Interim and Final Examinations

This chapter looks at interim and final examinations in general. Specific features and further details can be found in the digital study guide, which are available on the Internet; the guides also include the OER of the program in question.

5.1 Examination Committee and examiners

In order to conduct examinations and for the benefit of the organization and coordination of examinations, the Department Board has set up an Examination Committee for each program or group of programs in its department. The Department Board ensures that expertise in the following areas is present within the Examination Committee: content knowledge of the program, knowledge about testing, knowledge about quality assurance, and legal knowledge related to the OER,the Examinations Regulations, and relevant stipulations in the Higher Education Act (WHW).  At least one member will be a staff member responsible for teaching that program or group of programs. Staff with managerial or financial responsibilities are not permitted to serve as members of an Examination Committee.

The Examination Committee appoints examiners to conduct examinations. The examiners can also be experts from outside the institute.

The Examination Committee will establish rules and regulations for procedures during interim and final examinations, and related measures. These rules and guidelines are included in the Examination Regulations, which also address interim and final examination applications, as well as fraud during interim examinations and the ensuing countermeasures. In the event of fraud, the Examination Committee may rule that the student cannot take part in one or more specified interim or final examinations for up to one year. In the case of serious fraud, the Departmental Board can decide, on the recommendation of the Examination Committee, to permanently terminate the enrollment of the student concerned.

The Examination Committee establishes regulations or gives instructions to examiners concerning the assessment of those taking the examination and determination of the examination result.

5.2 Taking interim and final examinations

Each study component concludes with an interim examination. An interim examination is designed to test the knowledge, insight and skill of students and external students regarding a certain study component, and to reach an assessment of the results of that test. Interim examinations can be conducted in various ways: orally, in writing or in some other manner. The OER describes the way in which a certain examination is to be conducted. The OER must also state in what way students can take cognizance of the questions and assignments of a written examination and of the assessment criteria. The assessment criteria for practicals must also be made known before the practical starts.

For students on a  Bachelor’s program in the Bachelor College, an examination in the propaedeutic year of the program consists of at least two interim tests and a final test. In the second and third years, the obligation that an examination must consist of at least one interim test and a final test has been revoked as of 1 September 2016. Study components must be structured as follows:

  • during the study component students must have insight into and receive feedback about their progress 
  • during the study component they must obtain insight into the requirements for the final test (in other words, there is proper preparation for the final test). 
  • students are stimulated to make an active contribution to the study component.  

The assessment of an examination is expressed by a final grade. The OER specifies the maximum part of the final grade for a study component that can be determined by the final test of the examination. The interim tests for each study component are set out in an annex to the OER. Interim and final tests can be conducted in various ways: orally, in writing or in some other manner. The OER describes the way in which a final test is to be conducted. The OER must also state in what way students can take cognizance of the questions and assignments of a written final test and of the assessment criteria. The assessment criteria for practicals must also be made known before the practical starts. The way in which a certain interim test must be conducted and the assessment criteria are specified in the study guide for the study component concerned. The study guide also states how the grades for the interim and final tests count towards the final grade for the study component.

The final examinations relating to a specific program must be specified in the OER.

In the 2016–2017 academic year, as explained in Chapter 2, the TU/e offers Bachelor’s programs, Master’s programs and one-year post-initial teacher-training programs.

The Bachelor’s programs have a propaedeutic phase of one year, which concludes with a propaedeutic certificate and a post-propaedeutic phase of two years, which concludes with a final examination. The Master’s programs have one examination for the program as a whole: the final examination.

Further information on the content of the propaedeutic examination and final examination of Bachelor’s programs can be found in the appropriate digital study guide (educationguide.tue.nl).  

Only those who meet the admittance requirements for the program in question and who are enrolled at the institute as a student or external student are authorized to take interim and final examinations. 

A student can also design a program himself from study components, which is linked to an examination (this is known as the ‘free-study’ program). If the Examination Committee gives its approval, it will indicate to which program the free-study program belongs. 

5.2.1. ‘Quarantine’ regulation

A number of departments have a ‘quarantine’ regulation. This means that, under certain conditions, students are given the opportunity to take final examinations that have been scheduled at the same time in succession. This regulation has been recorded within the TU/e Examination Regulations. For further information, students can consult the program’s academic advisor.

