Determine examination regulations



The programme team develops joint examination regulations by which following aspects have to be considered:
• agree on the organizational framework for the examinations;
• agree on a joint grading system
• agree on awarding the joint diploma and on possible modular awards or microcredentials
• define the descriptors of the joint diploma supplement.


Agree on the organizational framework for the examinations

The partners should agree on common exam methods and mechanisms to assess students’ performance, in particular with regard to identity verification, proctoring exams, academic and professional recognition and exam types.
Formative assessment and feedback, as well as peer evaluation, are tools to improve learning during the course and to promote effective learning.
Valid final exams are required to award credits and certificates for the joint learning programme.
Partners need to agree on a common approach to both.

Agree on a joint grading system

European universities probably use different grading scales, for example 1-20; 1-10; 1-5 or 1-30. In some countries, almost a binary pass-fail system is used without further distinction. Performance on these different grading scales is often difficult to compare and can complicate the transfer of records as the examination committee must reach consensus for awarding a final grade or certificate to each student.

That is why it is important that partners use a common grading scale for the programme (preferably the scale of the main university, for example 1-20).
In addition, the transcript or records should be based on the student’s performance against pre-specified learning outcomes or competences (assessment based on criteria). It should not be based on a student’s (normalized) statistical place in the class (norm-referenced assessment), which would raise ethical considerations. Partners should retain exam copies to ultimately enable the examination committee to rescale performance according to the chosen grading scale prior to the awarding of certificates.

Agree on awarding the joint diploma and on possible modular awards or microcredentials

The teaching staff organizing a course in the joint programme is academically responsible for the final examination of the course. Consequently, the exam must always be conducted by this staff. The credits are awarded accordingly by the university to which the staff belongs.
The certificate for the entire joint master’s programme is awarded by the joint examination committee or programme board, based on the total performance of the student on all courses. This requires common rules and sometimes a collegiate deliberation and jurisprudence at the end.
From an administrative point of view, students’ grade records should be stored in the joint database developed in the leading university’s system. The diploma supplement can be rolled out through this system.

Define the descriptors of the joint diploma supplement

The certificate for the short learning programme must be accompanied by a joint certificate supplement consisting of information as described in the ECTS Users’ Guide and Europass (see above, under “Agreement on qualifications”). The examination committee must agree on the descriptors of this diploma supplement.

next chapter: Agree on a joint quality assurance and accreditation scheme
previous chapter: Determine a joint admission framework
back to overview: Models and guidelines for the design and development of joint master’s programmes