As promised, I am writing today to update information about the exams related to the curricular units of the 1st semester of 2020-21.
We have, in the calendar for this academic year, a week of Appeal Exams (Época de Recurso), the week that starts on February 1st.
With the new lockdown rules, it is no longer possible to perform these exams in person. The recommendations of the Minister of Higher Education, reinforced by the Order of the Rector of the University of Lisbon, only allow the adaptation of the face-to-face exam system to a distance assessment format if the reliability of the process is guaranteed.
It is our intention to maintain the appeal period (Epoca de Recurso) that was previously announced for the set of curricular units for which we consider – responsible teachers, president of the Pedagogical Council and Presidency of ISEG – that it is reliable to carry out exams on a distance basis, with the camera on and complemented with oral tests. Certainly for many curricular units this will be possible at this time of appeal, but for others it will not. We will try to make this exam season as comprehensive as possible, but we cannot compromise the reliability of the system. For curricular units that we are unable to evaluate in February, we will reserve a specific period for this purpose (with a week of study break and a week of exams), after the beginning of the 2nd semester.
Now, as you can imagine, this process is not immediate.
Between yesterday and today, I met with the Rector and the Rectoral team of the University of Lisbon, the Vice-Presidents of ISEG, the Administrator of ISEG and those responsible for all our Services, the President of the Scientific Council, the President of the Pedagogical Council, the Presidents of the Departments of Social Sciences, Economics, Management and Mathematics, the coordinators of all bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees. The Pedagogical Council also met this morning, and invited me to participate, as well as the President of the Students’ Union. I considered it essential to listen to everyone, to hold everyone accountable and involved, and especially the student representatives.
What I can guarantee you today is the following:
1. All students of the ERASMUS program who attended the 1st semester and have curricular units to conclude in the Season of Appeal will be able to do so in the exam schedule previously published for the current semester.
2. All students who have been prevented from attending exams of the Normal season for COVID19 reasons (according to the list that has been confirmed by the Academic Services) and have curricular units to conclude in Season of Appeal, may do so in the exam schedule previously published for the current semester.
3. All graduating students in the current semester who have curricular units to complete in the Season of Appeal, will be able to do so in the schedule of exams previously published for the current semester.
4. All students in doctoral programs will be evaluated remotely, in the exam schedule previously published for the current semester.
With regard to the examination of Period of Appeal exams (Época de Recurso) for all other students (the majority), we are – as I said above – analyzing the conditions of each curricular unit.
The remaining clarifications will be sent on Tuesday evening. In other words, for now, we hope to be able to “save” a reasonable number of Seasonal Appeal exams in early February. For those where the reliability of a remote solution is questionable, we will have a later time for appeal, the date of which will also be announced on Tuesday. We will then also provide information regarding the Special Season that was scheduled for March.
I appreciate everyone’s understanding of the need to be serious about this whole process. And about the need for us to take a few days to listen to you and all the other stakeholders.
I ask you to remain calm, healthy, studious and motivated. These past 11 months have been a huge test of your adaptability and resistance. Maintaining a positive attitude and being busy with something valid is the best way to face life. Better days will come.
Keep in mind that it would be much easier for me and the professors to simply postpone all the exams. But we feel the responsibility to try to respond – within the limits of academic rigor and taking into account the current context of enormous unpredictability – to the desire of many students to see their assessment carried out as soon as possible.
I wish you a good weekend, with the usual “coolness” of ISEG students. We have to be patient and, essentially, good citizens.