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Education in the 2020/2021 academic year

FAQ: Students

  • What does education look like during the corona crisis?

    Education takes place within government guidelines. Whether you’re learning online or on campus, we guarantee that all your classes and exams will go ahead. For the academic year 2021-2022, we are assuming that teaching activities on the campus will be possible without restrictions.

    For more information check the page for new students.

  • Is campus attendance compulsory?

    We understand that it is not easy or possible for everyone to come to campus. Your presence on campus is therefore voluntary unless the situation should require physical attendance (e.g. for practicals). If you are abroad or are unable, or unwilling, to come to campus due to health risks or quarantine requirements, your degree programme will assist you in finding an alternative solution.

  • I’m working on my thesis. Will the deadline remain the same?

    Many students are currently hard at work writing a thesis. In principle, the thesis deadlines remain unchanged. However, because of the coronavirus measures, you may be unable to collect the necessary data or you may have less access to relevant sources. Study programmes will take this into account as much as possible. If necessary, they’ll consider which countermeasures can be taken, such as offering students existing data sets. If completion of a thesis is not possible, study programmes will offer an adapted arrangement, tailored to the students in question. These arrangements will be determined in consultation with the Examination Board of the study programme, taking into account the overall learning objectives

  • When can I inspect the exam I took online?

    After the results of a written examination have been released, you have the right to inspect the assessed exam within 20 working days. This is a provision in the Teaching and Examination Regulations (OER). However, in the current situation, the 20-day period is not always feasible. Examiners will do their best to make online inspection possible, or to request that the inspection option be postponed. We ask for your understanding in this matter.

  • Honors/Cum Laude graduation: what are the rules?

    For the academic year 2019-2020, UvA-wide guidelines were drawn up last year for the examination boards regarding how to deal with the requirements regarding honors and cum laude during the corona crisis. These guidelines will not be continued for the current academic year. Academic Affairs has submitted a request and the result is that no renewed guidelines are necessary. Based on the existing regulations, the Examination Boards have sufficient tools to exercise leniency where necessary.

  • Can I make a face-to-face appointment with a study adviser?

    Both students and study advisers have expressed a need for one-to-one meetings on campus. These are now made possible in some cases. This is on a voluntary basis: each adviser can decide whether or not they are comfortable with meeting in person on location of prefer an online meeting.

    Students can consult study advisers about their academic career as well as concerning problems caused by their studies or personal matters that are affecting the latter and their ability to study.

    These meetings are by appointment. Of course the 1½-metre rule will apply and all other measures will remain in place. Students can find further information on study advisers in the A-Z list for their degree programme.

    These meetings are by appointment. Of course the 1½-metre rule will apply and all other measures will remain in place. Students can find further information on study advisers in the A-Z list for their degree programme.

Academic year 2021-2022

FAQ: tuition fees

  • Is it possible to be admitted to a Master's programme based on the less-strict progression requirements in 2021-2022?

    The possibility of starting a Master’s programme with a (limited) study completion delay in the Bachelor’s phase will also be open in 2021-2022. As a rule, the delay in the Bachelor's phase may not be greater than 15 ECTS, given that this will result in a programme that is no longer feasible (with too many credits having to be obtained in the Master’s phase).

    The option of starting a Master's programme despite not yet having earned all required ECTS credits is open to students with a prior education in the EEA. As has been the case to date, it is not open to students with a prior education in non-EEA countries.

FAQ: BSA (Binding Study Advice)

  • Will first-year students receive a BSA in 2021?

    In the past academic year, issuing a ‘binding study advice’ (BSA) was postponed. In an uncertain year, universities gave the first-year students extra opportunity to obtain the minimum number of credits. The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has decided not to postpone the BSA again in academic year 2020-2021.

    However, in view of the corona crisis, the 14 Dutch universities have opted to lower the standard for the binding study advice (BSA) this academic year by 10-15%. For the UvA, this means that students who started their study in the academic year 2020 - 2021 and who have achieved 6 ECs fewer than the BSA standard will still be admitted to the next academic year. Broadly speaking, first-year students need to complete one major subject less in order to continue.

