Education of high quality is paramount for universities. Although it is desirable that other aspects are also of high quality, the most important task of a university is to educate and prepare its students for a successful career. Therefore, this is a major focus of TBR for both Dutch and international students.
Students cannot always physically attend the lecture due to special circumstances. They want to review the missed lecture in order not to delay their studies. The current recording policy prevents optimal preparation for the exam. TBR takes the following position:
- College recordings will be recorded and open at least two weeks before the exam;
- For the student who missed the lecture due to personal circumstances, the lecture withdrawal will be open until one week after the missed lecture;
- For the active student, the lecture withdrawal will be open until the next lecture of the relevant course.
The procedural rules regarding examinations are not unambiguous. First, not every department adheres to the deadline for announcing exam results. As a result, students do not know their study progress while the next lecture block has already started. For this reason, TBR believes that each department should not exceed the deadline of announcing exam results. In addition, TBR advocates reducing evening and weekend exams. These get in the way of proper study planning for students. Not every student can be expected to concentrate during evening hours and students cannot be required to take exams on weekends.
Second, not every department posts a practice exam with answers on Brightspace. Currently, TBR is already working to implement a policy requiring course coordinators and faculty to provide students with at least two practice exams with answers prior to an exam. Indeed, this will ensure that students understand how to answer exam questions and are tested on their knowledge of the
course content rather than on their ability to decipher what a question actually asks.
Third, TBR notes that the doors of the exam rooms open too shortly before the start of the exam. TBR believes that the doors of the examination rooms should open at least ten minutes before the start of the examination at each examination so that students have time to settle in. This will alleviate the current situation whereby the doors of the exam rooms are sometimes opened only five minutes before the exam, as a result of which students do not have enough time to catch their breath after finding their table.
Fourth, in order to improve the quality of teaching, TBR advocates mandatory course evaluations for courses with low pass rates. Currently, this is already the case, as faculty evaluate courses where results are lower than usual. However, this is not done transparently. TBR believes that students should be informed of the content of such assessment, for which courses and when the assessment takes place and the result of the assessment. In general, greater transparency of the assessment procedure - no matter how it is conducted - is desirable.
Finally, there is currently no set policy regarding the viewing of exam results. Some exams can only be viewed digitally during a certain period, while other exams can only be viewed physically. It is unreasonable to require students to view their exams at a specific, unannounced time. TBR argues that every exam result should be available for digital viewing within a reasonable time frame. In addition, should digital access not be possible, the time of physical inspection should be communicated to students in advance within a reasonable time frame.
The past academic year was the last in which there was the "soft cut". Up to a maximum of fifteen bachelor/premaster ECTs could be taken into the master phase in this way, subject to conditions. This coming academic year, on the other hand, there is the hard cut. No bachelor/premaster course may be carried over to the master phase. TBR advocates reintroducing the soft cut. It is unreasonable to deny access to the master phase if students miss only a few courses. In addition, the effects of the corona pandemic are still being felt by some students.
Next year, working groups will become mandatory for students in the first block of the first undergraduate year. TBR takes the position of not making participation in working groups mandatory. It is not reasonable to exclude students from participation if they have not participated in a working group. TBR therefore wishes to emphasize the academic character of our program. After all, academic character looks to the self-responsibility of our students.
TBR stands for better facilities for neurodivergent students. Currently, neurodivergent students are given more time for the examination. Due to the nature of neurodivergence, this is not helpful. It can be difficult for a neurodivergent student to concentrate when other students walk in and out of the exam room. Therefore, TBR will increase awareness and transparency of the other services currently offered by faculty. Furthermore, TBR will explore the possibility of providing lecture slides earlier to neurodivergent students and what changes can be made to the examination requirements for such students. Finally, TBR plans to establish a forum where neurodivergent students can express their wishes and what they deem useful.
Some of the students would like to do a legal internship to build a resume. TBR believes that faculty could do more to inform students about available internships. Faculty could inform students during lecture about what internships are available.
Many students struggle with student debt. This can add up due to having to repeatedly buy the required textbooks. TBR would like to see students have the opportunity to sell their textbooks on the faculty. We would like to accomplish that students can purchase used textbooks on faculty before the start of each block.