5.2.2. 2015 Central Examination Regulations

Until September 1st, 2014, the Examination Committees were responsible for the practical organization of interim and final examinations. Given that the duties of the Examination Committees were reinforced as of September 1st, 2010, resulting in greater emphasis on safeguarding quality, the institute board is responsible for this task with effect from September 1st, 2014. This is the reason for drawing up the 2015 Central Examination Regulations. The regulations specify, among other things, the duties of examiners/subject experts and invigilators during examinations. The regulations also include the rules for students. In addition to the introduction of these regulations, a cover sheet has been designed for use by lecturers in examinations. The design of the attendance card has been modified. Within the framework of the regulations, and certainly in the context of fraud policy at the TU/e, agreements have been made regarding toilet visits during examinations, and which types of ‘transgression’ constitute fraud/cheating (e.g. placing a mobile telephone in a trouser pocket instead of in a bag).

 

Legislation and regulations: 

  • 2015 Central Examination Regulations, adopted by the CvB on December 4th, 2014 including annexes.

5.2.3. TU/e testing policy

The purpose of the TU/e Assessment Framework is to enable the institute as a whole to account for testing methods and to promote, monitor and safeguard the quality of assessment. On the basis of the TU/e-wide assessment framework and policy, each department draws up a testing policy with the same aims, but geared to department level. It is useful for students to know how responsibility for the quality assurance of assessment processes is assigned.

The responsibilities are split into two parts. On the one hand, the program board undertakes to ensure quality in the manner set out in the testing policy regarding ensuring the quality of assessment. On the other hand, each program has an Examination Committee whose duties include the proactive monitoring of compliance with agreements made and safeguarding assessment quality.

For the purpose of achieving a certain level of quality for assessment, the institute has, for example, formulated a vision on assessment, set up processes for support and expertise development, and drawn up regulations. In order to enable the safeguarding of assessment quality the institute has, for example, drawn up a guide to the composition and duties of Examination Committees to ensure that they can work as independently as possible.

Legislation and regulations:

  • The TU/e Assessment Framework, formerly the outline policy document for the TU/e assessment policy (Contourennota TU/e toetsenbeleid), adopted by the CvB on June 24th, 2013 revised version adopted by the CvB on October 23rd, 2014 

5.2.4. Fraud Policy

"Cheating in tests and in applications for exemptions or examinations comprises any act or omission on the part of a student that makes it partially or completely impossible for the examiner to form an accurate opinion of his or her knowledge, understanding and skills, and/or deliberate attempts on the part of a student to influence any part of the examination process for the purpose of influencing the results of the examination."

Students must be clearly informed during their studies that fraud is not compatible with an academic study program, that fraud is not easy, that the probability of being caught is high and that successful fraud is rare. To this end, the CvB has commissioned the compilation and further development of the TU/e-wide Education Fraud Policy. Plagiarism is a specific type of fraud and combating it falls within the scope of the TU/e Education Fraud Policy. As stated in Chapter 8, failure to comply with copyright regulations is a form of plagiarism and also constitutes fraud. The fraud policy is divided into four elements, namely: 

  1. Informing: The boundaries of what is permissible are communicated to the student in a clear manner by the university.
  2. Prevention: Any situations conducive to fraud shall be precluded by the university and its students.
  3. Detection: The institution shall ensure that no cheating occurs during examinations.
  4. Imposing sanctions: In the event of fraud, the Examination Committees will impose sanctions on the offending students that, in light of the breach of trust, are appropriate to the type of fraud committed.

The fraud policy describes the actions that the institute will take for each element in order to maintain, on the basis of those elements, a culture of academic integrity in the study environment.

Legislation and Regulations

  • TU/e Education fraud policy (adopted by the CvB on March 5th, 2015, addition of Chapter 7 on April 9th, 2015) Model 2017-2018 Examination Regulations 

 

5.3 Education and examination regulations (OER)

The OER can be considered as a regulation that the Department Board has to determine, after obtaining prior permission from the University Council (universiteitsraad, UR) and the Department Council (faculteitsraad, FR, which has no right of approval regarding points a through g below), for each program or group of programs in its department. Program means: a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program. 

The law prescribes that a number of aspects must be included in the OER, mainly to safeguard students’ legal security: 

a. the program content and the corresponding examinations;

b. the major subject contents within a program;

c. the qualities relating to knowledge, insight and skills a student must have obtained by the end of the program;

d. where necessary, the structure of practical programs;

e. the study workload of the program and of each of the accompanying study components;

f. if a program has a binding study recommendation or reference in the propaedeutic phase, the detailed regulations relating to this;

g. specification of which Master’s programs the institute assigns a higher study load than 42 credits old style or 60 credits;

h. the number and sequence of interim examinations, and the times at which they can be taken;

i. the structure of the program (full-time, part-time or dual);

j. where necessary, the sequence in which, the periods within which and the frequency per academic year with which interim and final examinations can be taken;

k. where necessary, the period for which passed interim examinations are valid, notwithstanding the authority of the Examination Committee to extend that period;

