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Educational news - Saturday, 22 December, 2007

Information on cancelling the August exam period.

News: The Senate of the University of Pécs (UP) in its session of November 29, 2007 with its decision # 284/2007. (11.29.) cancelled the August exam period of the Medical School.

The cancellation of the August exam period in the Medical School rose an uproar and initiated rumors among the students. The background story of the decision is as follows: Facts: In a unique way among the 10 Schools of the University, there was an exam period also in August in the Medical School. In harmony with the Code of Studies and Exams of the UP (Article 34), the exams – following the spring semester - were held in the other Schools as a period of 3-4 weeks in May-June. The exam period in August were permitted as a special exception for the Medical School (Article 96). The August exam period must have been cancelled because it was against a recently introduced point of the Hungarian Higher Education Act. In its article 55 and 59 it was made mandatory for all the Hungarian Universities to assemble a rank list of the students – based on their academic achievements – not later, than 30 days before the beginning of the next academic year. To let this list prepared, all the exams have to be finished before that deadline. The rank list is to be used to withdraw the national support of tuition fee of the (Hungarian) students with weak academic achievements, and give the support to those, who had to pay tuition fee, but performed better. The at least 30 day period before the start of the next academic year is needed by the affected students to prepare themselves for the new financing. Although in this law affects only Hungarian students, but the University wants to treat Hungarian and Foreign students equally in every respect. The exam period in August was originally allowed only for “C” exams (second retake). Later – on the pressure of the students – they could be signed up for any exams in this period. This made the false impression for many students that, (instead of February), it is enough to start studying in August. Due to this, the August exam period became overcrowded, and many students who failed earlier did not have place to sit for the exam and had to repeat the subject. The period was actually less, than the nominal two weeks, since the National holyday August 20 and the “reorganization” of the workdays due to it always took 2-3 days of it. Although one not suppose to alter the exam period declared in the Study Program, but the Senate of the University was forced to do that by a higher authority – the Hungarian Law. To compensate the students for the shortage of the exam period – which would have been still much longer than that in the other schools of the University – the summer exam period was supplemented with an additional week (ending July 4 instead of June 27) at the expense of the vacation time of the teachers. This way the actual loss of the students is about 3-4 days. Valer Csernus vice dean for education

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