Students at the University of Iceland have called plans for final exams in December irresponsible. The President of the Student Council, Isabel Alejandra Diaz, states that this is in no way in accordance with the regulation on prevention of infections. The Student Council now weighs its options when it comes to answers. Teachers and authorities of the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences find it inevitable that some exams will take place in person at the University of Iceland, as Sigurður Magnús Garðarsson, Dean of the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, said RÚV.
Earlier this month, Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland, announced that all final exams would be online, except for competition exams and exams where teachers can not complete a course assessment in any other way. Yesterday, the school published a list of exam arrangements and it became clear that these exceptions were more than students had expected. According to Isabel, the number of planned personal exams varies. “The School of Humanities has only organized two exams in person, but the School of Health Sciences has 72. It surprised us how differently the schools take the situation. In December, the School of Health Sciences organized an exam where 1,100 students attend the same place. This would be a gathering of people who do not normally communicate with each other, “said Isabel said to RÚV. According to Isabel, the student council will consult with the health authorities as well as the school board and hope for a successful collaboration.
According to Sigurður, 53 of the 120 final exams organized for the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences take place in person at the university’s buildings. He told RÚV: “We evaluate it in this way, listen to the students and behave according to the results of a survey of students’ health during the pandemic. Asked if students could not take the exams online, Sigurður replied that the teachers believed that it was not possible to complete the exams in question in any other way.
Sigurður also stated that the university had worked closely with the health authorities since the pandemic began and that the exams will follow the code of ethics against infections, just like all other school activities. He told RÚV, “there will not be many exams, so it should be easy to distribute students across several classrooms.
The Student Council’s statement can be read in its entirety below:
The Student Council expresses disappointment with the arrangement of final exams at the University of Iceland and that resources / pass resources will not be available this semester. The council has repeatedly encouraged university administrators to take into account all students and their diverse circumstances.
It is clear from the Student Council’s survey, on the well – being and position of students, that students do not feel well in these circumstances due to COVIS-19 and experience pressure that they believe will affect their academic progress. In accordance with these results, the Student Council demanded that the assessment methods be reviewed and a new regulation of the Minister of Education on restrictions on school work due to stricter COVID-19 restrictions, which did not take students into account despite consultation with the government, was criticized.
The Student Council has demanded that the response of the University of Iceland be fair and does not consider this response to be sufficient. Even if the pandemic comes in waves, it is not acceptable to force students to take personal exams and not offer other solutions, especially when most studies have been online this semester.
It is important that students are confident in their studies and that they feel good. We emphasize that this is not a traditional semester and that traditional assessment methods are not the solution. The Student Council will support as much as it can and continue to speak in your favor.