Board of Examiners

Each degree programme has its own Board of Examiners. Some degree programmes, however, share their Board of Examiners with other programmes.

N.B. This document applies to Leiden University in general terms. For further information about the individual Boards of Examiners, please consult the degree programme or faculty in question.

Each degree programme has its own Board of Examiners. Some degree programmes, however, share their Board of Examiners with other programmes.


Responsibilities and authority

The main task of the Board of Examiners involves establishing whether a student has met the criteria regarding knowledge, insight and skills, as stipulated by the Course and Examination Regulations (OER) and which are deemed necessary for passing the relevant examination. The Board of Examiners has been instructed to establish this objectively.

The legislator has commissioned the Board of Examiners to carry out the following tasks:

  • To establish objectively and competently whether a student has met the criteria stipulated by the OER and which are required for graduation;
  • To guarantee the quality of interim and final examinations;
  • To lay down guidelines and instructions, set within the parameters of the OER, for assessing and establishing the examination results (for example for an examiner who may have used the wrong assessment template);
  • To grant permission for a combined degree programme, the final examination of which will lead to graduation; 
  • To grant exemptions; 
  • To lay down rules for the execution of tasks and powers (Rules & Regulations);
  • To award degree certificates;
  • The Board of Examiners is authorised to impose sanctions on any student who has committed fraud or plagiarism.

The Board of Examiners compiles an annual report of its activities for the benefit of the Faculty Board. A template for this report is included in the appendix of the model Rules & Regulations.

Meetings and workshops for the Boards of Examiners

The Executive Board organises a general meeting twice a year for all the Boards of Examiners. At these meetings the members of the Boards of Examiners are given the opportunity to exchange their experiences and learn from each other. Together the Departments of Academic Affairs, Legal Affairs and ICLON organise workshops once or twice a year, depending on demand, for (new) members of the Boards of Examiners about regulations and quality assurance of examinations. For enquiries, please contact Ms M. Visch, Department of Academic Affairs, telephone 071-5273024.

Structure

The members of the Board of Examiners are appointed by the Faculty Board. At least one member must be affiliated as a teacher to the degree programme (or one of the degree programmes that have a shared Board of Examiners.
As of 1 September 2015 all Boards of Examiners must each have one external examiner. This external examiner can be someone from a different degree programme within Leiden University or from another university.
Membership of the Board of Examiners may not be combined with a management or board position that bears financial responsibility.

Rules and Regulations

The Rules and Regulations of the Board of Examiners contain in part a detailed elaboration of sections of the Course and Examination Regulations and in part guidelines for the execution of the tasks of the Board of Examiners. Together they constitute the rules and regulations of the Board of Examiners. These rules and regulations set out the procedures and support provided by the Board of Examiners, the order required during examinations and the sanctions to be imposed in case of fraud or plagiarism.

Examiners

The examiners are appointed annually by the Board of Examiners. The responsibility of the examiner is to set and conduct the examinations and to determine the results thereof. It is a requirement of the University Teaching Qualification (BKO) that lecturers are able to assess students’work in a competent manner. For further information and support, examiners are asked to contact Dr Floris van Blankenstein, ICLON, 071-527 7341.

Quality assurance of examinations and final papers

Assuring and maintaining quality of examinations and final papers is one of the main tasks of the Board of Examiners. Besides using written or oral examinations, it is also possible to test knowledge and skills by means of an assignment, portfolio or presentation. The following principles apply to quality assurance within Leiden University:

  • A written examination is set in principle by at least two examiners (the dual control principle). 
  • An assessment model is available for each written examination.
  • Examinations are reliable, valid and transparent. 
  • If the examination results turn out to be extremely high or low, the Board of Examiners will conduct further inquiries.
  • Every academic year the Board of Examiners carries out a random check of the examinations administered, in order to monitor the quality of the questions and the assessment.
  • Final papers are assessed independently by two correctors.
  • Assessment criteria are available for assessing final papers.
  • The first and second corrector use assessment forms for their assessment of final papers.

Board of Examiners, Executive Board, Faculty Board, Programme Board, Programme Council

The Board of Examiners has a functionally independent position in relation to the Executive Board, Faculty Board and Programme Board, but collaborates with these bodies in a mutual field of influence. In short, the division of responsibilities and work regarding the quality assurance of examinations, is as follows:

(The responsibilities and authority as directly defined by law are noted in italics (and paraphrased here and there for the sake of brevity). The roles of the five bodies are each listed with one dominant characteristic. Needless to say, this is a simplification of reality.)

The Executive Board (main role is to bear ultimate responsibility):

  • administration and management of the University, 
  • monitoring quality assurance, University assessment policy, University Teaching Qualification (BKO), uniformity in degree certificates,
  • is not allowed to instruct the Board of Examiners concerning the assessment of individuals.

The Faculty Board (mainly policy-making role):
  • appoints the members of the Board of Examiners, having consulted with the current members, 
  • sets out the course and examination regulation(s),
  • is not allowed to instruct the Board of Examiners concerning the assessment of individuals,
  • determines the assessment policy of the faculty in consultation with the Boards of Examiners,
  • is responsible for the professional development of the academic staff, including the professional development of examiners and members of the Boards of Examiners in the field of assessment, 
  • delegates the implementation of staff policies (such as conducting P & D interviews) to the Board of the Institute in question.

The Programme Committee (mainly advisory role):
  • advises the Programme Board or, as the case may be, the Faculty Board, about the Course and Examination Regulations, 
  • carries out regular evaluations of individual courses (including, where possible, the assessment) and advises the Programme Board, or, as the case may be, the Faculty Board, accordingly, 
  • carries out regular evaluations of the curriculum and advises the Programme Board, or, as the case may be, the Faculty Board, accordingly, 
  • also brings its advice to the attention of the Board of Examiners, if anything emerges from the evaluations regarding assessment that requires attention.

The Programme Board (or Programme Director) (mainly coordinating role) (art. 9.17 WHW):
  • is responsible for the organisation and integration of the course programme and for the implementation of the course programme and the examination regulations, and determines the course programme each year, 
  • determines the examination programme as part of the course and examination regulations (learning goals set for each examination, number of resits, examination time schedules, types of examination), 
  • arranges for a survey of the examination results to be drawn up at the end of each examination period and makes this available to the Board of Examiners and the Programme Committee, 
  • is responsible for the didactic quality of the course programme and may issue instructions to teachers, 
  • discusses with the Board of Examiners the recommendations issued by the Programme Committee on the quality of the examinations.

The Board of Examiners (mainly monitoring and examining role) (art.7.12 , 7.12 a en 7.12b WHW)
  • appoints the examiners,
  • establishes objectively and competently whether a student has met the examination criteria,
  • takes action in case of fraud,
  • decides on exemptions,
  • assures the quality of individual interim and final examinations, within the parameters of the OER,
  • determines guidelines and recommendations in order to assess and establish the interim and final examination results,
  • determines the pass-fail regulation for examinations (including the regulation concerning compensatory assessment),
  • determines rules and regulations,
  • awards degree certificates,
  • takes decisions in reply to requests from lecturers who wish to allow for a type of examination that deviates from the type prescribed in the OER or in the examination plan included in the OER.

 
Last Modified: 10-08-2015