The number of resits for which students are allowed to register is set to go from unlimited to three and the summer resits will no longer be in August but in July. At least, that is what the Executive Board wants; the WUR Council still has to agree to the proposal.
The proposed decision of the Executive Board follows years of discussions about WUR’s resit policy; teachers in particular complain about extra work pressure due to the flexible resit regulations at WUR. The proposal to move the resits from August to July, straight after period 6, was put forward by the resit working group.
Policy officer Jetske ten Caat of the working group: ‘In the current system, the resit week would start on 7 August 2023. In the new proposal, it starts on 12 July, with the possibility of resit exams for the second half of period 6 on 27 and 28 July. We want to give those teaching courses in this period the choice: will you grade quickly and be done sooner, or do you need more time to grade and will you therefore hold the resit at the end of July?’ The deadline for submitting the grades for all resits will be 15 August. That allows more time, so lecturers will have greater flexibility and be able to go on holiday for longer periods.
From unlimited to three
The proposal to limit the number of resits per period comes from rector Arthur Mol and education dean Arnold Bregt, says Ten Caat. ‘Bregt went around the science groups with the working group’s proposal to bring forward the summer resit period. It was positively received, but there was also criticism: just bringing forward the resit period does not reduce the workload. To do that, the number of resits per period should be limited as well. At the moment students can still register for an unlimited number of resits. They should be restricted to a maximum of three.’
But exceptions should be made, says Ten Caat, for exceptional circumstances. ‘If you can explain to the examination board why you need four resits, then we should respond generously.’ The resits working group also discussed limiting the number of resits, but could not agree among themselves. Ten Caat: ‘Through Mol and Bregt this has now been included in the proposal to the Executive Board.’
On Wednesday 29 June, the GV (Joint Assembly, the consultative body that includes representatives of the Student Council and the WUR Council) will discuss the Executive Board’s intended decision. The GV has vetoing rights, so if this body does not agree with the intended decision, it is off the table for the time being. In the week after the consultation, the GV will respond with a ‘formal letter’ to the Executive Board. Then we shall know whether the decision is ‘final’. Mol also indicates that in the absence of an agreement, further steps will be taken ‘because there is a serious need to reduce the work pressure among teachers’.
Lecturers Julia Diederen (Food Chemistry) and Jenneke Heising (Food Quality and Design) had had enough after years of fruitless discussion. They wrote a call to action in which they state that the current resit policy adds significantly to teachers’ already heavy workload and that it is unacceptable that nothing is being done about it’. Read more about it in this background story.