Dieiny Crestani 0

Study Abroad Grades Conversion

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This petition is on behalf of students of Bachelor of International Studies who were affected by the conversion of grades from study abroad by Leiden University, and also for future students who plan to study abroad and do not agree with the current conversion system. My name is Dieiny Crestani, s1654667, third-year student of International Studies. As many students, in the first semester of the third year, from September until December 2017, I studied abroad. During my exchange, studying went well and as a result I received high grades. However, when I saw the converted grades in Usis, which were significantly lower than the ones I earned in Rome, I was rather confused and upset as most of my peer students who went abroad.

Therefore, the aforementioned students informed that their grades earned abroad were also downgraded and that is the reason why I created this general petition to represent all the students who felt that the conversion of grades has also affected them negatively. As a result, we decided to write a petition to the Board of Examiners of Leiden University in order to address this issue for not only current students who went abroad but also for future students who plan to take the same path.

To start with, we would like to outline why we consider this conversion to be arbitrary and demotivating. The process of conversion of grades was not specifically outlined and clarified beforehand. As a result of many students’ complaints about this year’s grades conversion, first and second year students also became aware of the downgrading system and are now hesitant whether it is worth going abroad or rather taking a minor via Leiden University (as in this case grades are not downgraded). The main reason why they are hesitant is because the conversion of grades significantly lowered the GPA of numerous students affecting the possibility for applying for a scholarship or a master’s degree.

In connection to that, we would like to propose to Leiden University’s Board of Examiners to re-evaluate this year’s grades and ideally to maintain the same grades as it is very questionable which criteria was used in order to judge different types of curricula in diverse universities across many countries while ignoring the individual experiences of each student. Hence, we suggest to first make the process much clearer and transparent for future students who plan to go abroad. Furthermore, if it is not possible to maintain the obtained grades from this year’s study abroad to then re-consider and re-evaluate each case again. At the moment we do not understand why the grades for all the universities were downgraded in the first place and also why different conversions applied to different universities.

To conclude, with this petition we strive for a positive change for both current and future students and we hope that Leiden University will regard this issue as an important concern. On behalf of all the affected students we would like to thank you for taking the time to read this petition and consider possible solutions.

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