The university of Liege and the Free University of Brussels (ULB) have announced they are cancelling all exams that require a live presence because of the confinement measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
However exams could take different forms, in line with the rules on social distancing, said Liege university spokesperson Didier Moreau. Those include multiple choice question to be answered remotely; oral exams conducted online; papers to be submitted or others.
“It depends entirely on the decision of rector Pierre Wolper,” Moreau told Belga.
“It makes no sense to plan a session of exams with students present who will necessarily be masked and spread out in an atmosphere of anxiety increased tenfold by each bout of coughing or sneezing,” Prof Wolper wrote to university staff.
The exams, whatever form they take, will take place during the period initially planned, from 11 May to 30 June. They will be preceded by information sessions to allow faculty to explain the options they have chosen and how the exams will be carried out.
Liege’s measures concern some 23,000 students, compared to 32,000 at the ULB. The changes there will concern all faculties and all courses, staff learned on Friday. The exact changes will be communicated on 27 April.
The university of Hasselt, meanwhile, announced last week it would be switching to remote exams this year. The first such remote exam, involving 200 students, took place last Monday, said university spokesperson Elly Van de Velde. Hasselt has a total of just over 6,000 students.
The options chosen by teaching staff there include discussions on documents, open-book exams, video-conferences and multiple choice papers, with staff invigilating via webcam.