rigor and at the same time prioritize student’s health and examination fairness. We believe KU Leuven should channel its energy towards supporting digitalization of exams or finding suitable alternative assessments for those who have to or prefer to take exams online. We strongly believe no student should have to choose between exams and their health.

The student representatives would also like to provide some solutions, and have gathered several measures and ideas attached in the email that have been taken by other universities worldwide. Given that online examinations will have to take place, and is the method most universities both in Belgium and abroad have followed, on health and fairness grounds we reemphasize the request of freedom of choice.

Thank you for your consideration and continuous collaboration,

KU Leuven Student Representatives

The RESPONSE to this petition can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/19J-iqYpvsUsCnkixW...

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