What is New in the 2023-2024 Education and Examination Code (OER)?

During its meeting of 5 May 2023 the Board of Governors approved the Education and Examination Code for the 2023-2024 academic year.

This Education Tip gives an overview of the most notable changes and new aspects that are relevant for all lecturers.

Plagiarism and AI Tools

  • To prevent potential misuse of generative AI (e.g. ChatGPT or GPT4) by students, the definition of plagiarism has been amended. The definition of plagiarism now also comprises the use of text or a product created by a generative system (unless, and to the extent that, a lecturer-in-charge has allowed the use of such a system) or by a ghost writer as one’s own (see list of definitions).

Benchmark tests, strict dependency and entrance exam

  • The implementation of (mandatory but non-binding) benchmark tests governing entry into various Bachelor’s programmes* as stipulated in the Higher Education Code has been added. Students who have not passed the benchmark test by the start of the 2023-2024 academic year but do enrol in one of the study programmes involved, will be given a remedial track. Barring exceptions, a non-participation in the benchmark test in principle automatically results in a refusal to enrol in that study programme (see article 5).  

*Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering and Architecture, Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bachelor of Bioengineering Science, Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, Bachelor of Bioindustrial Sciences, Bachelor of Engineering Technology, Bachelor of Mathematics, and Bachelor of Physics.

  • Taking our cue from the Higher Education Code, we have incorporated a definition of strict dependency. Strict dependency can only be imposed in case of potential risk or safety issues. This occurs when a student does not master the competencies sufficiently (content-related knowledge, skills or attitudes) and can thus form a risk either to themselves, their fellow students, university staff, or - in case of a work placement, the staff, customers and patients there, the public at large or the internal and external learning, working and living environment. The risk or danger comprises physical, moral, mental, financial, material or reputational damage. Strict dependency can be applied to all forms of education (see list of definitions).
  • As of the 2023-2024 academic year, there will be a mandatory Flemish-wide entrance exam for Veterinary Medicine, cf. the Medicine and Dentistry programmes (see article 5§4).

Study Progress Measures

Amendments to a number of study progress measures (see article 24):

  • students enrolling in an initial Bachelor's programme must have obtained all the ECTS credits of the first deliberation set of said Bachelor's programme within two years. If the student fails to do so, they will be refused for a subsequent enrolment in said study programme;
  • students whose study progress in their first deliberation set is insufficient, i.e. a study progress of less than 20%, will be refused enrolment in said study programme after the first year;
  • students who refrain from participating in the mandatory remedial track (upon failing the benchmark test) and whose study progress is less than 30%, will be refused enrolment in said study programme after the first year;
  • a refusal to enrol expires automatically after 6 years or upon obtaining another Bachelor’s diploma at Ghent University or elsewhere.

Exam Moments & Special Status

In order to limit the number of exam moments lecturers have to organise for students with a special status, we try to cluster these exam moments as much as possible in advance. It is the lecturers’ prerogative to organise additional exam moments (see article 25).

  • in the event that students are granted the facility to reschedule an assessment or exam to another time within the same examination period, it suffices to refer said students to the deferred exam as stipulated in Article 75;
  • in the event that students are granted the facility to reschedule an assessment or exam to another time within the same academic year, it does not suffice to refer said students to the deferred exam that is being organised for the course unit in question. The lecturer-in-charge schedules an alternative exam or assessment moment for their course unit, and in so doing they take into account the student’s specific needs in accordance with their special status to the extent of what is feasible and within the limits of what is reasonable;

in case of first-term exams, an additional exam moment is scheduled in the second term if this is feasible, or the student can use their first exam opportunity during the resit exam period while maintaining their second exam opportunity within the same exam period;

in case of second-term exams, an additional exam moment is scheduled in the last week of the official exam period in accordance with Article 2 §2, or the student can use their first exam opportunity during the resit exam period while maintaining their second exam opportunity within the same exam period;

  • for top-level elite sports practitioners (cf. the covenant between the Flemish Government, Ghent University and Top-level Sports Federations) additional exam opportunities are scheduled, if necessary;
  • in the event that the lecturer and the student cannot agree upon the exam form or exam moment, the exam opportunity expires. The exam opportunity expires as well in the event that the student refrains from taking the rescheduled (alternative) exam.
  • to ensure that students are informed of whether or not their refusable facilities have been granted by the start of the exam period at the latest, the Education and Examination Code now contains a clause stipulating that any facility that has not been processed by the lecturer in a timely manner will be granted automatically by the start of said exam period (see article 25). 
  • In the event that a facility has been denied/not been implemented, students can lodge an appeal as stipulated in Article 81 (see article 25). 
  • The grounds on which students can apply for a special status often prompts questions from lecturers. However, this is part of the individual student’s privacy. That is why we have included an additional privacy clause (see article 25).

Update of Credit Certificate

  • In the event that a credit certificate has been obtained more than five academic years ago, while also showing substantial differences between the competencies then acquired as opposed to the current competencies of a particular course unit, the student may be requested to make up for those substantial differences.

Quality of Learning Materials

Taking our cue from the policy memo on education and the quality of learning materials, we clarify that: 

  • per course unit, each lecturer defines the learning content that will be covered by the assessment prior to the actual teaching activities;
  • each lecturer provides learning materials that are suited to the education activities and the intended learning outcomes. To concretise this with an example: If, e.g. in the Bachelor's programme, you exclusively give lectures, then slides containing only key words/key phrases without further interpretation or explanation are insufficient as teaching material. More information about (the quality) of learning materials can be found in this tip

Quality of Feedback

We have included that feedback after the exams, as well as feedback after continuous assessment must contain clear content-related explanations that allow the student to improve their learning process. 

Revised Glossary

In the context of simplifying administration, the entire Glossary has been revised. This revision has been implemented in OASIS and the course sheets.

Last modified Jan. 30, 2024, 10:32 a.m.