  • Why was decided to not postpone the BSA another year?

    All universities keep data on the progress students are making in their degree programmes. These data reveal that there was hardly any study delay last year. We currently do not expect significant study delays in the coming year either, since nearly all teaching activities are being offered to first-year students, offline and online. So, the UvA and other universities see no reason to once again postpone issuing BSAs.

    The UvA will continue to closely monitor the teaching activities on offer and students’ study progress. If necessary, in consultation with the Programme Committee, specific degree programme departments may decide to show leniency to their first-year students by taking a related measure.

    If a department decides to do so, we will notify students before 1 February 2021. In addition, within the existing arrangements, it remains possible to grant postponement in individual cases where students are disproportionately affected.

    Get in touch with your faculty to find out more.

FAQ: Online proctoring

  • Does the UvA use online proctoring?

    Yes, but only if there’s no alternative. Because of the coronavirus crisis, study programmes are looking for alternative forms of assessment, such as timed take-home exams, oral exams, final assignments or essays. For some exams, such as multiple choice tests for large groups, there are no alternative testing methods, partly because of the risk of fraud.

    Online proctoring is one solution that would prevent having to postpone tests - tests for which no alternative could be found during the coronavirus crisis. In this way, exams for large groups can be held remotely and study delays can be avoided. It also offers international students the opportunity to take exams without returning to the Netherlands.

     

  • Is my privacy well protected?

    Yes, online proctoring meets GDPR requirements. One the basis of a Data Protection Impact Assessment, the data protection official has given positive advice about implementing Proctorio during the coronavirus crisis. 

    During online proctoring, software monitors the exam and recordings are made.  This means that there are legitimate concerns about privacy and data security. Before making a decision, the UvA focused on this issue in particular. For example, it has been established that the data will only be accessible to authorised UvA staff, such as members of the Examinations Board.

    Read the privacy statement.

  • Can Proctorio detect fraud?

    Online proctoring software detects suspicious behaviour but doesn’t determine whether fraud has occurred. This is always the responsibility of the examiner and the UvA’s Examinations Board.

  • Is the system reliable?

    Tests show that the system is good at detecting cheating, but fraud can never be entirely eliminated. This is also the case with alternative forms of testing such as timed take-home exams or other options.

  • How can I prepare?

    If no alternative form of testing is available and online proctoring is chosen, then you will receive detailed information from your study programme well in advance. You will receive timely instructions about the software, how to install it and how to prepare. You will also be told what the software looks for and how deviations are assessed, and you will be given a practice test in order to determine whether your hardware, software and internet connection are good enough to be able to take the online exam.

  • I’m unable/unwilling to take the exam from home

    If your personal circumstances prevent you from taking the exam at home, an alternative will be offered, in line with the safety guidelines of National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). One option could be to take the exam at a UvA location and use the online proctoring software there. The Educational Service Desk of the study programme in question will assess whether there’s sufficient reason to use alternative testing. A concern about privacy is not sufficient in and of itself to render someone eligible for alternative testing.

  • Why is there no alternative to online proctoring?

    The decision as to whether online proctoring can be used for a specific examination is made by the director of the graduate school or college, in consultation with the Examinations Board. They do this based on an assessment of possible alternatives, the number of students involved and the nature of the assessment form.

    It is not always possible to use other assessment forms such as essays, oral or take-home exams. One example is the case of multiple-choice exams for large groups.

    The most important reason is that we must be able to know who has done the exam and that fraud has not taken place. In the case of a take-home exam it is difficult to verify who has completed the exam. Online proctoring allows us to verify the student’s identity and invigilate exams online.  

    Another reason is that some of the restrictions that are imposed when multiple choice exams or essay-based exams are offered online (such as having to answer in a shorter space of time and not being allowed to scroll up and down between the questions) are experienced as stressful by students. Online proctoring makes it possible to administer exams in a form that is more like the normal situation.

