VMU SR has announced its position on the examination session and the defense of the final theses

As Vytautas Magnus University has not yet officially announced how the spring semester will end, the Student Representatives expresses its position on the examination session and the defense of final theses remotely and encourages the administration to make a decision in principle.

POSITION ON REMOTE EXAMINATION SESSION AND THESIS DEFENSE

2019 05 19

Kaunas

 

Vytautas Magnus University Student Representative Council, taking into account the current situation in the country and in the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, expresses its position on 2020 remote examination of spring semester exam sessions and final theses.

From the first days of quarantine, announced by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, studies at Vytautas Magnus University were carried out remotely in order to ensure that the study process was not interrupted. After moving the lectures, seminars and other academic activities to virtual space, students faced various difficulties, but by responding to students ’comments, the Representative Council’s suggestions and survey results, the remote learning process was optimized.

Despite the sufficiently smooth organization of the study process, there is still uncertainty about the final exams and the defenses of the final theses. At present, the University has not expressed an official position on how the spring semester will be completed. The uncertainty worries the entire academic community, and students in particular. If the University decided to conduct the last exams in classrooms, it would cause both physical and psychological difficulties for students. Some of them have temporarily terminated accommodation contracts with the University or private landlords, making returning to auditoriums particularly difficult. In addition, although quarantine conditions in Lithuania are being mitigated, the threat of Covid-19 infection remains real: conducting settlements indoors with a group of others would create unnecessary tension even if all of the government recommendations are followed.

We suggest Vytautas Magnus University to make a decision regarding the completion of the spring semester remotely, so that students could feel safe and no additional difficulties would be caused. The University has prepared both the descriptions of remote thesis defense procedures and methodological recommendations for remote exams, therefore we are convinced that the University is more than ready to organize high-quality exams this semester so that students do not have to return to the auditoriums.

When making a decision, it is important to take into account exceptional cases: the specifics of performing arts and acting study programs, because the implementation of distance payments is not always realistic. Students must be guaranteed the conditions needed to achieve the intended study results, following all the recommendations of the Government and ensuring the smoothest possible assessment process that requires the least physical contact.