FAQ for MSc students
FAQ for MSc students
What does ‘online’ education mean?
Online education involves delivery of educational elements over various virtual platforms such as live streaming lectures via Zoom or MS Teams, pre-recorded videos and online discussions in forums, and quizzes, among other activities.
Each course’s instructor decides which combination of the above-mentioned elements or other alternatives is best in order to deliver their course content in the most efficient, engaging, and accessible way for students. Students are informed about the course delivery method via the course’s Canvas page.
Do students – who are able to travel to Rotterdam – have the choice of attending lectures/workshops on campus/physically?
RSM has committed to offering all compulsory educational activities in the entire academic year 2020-2021 in the form of online learning. This includes classes (e.g., via live stream and/or video recordings), group work (e.g., the opportunity to meet with fellow students via Zoom or MS Teams), as well as assessments and exams (e.g., take-home assessments and/or online exams). Considering the above commitment, we ensure that students from all over the world can follow our educational offerings, even if they do not travel to the Netherlands and given limitations to face-to-face gatherings on campus.
RSM in coordination with Erasmus University is assessing the options for offering limited hybrid education in the spring semester (January to July) while ensuring that currently applicable safety regulations are being met. If possible (though not guaranteed), some classes may be held on campus, while the content of those classes, if containing necessary elements for completing the master programme, will also be available online for students who are not able to participate physically.
If lectures are held on campus, are those lectures recorded for people to watch online?
RSM has committed to offering all mandatory educational elements to complete the MSc programmes online for at least the 2020-2021 academic year. Even if it is possible to hold classes on campus, when those classes contain information required for the completion of your studies, the same content will always be made available either via live streaming or as recordings, if mandatory course content is livestreamed on a specific date/time or provided as a recording to watch at a later moment is at the discretion of the course instructor. Access to (online) classes is made available to all students, no matter where you are located in the world.
Are guest lectures still taking place?
To the extent that guest lectures were already planned as part of a given course’s programme and to the extent that those guest speakers remain available and able to provide their lectures virtually, guest lectures will still take place.
Our experience with online education during the spring semester of the academic year 2019-2020 and in the fall semester of 2020-2021 has shown us that guest lectures can still take place in a very successful manner in an online setting.
Are tutorials available on campus given that these classes are smaller?
Tutorials may at times take place on campus, but that possibility will depend on each programme and course instructor, the limitations in place regarding social distancing, and the availability of classrooms.
Is in-class participation assessed as part of online classes? Are there attendance rules for online classes?
As is the case for face-to-face education, each instructor will define which classes or components of the course require mandatory (online) attendance, and whether attendance will be included in the assessment of the course. You may consult with the instructor for the specifics of a given course.
For those students located in a different (far away) time zone, what will the schedule be for online classes?
The course schedule will be the same for all the students participating in a given course.
RSM is aware of the large international population among their students and so are instructors. Within the current limitations, we have done our utmost to schedule the classes to accommodate different time zones as much as possible.
Should you have scheduling concerns once the course has started, please address those to the course instructor.
Have course schedules or curricular structure for the master changed, given the online setting?
No, the schedules and structure for the academic year in terms of the blocks remain the same. An overview of the Academic Calendar 2020-2021 is available on the RSM website here.
Does the quality of education remain the same even with the shift online?
Yes, all students enrolled at RSM have the guarantee that they can obtain all credits for the entire 2020-2021 academic year remotely, with the same quality of education as we offer in a face-to-face setting. Ultimately, the quality of education also depends largely on an individual student’s engagement and making the best use of the university’s offerings and resources, whatever they may be. We encourage students always – and in particular in the coming semester – to take a proactive approach in engaging with their instructors, classmates, educational material, and everything related to their programme.
When are Fall 2021 course schedules available?
Final schedules for the Fall semester 2021-2022 will be published in July 2021 on the university’s online course guides.
Do professors have online or offline office hours?
There is no specific policy regarding professors’ office hours, whether on- or offline. Given the limitations on the use of space on campus and social distancing measures, it is likely in most cases that instructors will not have scheduled offline office hours. Kindly check with the professor(s) for specific details and possibilities.
Is it possible to complete exams remotely?
Yes, students are able to complete exams remotely, either proctored or unproctored. Instructors may have adjusted the assessment methods for a given course and may offer alternative evaluation options to written exams, such as oral exams, final written assignments, or projects. Details about the chosen examination method are incorporated in the course’s manual, available via the course’s Canvas page.
Specific exam dates for the spring semester are also published via each course’s timetable, available via the university’s online course guides.