    A final consideration is that replacing multiple-choice exams with open-book or essay-based exams results in a lot of additional work for teaching staff, who are already extremely busy preparing online lectures. That is another reason it is not always possible to offer an alternative.

  • Where can I get more information?

    If no good alternatives can be found and online proctoring is chosen, then the study programme will provide information about this well in advance and you’ll receive a manual with detailed instructions.

FAQ: Lecturers

Keep on Teaching pages have been set up for all UvA lecturers to provide support in developing online teaching and exams. As a lecturer, you’ll also receive a lot of teaching information  from your faculty or study programme. For example, guidelines for switching to online exams or for supervising projects may differ per faculty or study programme.

  • What options are available for taking online exams? For example, can online proctoring be used?

    The advice for off-campus online exams is to use Canvas as much as possible. The options for online testing in Canvas can be found on the Keep on Teaching page. Canvas offers a way to control plagiarism during exams. When deciding on the assessment form and method, it is important to consult the Board of Examiners, the ICTO department and the programme director for approval and a feasibility check.

    Online proctoring is in great demand but is not currently being offered. It puts high requirements on students in terms of equipment and technology and a lot can go wrong in real-time. Privacy and security are also important elements. We are keeping a close eye on national developments.

  • When do I have to give students access to their examinations for inspection?

    After written exam results have been released, students have the right to inspect the assessed exam within 20 working days. This is a provision in the Teaching and Examination Regulations (OER). However, in the current situation, the 20-day period is not always feasible. Examiners are advised to offer students two options:

    1. Online inspection. There are some best practices which faculty assessment experts are familiar with.
    2. Postponing the inspection of written exams.
  • I’m currently supervising students writing their thesis. Which rules apply?

    Many students are currently hard at work writing a thesis. In principle, the thesis deadlines remain unchanged. However, because of the coronavirus measures, students may be unable to collect the necessary data or you may have less access to relevant sources. Study programmes will take this into account as much as possible. If necessary, they’ll consider which countermeasures can be taken, such as offering students existing data sets. If a thesis cannot be completed normally, study programmes will offer an adapted arrangement, tailored to the students in question. These arrangements will be determined in consultation with the Examination Board of the study programme, taking into account the overall learning objectives. Guidelines for thesis supervision will be shared with lecturers through their own faculty’s teaching organisation.

  • Where can I find information and regulations that apply to teaching within my faculty?

    Because information and regulations can differ per faculty and/or study programme, these will be communicated as much as possible directly from the faculty/programme. This means via College/Graduate School directors and/or study programme directors, or through teaching support units. It’s therefore advisable to keep a close eye on your email in addition to Canvas. If you miss important information about teaching procedures, ask the programme director. The programme director can, if necessary, refer your question ‘upwards’.

    We can well imagine that in this hectic time you sometimes miss an email or can not easily find it. Below you will find per faculty where you can retrieve important documents or announcements, if available online.

    Economics and Business

    In the weekly EB newsletter, the Faculty Board informs employees about the coronavirus-related announcements.

    Faculty of Humanities

    Faculty’s staff website. 

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Science

    Important information about teaching is shared with lecturers, per domain, by the College/Graduate School directors. This is done by email and through Canvas. Important updates are also shared in the weekly newsletter.

    Faculty of Science

    Programme directors will inform Faculty of Science lectures by email by about any regulations and developments that concern them. The most important announcements can be found in the weekly newsletter. Regulations can be found on the lecturer’s site in Datanose.

    Faculty of Law

    The 'Coronavirus and Education' page on the Faculty of Law staff website contains the latest documents and guidelines for education and testing in block 5. The ‘Working from home' page contains additional practical information about telecommuting, additional policy and other current issues related to the coronavirus.

    Go to ‘Coronavirus and education’ for Faculty of Law lecturers 

    Go to ‘Working from home’ for Faculty of Law staff

Academic year 2021-2022