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More and more re-examinations after reform

Since the Danish government higher education reforms, a huge increase in reexamination numbers at the University of Copenhagen

The number of student resittings of exams at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) has increased by almost 100 per cent from the last academic year to the current one.

This coincides with the introduction of the ‘dimensioning’ higher education reforms last year, which requires mandatory enrollment for the first two examination attempts. Many had feared this new rule would cause a wave of reexaminations, and it appears to have done so.

All faculties have experienced a sharp rise in reexaminations, from 35 percent at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences to 282 percent at the Faculty of Humanities.

Re-examinations at the different University of Copenhagen faculties in the period Winter 2011-12 through Winter 2014-15. Source: University of Copenhagen.

Increased financial burden on UCPH

The recent reforms have not increased funding to the university, leaving UCPH to bear the financial burden. The Faculty of Humanities has estimated that the costs could run into the millions.

“Different exams have different costs, so it is difficult to estimate,” says Deputy Director of Education at UCPH, Anni Søborg. “Oral exams with lecturers and censors, and a whole line of students waiting, cost a lot of money.”

The Student Council is concerned that this may mean diverting funds from education. “Politicians have clearly not taken the costs of the reforms into account” says Alexander Thorvaldsen from the Student Council.

Failed reexaminations also rising

Students largely pass their exams on the first attempt, at a rate of around 85 percent. However the number of failed reexaminations has also risen by 40.9 per cent in the last year.

If students fail a second time, they are able to choose when to resit the third and final attempt. However the new requirement that students sit 30 ECTS points per semester also means students may end up pushing back their third exam sitting to years ahead of them.

While Education Minister Sofie Carsten Nielsen had in April deemed it “too early” to see the effects of the mandatory enrollment of exams back in April, The Liberal Party (Venstre) have already said that they would remove this feature, while still upholding the reforms.

Read the original article (in Danish) on Uniavisen here .

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