Joint examination will rely partly on mutual recognition of the quality of the HEIs. As all TROPIMUNDO courses (including those specifically created for the program) will be integrated in the regular master's program or local frameworks of the HEIs, the consortium will rely on local regulations for student evaluation and student-teacher conflict resolution. Nevertheless, an effort has been made to establish a procedure as uniform as possible for examination and assessment of student's achievements.
Additional efforts to streamline student assessment have been made with respect to the Master's thesis, which will be under co-supervision of the S3 and S4 HEI and which will be evaluated by reviewers from multiple universities involved (see Section 2D). Even though TROPIMUNDO will deliver multiple degrees (depending on the Trajectory), there will be a joint (unique) Diploma Supplement bearing the logo's of all European and third-country HEIs visited by the student.
With respect to the courses, - During the first semester all students follow approximately the same basic courses at the different European institutions. The contents and objectives of these courses have been streamlined amongst them (based on the prerequisites and the detailed course contents in Section 2D). - In case of failure of a course, a resit session will be organised in between the second and third semester. - If the student is already in the HEI of the next mobility period, this HEI will provide conditions (room, supervision) to allow the student to resit the examination according to the host HEI material and will be responsible for returning the completed material for proofreading. If the student fails the exam again, the Steering Board (see Section 2I) will decide on a case-by-case basis whether he/she can be accepted into the second year or obtain the diploma (depending on whether the course belongs to the first or second year). If this is not the case, the student will have to abandon the program. - Local marking will be used throughout the student tracking. Conversion to ECTS will be done subsequently using local conversion rules, following the equivalences given in the Table at URL (under revision): http://www.tropimundo.eu/userfiles/files/tropimundo_grading_tables.pdf - At the end of each semester, the list of courses validated by each student will be drawn up with a mark and the number of ECTS credits associated with each. - At the end of each year, the Steering Board reviews and discusses the students' results, and, at the end of year 2, harmonises the marks and distributes the ECTS credits. The grading process will be reviewed regularly to ensure that similar grades across participating HEIs reflect similar underlying student behaviour. - The master's degree will be awarded to students obtaining 90 ECTS from courses and 30 ECTS from the master's thesis. - Upon completion of the program, students' grades will be issued in the ECTS grading scheme, following the equivalences given in the Table at URL:
With respect to the master's thesis, - It is an original work that goes significantly beyond the level of literature study; - It will be written in English or French, with an executive summary in the other language, and an abstract in each of the tuition languages and of the languages of the institutes involved in the student's Trajectory; - It will be defended in English; - The thesis defence lasts for 30 minutes, including questions during which the student's assertiveness is tested with respect to defending the thesis research carried out. The defence may be realised by videoconference with help from the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF); - The jury will be composed of the supervisors of the thesis (marking with a single vote), a reviewer from each European study pole (but not related to the research), and a reviewer from a third-country HEI involved in TROPIMUNDO. These can be advised by one or more associated partners. Each evaluator comments on the relevant parts of an evaluation sheet (see below) and attributes a mark; Written dissertation - Grammar and spelling - Structure - Understandability - References and related work - Correspondence with the work done - Overall Oral presentation - Speaking style - Support - Structure - Understandability and pace - Summarisation - Correspondence with the work done - Subject mastering - Answer to questions - Overall Works and result - Amount - Use of knowledge acquired in courses - Originality and creativity - Critical spirit - Scientifically valid arguments - Methodology - Weaknesses and further work findings - Overall
- The marks from the oral presentation and written evaluation are then averaged out to give a final mark; - Grade harmonisation will be performed amongst universities; - The thesis work will be considered for submission to a peer-reviewed journal and a scientific conference. - Should a student fail, a resit session is organised locally in September which requires a new version of the dissertation (which will be evaluated by the same lecturers) and a new oral presentation broadcasted through video-conference to the other institutions.
Both the selection and the examination procedures were defined for achieving transparency, fairness, and objectivity. Regarding transparency, all documents will be kept open to inspection, and students will receive a detailed feedback on their own evaluation and distance from expected performance. No distinction will be made regarding any aspect of the students' personality and previous career, which are not explicitly listed among the evaluation/examination criteria. All the criteria can be quantified, allowing a fair and objective assessment.
While the evaluation procedures are designed to ensure all students will have the necessary prerequisites for the program, the consortium recognises the difficulties in evaluating students with diverse backgrounds but all participating HEIs have been dealing with international students for many years. The extensive participation of teachers to all the decision-making processes guarantees a mediated agreement, leaving no room to any prevailing personal opinion. Nevertheless, the consortium is aware that some discrepancy between the intended effects and the actual ones might arise. For this reason, an accurate ex post evaluation of the described procedures will be carried out once they have been applied in practice, and any failure that should emerge will be discussed in depth and corrective actions (including modifications in grading procedures and adjustment of course weightings) will be proposed by the Internal Evaluation Committee (see Section 2I).
At the end of the two years, a transcript will be drawn up for each student. It will include the official seal of all the participating HEIs, thus guaranteeing recognition of the credits obtained. Once 120 ECTS credits have been obtained, the student will be awarded a multiple degree from the European HEIs visited, as well as a joint Europass Diploma Supplement and Europass Mobility. The Europass Language Passport will be used to record the student's language skills (the Program Coordinator will be responsible for the delivery of these documents), and students will be encouraged to use the Europass CV.
All the HEIs in the consortium will recognise the results. Obtaining these master's degrees will allow students to enrol in doctoral studies in the participating HEI of their choice.