First reactions to amended resit policy

‘Good news’, but also: ‘back to the drawing board’.
Illustration Valerie Geelen

Summer resits will be moved from August to July as of the upcoming academic year. This announcement was made earlier today. This change should enable students and teachers to take a longer uninterrupted summer vacation. A second proposal, limiting the number of resits per period to three (currently unlimited), was rejected. The representative body was not convinced that this would reduce work pressure.

Lecturers Julia Diederen (Food Chemistry) and Jenneke Heising (Food Quality and Design) issued a call to action earlier this year to give the discussion on the resit policy a new impulse. They feel that the debate on the resits policy is far from over. Lecturer Casper Quist (Biosystematics) agrees that more must be done and suggests giving students a maximum of three attempts to pass an exam.

‘It is important to start now on a proposal for next year.’

Jenneke Heising

‘I agree with a number of things that Jelle Behagel states. However, our call to action was not directed at this proposal. We call for a broader approach that benefits students, teachers, and the quality of education. These aspects are unclear in this proposal, which focuses on work pressure among teachers. The interests of students and quality of education were not mentioned, and I believe these aspects were not given the attention they merit by the resits workgroup. So, a call to return to the drawing board seems appropriate. A new proposal should contribute to teacher and student well-being and the quality of education. That is what we described in our call. I call for a new proposal based on our proposed approach to address the resit issues for next year.’

‘Registering for more than three resists is absolutely unrealistic.’

Julia Diederen

‘The reason behind a maximum of three resits per period is not the teachers’’ work pressure, because that won’t really make a difference. I believe that capping the number of resists to three protects students. Registering for more than three resits is absolutely unrealistic. Studying for and passing more than three courses is impossible. Even for three courses, it is quite challenging, never mind more. It would only lead to failing the exams -and thus more resits- or withdrawing with all the resulting administrative hassle. Both issues as a source of frustration for teachers. This measure is thus to protect the student and not to relieve the lecturers’ work pressure. It is a pity this aspect has not been included in the decision.’

‘Give students a total of three opportunities per course. That way, there is more pressure to take it seriously.’

Casper Quist

‘Moving the summer resits does not mean much for me, but if it helps other colleagues, it’s good news. During the summer resits for my course, between fifty to eighty per cent of the students who register fail to show up, withdraw at the last moment or fail the exam again. I once had seven students register, and only one showed up. A small group of students costs teachers a lot of time, while the results are meagre. Students whom you know are unlikely to pass anyway. And that costs a lot of time. It feels senseless. If you could target this group with adequate policies, that could really help.’

‘Teachers are very busy, and making resit exams is time-consuming. Perhaps allowing students a total of three attempts at passing a course would be good. That way, students know that if they skip a resit, only two chances remain. That would increase the pressure to take it seriously.’

‘Work pressure is high, which means that lecturers must make choices. I prefer to invest my energy in students who are motivated. The summer resits force me to invest a considerable amount of time in people who are not all that eager or are not in the right place. If you want to address work pressure, this is an issue that must be solved.’

How do you feel about the summer resits being pushed forward? And should more be done about the resit policy? Share your opinion in the comments.

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