If exams can be conducted in the exam hall, does RSM also plan to offer the opportunity to take exams on campus?
The exam hall (“M-Hall”) has a limited capacity under current conditions, and therefore the option to offer on-campus exams is currently limited to students with special circumstances, which must always be discussed with our Study Advisors.
If there are specific circumstances for which you cannot complete an online exam from home, please consult with one our Study Advisors to discuss possible alternatives.
How is assessment conducted in an online setting?
RSM uses a variety of online assessment tools and each platform works in a different way. Students will be informed beforehand where and how the (final) assessment will take place and any additional information they need to know for each platform.
In all circumstances, a course’s established learning goals must still be assessed and at least 60% of the assessment must be individually tested. Any changes made in the assessment are incorporated in the course’s manual, available via the course Canvas page.
What is online proctoring and does EUR use it?
EUR does use online proctoring of written exams; more information about online proctoring at EUR/RSM can be found here.
Will there be more non-exam assessment methods used in online learning?
Assessment methods vary per course. Instructors can adjust the assessment methods and offer alternative evaluation options to written exams, such as oral exams, final written assignments, or projects. These changes are incorporated in the Course Manual of the course, available via the course Canvas page.
Are there any social online tools to meet fellow students in the master programmes?
Yes. STAR (the Study Association of RSM) currently coordinates Facebook and WhatsApp groups per programme for master students. Students may contact STAR for information on accessing those groups via their website.
I am an international student: should I come to Rotterdam if I can? How can I get to know my fellow students?
Studying is not only about taking classes, and Rotterdam as a city has much to offer. Being in Rotterdam also allows for the possibilities of being able to meet and interact with your fellow students face-to-face, as far as that is possible at a given moment on campus or off. It is, however, each student’s individual choice whether they would like to move to Rotterdam or follow their programme from elsewhere in the world.
Though nothing beats real-life experience and engagement, we have seen that our students manage very well cooperating in online working groups as well as in class and that they are able to deliver excellent quality work.
In all cases, access to (online) classes will be equal for those of you coming to Rotterdam and those of you who are not coming to Rotterdam. We guarantee that the content of our educational offering via online delivery will meet the same standards as our face-to-face teaching. This also implies that the courses and degrees at RSM will have the same value as in all other academic years.
If, however, you decide to come to Rotterdam, please always be aware of and follow safety guidelines in effect in the Netherlands/Rotterdam at a given moment and ensure that you are prepared to follow them (e.g. rules on presenting a negative COVID test result, ensuring enough time and resources for quarantine, and active lockdowns or curfews in effect, etc.).
What possibilities are there to get to know my fellow students if I am not in Rotterdam?
Getting to know your fellow students if you are not in Rotterdam may prove somewhat more challenging than if you were here. However, you will have the opportunity to interact with fellow students in online lessons for your courses, smaller working groups and team assignments, and through more informal, social events taking place virtually or even face-to-face on a small, safe scale. You are always encouraged – especially in this time of physical distancing – to reach out to your fellow students as much as you can to engage with each other virtually, even if you can’t be here in Rotterdam.
How are group assignments arranged, where students do not yet know each other?
How groups are organized will depend on the course: some courses’ groups are organized by course instructors/coordinators or by students themselves via organized registrations. You’ll want to check the given course’s manual for eventual further information, or directly with the course instructor/coordinator. Ask for guidance by your instructor/course coordinator for creating groups, if you don’t yet know your fellow students.
Can students choose their own group assignments or are students assigned to a group?
Whether groups are organized by course instructors/coordinators or by students themselves depends on the course. You’ll want to check the given course’s manual for eventual further information, or directly with the course instructor/coordinator.
Is it possible for groups to get together face-to-face on campus?
It may at times be possible for (small) groups to get together face-to-face on campus, however students must make ensure that they observe indicated hygiene and safety guidelines at all times. Certain periods involving active lockdowns in the Netherlands may prevent access to the campus.
Is it possible to have mixed groups consisting of people who are located in Rotterdam and people who are not located in Rotterdam?
All RSM master students are guaranteed the possibility of completing all required course work online for the entire 2020-2021 academic year, and this guarantee includes any eventual group work. It will therefore at times be necessary to facilitate group work among teams whose members are not located in the same place, whether in Rotterdam or anywhere else in the world. Team members will need to exercise a good deal of planning, effective time management, and communication in order to work together successfully across distance and potentially even different time zones.
Does RSM have study associations who are active and organize (online and/or offline) events?
Yes, RSM’s study association STAR actively organizes several events throughout the year. Additionally, each master programme Study Club organizes events addressed specifically for the students of the given programme. You can read more about STAR and its mission on its website.
