What exactly are the exception rules that allow students who take longer than 32 months to complete their Master’s program to still be eligible for a cum laude qualification? The University Council asked the Advisory Committee on Master’s Program Examinations (AEM) to clarify these rules, preferably in the form of a comprehensive list.
In a written response to this request the AEM states that it does not wish to provide such a list. The committee adds that these matters are always examined on a case-by-case basis. The committee also points out that only a small group will invoke an exception rule since very few students are eligible for a cum laude qualification anyway.
Groep-één member Luuk Meeuwis urged rector Frank Baaijens during last Tuesday’s University Council meeting to draw up such a list of exception rules and to include it in the OER for the coming academic year. According to Meeuwis, it would offer students who have questions about exception rules, or those who wish to invoke them, a framework to fall back on. “It can also play a role in a student’s decision whether or not to serve on a board for one year during his Master’s program. Because that could possibly put him at risk of exceeding the term of 32 months,” Meeuwis says.
The AEM prefers to let the academic advisor inform students of the possibilities. During the meeting, the rector proposed to create a special website that provides all possible information about the procedure for obtaining cum laude, including the exception rules. Because Baaijens, too, is reluctant to draw up a list and include it in the OER. “At this point I’m not sure what the legal implications will be. We will have to sort that out,” the rector says. He believes such a list might impose restrictions on AEM members during their decision-making process.
As a compromise, it was decided last Tuesday that in case of cum laude regulations, the OER could possibly refer to a list of already existing exception rules, such as those for binding recommendation. Baaijens said he could live with such a solution.