In the last weeks, we’ve been posting some graphics summing up information on Bocconi initiatives to address the current situation. The topics range from exams to exchange programs, with the aim of helping our fellow students not to get confused by the many, sometimes unclear news on the matter. We thank the student representatives for being part of this You@Home program, launched by Bocconi TV and Tra i Leoni.
In light of the rapid evolution in the field of exam modalities and structure, some of our previous press releases have become outdated. Therefore, we would now like to provide an updated picture of the situation, hoping it will prove to be a useful tool in studying and organising for the exams.
We would like to stress that we are not student representatives, hence we do not know anything of what happens behind closed doors – in fact, some more “institutional transparency” in this regard would be welcome. Nevertheless, we are inclined to trust the reps when they claim that the university promised to give us all the necessary information with regards to exams by Easter (April 12th), then progressively postponing this deadline up to April 28th: two weeks before the first exams actually take place.
Exam calendar. The Academic Calendar remains unchanged. It was created several months ago, and any change would cause difficulties for students who have made plans accordingly (e.g., internships) or that have to take exams from previous semesters.
Therefore, there will be no delays in the exam dates, nor any additional session in July (with the exception, in the latter case, of one course for third year BSc students).
Exam procedures and software. Three different exam modalities have been developed:
- Oral examinations, which will be livestreamed on the Bboard Collaborate platform;
- Written exams using Respondus Monitor: these live written exams will be held using a software, Respondus Monitor, which prevents other applications from running on the computer. Moreover, the candidates will be recorded by means of their webcam;
- Written exams without Respondus Monitor (“Take-Home Exams”): they are equivalent to individual assignments, to be uploaded on Bboard.
Starting on Wednesday, April 29th, the “Demo – Tech Exam”, a link to a test exam enabling students to try all the three modalities, has been made available. Furthermore, in the next few days a document will be made available in the You@B Agenda, containing guidelines for the behaviour to be adopted during exams.
In order to use the Respondus Monitor software, privacy consent will have to be given in the Agenda.
Grade “rejection”. It is possible to “reject” the grades obtained in the exam sessions held in May, i.e., it is possible to take the exams again later even if passed (sort of withdrawing ex post).
This possibility does not apply to the June exam session: the rationale behind it is making up for the cancellation of the intermediate exam session, which increased the study workload. Rejecting the June grade would instead potentially incentivise students to put off exams until next semester, a possibility the University is firmly opposed to.
Grading. Suggestions have been made to adopt “pass or fail” exams or using the same rules as for the exchange program (i.e., students can decide whether to take into account the actual grade or to keep their GPA unchanged). However, this is impossible due to Italian legislation.
Internet connection problems. No information has been given by the University on how to deal with connection problems. The representatives have suggested that students with slow internet access address the issue individually with their course director.
Second language. Language professors should have uploaded mock exams corresponding to the updated exam format, together with updated syllabuses.
Assignments. The University has encouraged professors to use assignments as a means for reducing the weight of the final general exam. Note that this encouragement is not mandatory, as professors are endowed with academic freedom.
Financial support. All requirements will be eased for students who are already entitled to receive financial support (ISU, partial support, Merit-based Awards, housing), but the decision is not official yet. Bocconi is considering a 15 CFU cut, and in case Lombardy decided to lower region-wide requirements, our University might follow.
The Funding Office observed that most students already meet the requirements or will most likely do so after the next exam session.
Refund for the third housing instalment. Those who had already paid the third housing instalment when its cancellation was announced (for those who had already left the dorms) should have received a You@B message informing them about the procedures to follow. If not, it is suggested to reach out to the Housing Office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exchange Program. The rankings are ready, but Bocconi does not deem it appropriate to publish them, because if it did so, some students might be unable to actually take part in the program in the destination for which they have been selected, without having the possibility of choosing another one.
The decision will be postponed until a clear outlook emerges. China and India do not allow any access to the country, so those destinations are clearly excluded from the program.
Bocconi is required to send documentation to partner institutions by May and we expect to receive related information soon.
Exchange grades. Students who have been on exchange this year can choose whether to convert the grades obtained abroad to the Bocconi scale or to keep their GPA, as long as exams are passed. This decision will apply to all the courses.
Passed “pass or fail” exams will match the previous GPA.
Tuition reduction. The University has not made any announcement with regards to a possible reduction in the last instalment of the tuition.
However, it has guaranteed that it is willing to support individual families currently struggling financially; in this case, the representatives suggest contacting the Fees, Funding and Housing Office.
Delayed graduation. Bocconi University normally allows BSc students to graduate in the December session and MSc and Law students in the April one without having to pay tuition for one more academic year.
Due to COVID-19, changes have been made: Bocconi has delayed all of these deadlines by one exam session: both the December deadline for BSc students and the April one for MSc and Law students have been extended to July.
Therefore, students attending the extended session in July will only have to pay the first instalment of the yearly tuition, because their delay in graduating comes with administrative costs.
Books. In order to address the library closure, now all services (as databases and e-journals) are available off campus, by connecting to the library website and logging in with one’s own credentials.
With regards to textbooks, online resources have been enriched in agreement with some suppliers. The library is in contact with the faculty to understand how to increase the ebook collections on the website to help with studying and research.
Unfortunately, past theses cannot be accessed off campus, so Bocconi has made available theses and compositions from colleges all over the world.