Will online education continue in the next academic year (i.e. 2021-2022)?
While we sincerely hope to be able to resume regular on-campus education in the 2021-2022 academic year, this possibility will largely depend on the further development of the pandemic, vaccines and their global availability, and governmental regulations. If we are able to host face-to-face activities regularly on campus again, we do expect students to be in Rotterdam, as most classes, assessments, events, and other activities will require students’ physical presence again.
Regardless of whether and when travel and distancing restrictions remain in place or will be lifted, we will do everything within our power to ensure that all admitted students will have the opportunity to continue their education and have the chance to graduate from their respective programme without delay.
We expect to take a decision in early March 2021, on the mode of education in the coming fall semester 2021-2022.
Will there be a physical graduation ceremony in fall 2021?
We hope to be able to resume face-to-face events to the degree that government regulations allow it, and are constantly monitoring feasibility. Should it be possible to host events within the requirements of the graduation ceremony, we expect that a physical graduation ceremony will take place in 2021. Otherwise, as in 2020, we may be required to host an online graduation celebration.
Will thesis meetings with coaches and/or co-readers happen on campus or online?
Coaching meetings and/or thesis defence events on campus are only possible if regulations and circumstances allow, and if both student and coach and/or co-reader agree to meet each other on campus.
Please discuss this with your coach/co-reader on an individual basis, and please refrain from exerting any pressure on other parties with regard to on-campus meetings.
Will the thesis defence be in person or digital/online?
Virtual thesis defences (via Zoom, MS Teams, Skype, or other similar online platform with a video connection) will be permitted in the current academic year. Note that even in a virtual setting, the thesis examiners must be able to see the student clearly and completely throughout the defence. Given the exceptional situation, students are NOT REQUIRED to request permission from the Examination Board to hold the thesis defence digitally/online.
Where can I get tested for coronavirus in Rotterdam/The Netherlands? Is it possible to get tested on campus?
COVID-19 testing is not available on campus. Please visit the website of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) for information on where and how to get tested in Rotterdam.
Where can I find out about active COVID-19 measures in place in the Netherlands?
Updated information is available both on the website of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), as well as on the Dutch Government website (both sites available in English).
Student housing in the Netherlands is not arranged for you by the university or faculty; it is rather your own responsibility to secure housing. You can find information about housing options on this website. There is also a specific webpage containing FAQ’s about Housing and COVID-19. If you plan to come to Rotterdam please be prepared for your search to take some time as the demand for housing in Rotterdam is generally high.
If you have difficulties with finding housing, you are advised to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
You can find EUR’s FAQ regarding facilities here. This page is reviewed and updated regularly.
Are the study spaces in the library open/available?
Barring active lockdowns, most of the buildings on campus have remained open for and accessible to students and employees in the current academic year, under certain conditions. This includes study spaces in the University Library and in the Polak Building. Students must reserve study spaces beforehand. This way, you may at times be able to alternate between working/studying at home and working/studying on-campus (to a limited extent). You can reserve your study spot on Woudestein campus here.
COVID-19 safety measures , such as keeping minimum social distance of 1.5 metres, must also be maintained in study space areas (see here for details) as well as in all other areas of campus.
Please always refer to the university’s library’s website to clarify what services are being offered, and what services may otherwise be affected by active COVID-19 measures.
Which on-campus facilities are open/available?
Parts of the campus – such as the University Library and other study places, and the food court – have been accessible for employees and students in the current academic year, however under strict conditions. This way, working and meeting on-campus is possible, to a limited extent. You can consult the full list of open facilities and their opening times here.
Are databases available remotely?
As explained on the University’s Library webpage, most of our databases are accessible remotely. Some databases, like Bloomberg or Eikon, are only accessible via on-campus terminals, and will not be made available online for the foreseeable future. For this reason, we strongly recommend that students use alternate databases.
In case you may need information for those databases, you can reach out to the Erasmus Data Service Centre to discuss the options (their contact information can be found here).
What guidelines are in place on campus to maintain safety and hygiene?
Please refer to the EUR COVID-19 dossier for full details on campus rules.
How can I contact MSc Programme Management?
The MSc Programme Management team is currently working remotely, and therefore is not available in the office nor by phone.
They are available via the specific email addresses below and strive to provide an answer to student inquiries within two working days:
- IM/CEMS: firstname.lastname@example.org
- MScBA Master in Management: email@example.com
- MScBA Business Analytics and Management: firstname.lastname@example.org
- MSc Finance and Investments: email@example.com
- All other one-year MSc programmes: firstname.lastname@example.org