l. whether interim examinations have to be taken orally, in writing or otherwise – the Examination Committee has the authorization to determine otherwise in special cases;

m. the way in which physically or mentally disabled students are, within reason, given the opportunity to take interim examinations;

n. the extent to which oral interim examinations are open to the public – the Examination Committee may determine otherwise in special cases;

o. the period within which the examination results have to be published, as well as the conditions under which it is possible to deviate from this period;

p. how and when students who have taken a written interim examination can see their assessed work;

q. within what period and how students can see the questions of his written interim examination and the assessment criteria applied;

r. on what basis (e.g. interim examinations passed elsewhere in the higher education sector, knowledge or skills acquired outside the higher education sector) the Examination Committee can grant exemptions;

s. where necessary, passing interim examinations is a condition for taking other interim examinations;

t. if the program contains practical exercises, it must be specified whether students are obliged to take part in them in order to take certain interim examinations – the Examination Committee reserves the right to grant exemption from practical exercises or impose replacement requirements;

u. monitoring study progress and individual study counseling.

The OER also includes the requirements set for the entrance examination (colloquium doctum) and for the supplementary investigation on the basis of which exemption can be obtained from the subject package requirements.

Based on the WHW, the OER must specify, for every Bachelor’s program – or if applicable, for a major subject within a Bachelor’s program – at least one Master’s program which links up to that program or major subject, with a view to the intake of students who have completed a Bachelor’s program. This is a doorstroommaster (direct-access Master’s program). This requirement ceased to apply on September 1st, 2014.

The OER for the corresponding Master’s program must also specify the admission requirements for students taking the preceding Bachelor’s program but who have not yet completed it, and for students who are not taking the Bachelor’s program or who have taken it but who want to apply for the Master’s program through a proof of admission. For proof of admission, see section 2.5. 

As of September 1st, 2012, all students, including (HBO) pre-Master’s students, have to complete their Bachelor’s program before being admitted to a Master’s program. 

If a Bachelor’s or Master’s program is being offered for the first time, the OER must be established no later than three months before the start of the academic year. 

Before the Department Board establishes the OER, after prior approval of certain components by the FR, the program committee will give advice about the establishment of, or changes to, the OER. There is a program committee for every program; half of its members are students enrolled in the program, and the other half are members of staff.

The Department Board is responsible for reviewing the OER regularly and monitoring its implementation. The program committee will review the way in which the OER is implemented annually.

Within the TU/e, the use of the model OERs for the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs as guidelines is prescribed in general terms by the CvB. The parts of the OER that serve as a guideline are submitted to the University Council for approval.

These rules are the same for all programs. The model OERs can be found on educationguide.tue.nl.

5.4 Certificates and statements

Examination results are disseminated to the students through email. As an extra service, students can retrieve their own results from the internet with a personal access code. The results can also be announced on the official noticeboards. Students who pass an examination will receive a certificate as proof. To receive a certificate, students must sign up for an Examination Committee meeting via the system used by the TU/e. The Examination Committee will deal with this request as quickly as possible.

The certificate of the university teacher-training program must also mention the competence requirements fulfilled by the holder. 

The examination certificates for final exam of the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs must contain the following information:

  • the name of the institution and the specific program (as mentioned in the CROHO);
  • which components the examination covered;
  • (if applicable) what qualification is connected to the certificate (e.g. teaching qualification);
  • what degree was awarded (see also paragraph 5.6);
  • when the program was most recently accredited.

The certificates are, at this time, drawn up and presented in Dutch and English. In addition, a supplement has been added to the certificates for the final examinations of the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs. The supplement provides information on the nature and content of the program completed by the student, partly to aid international recognition of programs. The supplement will in any case comprise the following information:

  1. the name of the program and the institute providing it;
  2. whether it is an academic or a higher vocational program;
  3. a description of the content of the program, and
  4. the study load of the program.

The TU/e will draft the supplement in English. The supplement provided with the Bachelor’s degree certificate also states that the student has successfully completed the basic study component in Professional Skills.

Students who have passed at least two interim examinations, but not the final examination for that component, will receive a statement from the Examination Committee on request stating which interim examinations the student passed.

5.5 Double degree

5.5.1 Internal double degree

Definitions:

Study program: an accredited study program with its own independent CROHO position. 

Internal double degree Bachelor’s programs: the situation in which a student seeks to obtain the degrees and accompanying certificates of several Bachelor’s programs of the TU/e through additional effort up to a maximum of 90 credits. 

Internal double degree Master’s programs: the situation in which a student seeks to obtain the degrees and accompanying certificates of several Master’s programs of the TU/e through additional effort up to a maximum of 75 credits.

