Students are urgently advised to keep checking Canvas for information about their courses and exams. For lecturers who want support in providing online education, have a look at the Canvas page ‘Keep on Teaching’.
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.
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
Work placement activities may continue, depending on the location. This must be assessed individually by you and your place of internship.
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.
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.
The UvA student exchange programmes for the second semester have been cancelled. This decision was based on safety, academic added value and feasibility considerations. In May of this year, we already made the decision to cancel face-to-face student exchanges in the first semester and decide on the exchange programmes for the second semester in the autumn.
Students who cannot go abroad for an exchange have been contacted. We will consult with these students to consider possible alternatives. The options for these vary according to the particular student, faculty and partner university. They may include postponing the exchange; completing a minor, elective or project at the UvA; or taking online courses at a partner university.
The Executive Board will decide whether or not to resume student exchanges in the first semester of the 2021-2022 academic year in the spring of 2021.
Yes, travelling during the curfew because you have to take an exam is allowed. Please make sure you have a filled in 'Self-declaration for curfew exemption'-form, issued by the government.
In addition, you will receive a form from your faculty, which provides evidence of the neccesity of your travel.
The guidelines were recently communicated for dealing with University of Amsterdam (UvA) Bachelor's students who have been admitted to a Master's programme (in 2020-2021), despite not yet having all the required ECTS credits (no more than 15 ECTS remaining). From an administrative perspective, this means being enrolled in a Bachelor's programme and Master's programme simultaneously. This could mean that tuition fees are owed for both programmes. However, we find this to be an undesirable situation. Students who have been admitted to a Master's programme under these circumstances (i.e. with lacking ECTS) will therefore be paying tuition fees only once, officially only for the Master's programme. This is subject to the standard criteria applicable to a Master's programme (depending on an individual student's situation, these are the statutory tuition fees or the institutional tuition fees). Double enrolment may not lead to increased tuition fees for the Master's programme.
This applies to EEA and non-EEA students.
In the case of pre-Master's students, we determined earlier that they must pay tuition fees for the Master's programme (principal enrolment), with the fee for the pre-Master's programme being waived if they go on to enrol in the Master's programme. Bachelor's students who enrol in a pre-Master's programme, without yet having all the required ECTS credits, will only pay the tuition fees for their Bachelor's programme and not for the pre-Master's programme. If anything has erroneously been paid for the pre-Master's programme, this will be deducted from further payments or reimbursed. These guidelines currently apply specifically to student progression at the UvA.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The company that supplies the software (Proctorio) may not see the images because they’re encrypted (end-to-end, zero knowledge encryption). The servers are located in the EU and after thirty days everything is automatically deleted. It has also been established that the images will never be used for anything other than detecting possible fraud. Read the privacy statement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this case, we advise you to go to a ‘neutral’ place to take the test, such as a library or educational institution.
This will be determined by the Examinations Board and may therefore differ per study programme or test.
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.
The 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.
On the Keep on Teaching pages you can find tips and tricks for lecturers on how to provide education online. Live support is also available (Canvas).
Are you a teacher and do you need more information or do you have suggestions? On the Canvas homepage, under 'Tell us what's missing', you can find a link to a Canvas discussion where you can leave feedback. There is also a live support channel where teaching experts from the UvA can answer questions live at different times.
The Keep on Teaching Canvas site is operated by a team of education experts and support staff from the joint TLCs. They can answer questions and provide tailored advice via the discussion forum and the live support channel.
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.
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:
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.
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.
In the weekly EB newsletter, the Faculty Board informs employees about the coronavirus-related announcements.
Lecturers at the Faculty of Humanities are kept informed by email by the College/Graduate School directors. The most important updates can be found in the weekly newsflash and on the Faculty’s staff website.
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.
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.
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.