The Board of Examiners
Each programme has a Board of Examiners. This is a legal requirement. The board determines whether students meets the conditions of the Course and Examination Regulations (OER) and whether they possess the knowledge, understanding and skills required to pass the final examination for that programme.
What does the Board of examiners do?
The legislator has assigned the Board of Examiners the following tasks:
- To conduct an objective and proficient analysis of whether students meet the requirements for the degree, as specified in the OER.
- To ensure the quality of the examinations.
- To draw up guidelines and instructions, within the scope of the OER, on assessing examinations and determining a mark (for example issuing instructions to an examiner if the wrong marking scheme was used).
- To grant students permission to follow their own programme of study, the final examination of which results in a degree.
- To grant exemptions.
- To draw up rules on the performance of tasks and assumption of responsibilities (rules and regulations).
- To issue degree certificates.
- To enforce sanctions if students commit fraud or plagiarism.
- To issue the Binding Study Advice (BSA) on behalf of the faculty board.
Who sits on the Board of Examiners?
The Faculty Board appoints the members of the Board of Examiners. At least one member must be a lecturer on the programme (or one of the programmes that share a Board of Examiners). As of 1 September 2015, all boards of examiners must have an external member. This can be someone from another programme at the University or someone from another university. A position on the Board of Examiners is not reconcilable with a managerial or board position with financial responsibilities.
How does the Board of Examiners work?
Each Board of Examiners works according to its own rules and regulations. These consist in part of a further elaboration of aspects of the OER and in part of instructions on how to perform its duties. The rules and regulations define such matters as how the board will work and what support it will receive, how order will be kept during examinations and what sanctions it may enforce in the event of fraud or plagiarism.
Appointment of examiners
The Board of Examiners appoints examiners each academic year. The examiners devise, conduct and mark examinations. Proficient assessment is one aspect of the University Teaching Qualification (BKO). For information and support, examiners can contact dr. Floris van Blankestein (ICLON), telephone 071 527 7341.
Assuring the quality of examinations and final papers
Assuring the quality of examinations and final papers is an important duty of the Board of Examiners. Alongside in written or oral examinations, knowledge and skills can also be assessed in an assignment, portfolio or presentation. The following applies to the quality assurance at Leiden University:
- In principle, written examinations must be developed by at least two examiners (four-eyes principle).
- A marking scheme must be available for all written examinations.
- Examinations must be reliable, valid and transparent.
- The Board of Examiners must conduct an inquiry if the results are well above or well below average.
- At least once every academic year, the Board of Examiners must take a random sample of the examinations that have been held, in order to determine the quality of the questions and assessment.
- Two examiners must assess final papers separately.
- Criteria must be available for the assessment of final papers.
- The first and second examiner must use assessment forms when assessing final papers.
The Board of Examiners is an independent body. It works together with the Executive Board, the Faculty Board and programme board, but is independent of these boards. For information on the assignation of roles and tasks, to the extent that this relates to monitoring the quality of assessment, see (in Dutch) Board of Examiners, Executive Board, Faculty Board, Programme Board, Programme Committee (pdf).
Meetings and workshops for boards of examiners
The Executive Board holds an annual meeting for the boards of examiners at the University. This gives them the opportunity to discuss experiences and learn from each other. In addition, the Academic Affairs Directorate, Legal Affairs and ICLON hold workshops for members of the boards of examiners on regulations and monitoring quality assurance. These workshops take two half-days and are held once or twice a year, according to demand. For more information contact dr. Floris van Blankestein (ICLON), telephone 071 527 7341.
Do you have questions on the Board of Examiners? Please contact your Faculty Education Office. At the deparment of Academic Affairs Marijke Visch is responsible for the Board of Examiners.