An internal double degree refers to situations in which a student wishes to be awarded certificates, with a limited extra study load, from more than one – partly overlapping – Bachelor’s program or Master’s program at the TU/e. This means that the student will receive two degree certificates if the following requirements are met. The guideline for double degrees issued by the CvB on June 15, 2017, has additional requirements for the double degrees of both Bachelor’s and Master’s programs of the TU/e. The introduction was therefore set at the beginning of the academic year 2017-2018 and only applicable to students entering their study programs from that year on. 

Bachelor’s programs

To be eligible for an internal double degree, a student must have at least 45 credits from the successful completion of major study components in addition to the regular study load of a program, in order to fulfill the final requirements of both programs. Students who obtain 90 credits more than the regular study load are not eligible for a double degree. To obtain two Bachelor’s degrees in the context of an internal double degree with accompanying certificatesbi-certification, students must therefore achieve an extra study load of at least 225 and no more than 270 credits. To obtain more than two Bachelor’s degrees with accompanying certificates (triple degree), the study load is increased by a further 45 – 90 credits of courses with respect to the double degree for each additional Bachelor’s program. An extra separate Bachelor’s final project must be completed as well. 

If the student conducts one Bachelor’s final project, the core elements of both programs must be clearly recognizable within it. This will be assessed by the relevant Examination Committees. Such a joint Bachelor’s final project encompasses 20 credits of which 10 credits are part of the extra 45 – 90 credits of the double degree. Requests for an internal double degree and, if applicable, a joint Bachelor’s final project, must be submitted in writing to the relevant Examination Committees before the beginning of the student’s third year of enrollment.

Master’s programs

To be eligible for an internal double degree, a student must have at least 45 credits from the successful completion of courses plus the graduation project/final project in addition to the regular study load of a program, in order to fulfill the final requirements of both programs. Students who obtain 75 credits more than the regular study load are not eligible for a double degree. To obtain two Master’s degrees with accompanying certificates in the context of an internal double degree, students must therefore achieve an extra study load of at least 165 credits and no more than 195 credits.

To obtain more than two Master’s degrees with accompanying certificates (triple degree), the study load is increased by a further 30 – 60 credits of courses plus 15 credits for graduation project/final project with respect to the double degree for each additional Master’s program. 

If the student conducts one graduation project or final project, the core elements of both programs must be clearly recognizable within it. This will be assessed by the relevant Examination Committees.

If two Master’s programs have jointly determined and published a double degree program, they may reduce the minimum of 45 credits to 30 credits of additional study load. This deviation is in any case applicable to the double degree of the educational Master’s program Science Education and Communication.

Requests for an internal double degree and, if applicable, a joint graduation or final project,  a must be submitted to the relevant Examination Committees before the beginning of the student’s second year of enrollment.

Further information on internal double degrees

Legislation and regulations: Art. 9.5, 7.59, 9.33 WHW;

Art. 3.6 section d, 2.2, 2.35 BGR/TU/e

CvB guidelines of June 15th, 2017 on the internal double degree within the TU/e.

5.5.2 Double degree on the basis of agreements with a foreign institute

A double degree here means that, based on a cooperation agreement with a foreign higher education institute, part of the program can be taken at that institute; on the basis of the results obtained at both the Dutch and the foreign institute, students who complete the program successfully have the right to two certificates: a Dutch certificate and a foreign one. Information on the possibilities for double degrees is available from the academic advisors of the different programs. See: educationguide.tue.nl/programs/graduate-school/masters-programs/

5.6 Degrees and titles

The Act introducing the Bachelor-Master structure states that students who pass the final examination of a Bachelor’s or Master’s program will be awarded a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, respectively.

Depending on the discipline in which the final examination was taken, the suffixes “of Arts or “of Science” will be added. The TU/e Bachelor’s and Master’s programs lead to “Bachelor of Science” or “Master of Science” degrees. 

Graduates can add these titles to their names. The degrees are abbreviated to BSc and MSc respectively, and placed after the name. 

Students who have obtained a Master of Science degree at the TU/e may also adopt the Dutch title “ingenieur” (engineer), abbreviated to “ir.”, which is placed before the name. An exception to this rule is the Master’s program in Science Education and Communication. This program falls under 'education' and entitles graduates to use the title “drs”.

Graduates have to choose whether to use the title “ir.” or “drs” before their name or MSc after it, but cannot use both at the same time.


Further information on interim and final examinations

Legislation and regulations:

  • Articles 7.3, 7.3d, 7.8, 7.10 through 7.14, 7.20 of the WHW

Publications:

  • educationguide.tue.nl

For more information:

  • ESA, tel. +31 (0)40 - 247 47 47
  • Departmental academic advisors