My role as study programme representative in the Examination Board

  • As a member of the Examination Board, you are responsible for the appraisal of the dissertation of the doctoral student. The Examination Board shall consist of five to eight members who are qualified to vote, including the chair, three to five experts who form the ‘reading committee’, and one or two study programme representatives (including you) who are called ‘rapporteurs’. The supervisors of the dissertation are welcome to attend the Examination Board meetings, but they will not be qualified to vote. As the study programme representative, you or your colleague will take on the role of secretary. As soon as the Examination Board has been composed by the Faculty Council, the chair of the Examination Board and/or the Faculty Student Administration (FSA) will act as your contact person.
  • With the exception of the chair, each voting member of the Examination Board will draw up a written appraisal of the dissertation prior to the doctoral exam. As a ‘rapporteur’, you will draw up a rather short and overall appraisal, in the language in which the doctoral examination will take place, i.e. in English or Dutch. If the dissertation has another language as its subject, it is possible to depart from this rule. It is important that all parties involved in the examination understand the language(s) used. When writing the report, you can draw on the written appraisals of the other Examination Board members without reading the dissertation in full. If there are two study programme representatives in the Examination Board, you should draw up a joint report. The recommendation mentioned in the addendum must not be taken up in the report. At least five working days prior to the first session, you need to deliver the report to the Faculty Student Administration (FSA) via fsa.lw@ugent.be and, if applicable, cc the second ‘rapporteur’ on your report. The Faculty Student Administration (FSA) immediately delivers all these reports to the doctoral student.
  • The doctoral exam consists of two sessions that are each deliberated on and assessed: (1) the first deliberation of the Examination Board on the doctoral dissertation, and (2) the public defence of said dissertation.
  • As a member of the Examination Board, you need to attend the two sessions of the Examination Board. In exceptional cases, you may attend the sessions through video conferencing. If you are unable to attend a session, you need to notify the chair of the Examination Board.
  • During the first session, the Examination Board members assess the doctoral student’s skills and competencies by means of a conversation. The Examination Board members and the doctoral student have a substantive discussion. Subsequently, the members deliberate on the basis of (1) the written reports and (2) the hearing of the doctoral student. The members of the Examination Board decide by simple majority of the votes, abstentions not taken into consideration. If a second voting round again results in a tie, the decision will not be in the student’s favour, in accordance with the Education and Examination Code at Ghent University. The deliberation will result in one of the appraisals below:
    • Admission to the second part of the examination (public defence), following small corrections to the dissertation.
    • Admission to the second part, following corrections to the dissertation.
    • No admission to the second part of the examination.
    • Additional criteria for an article-based doctorate
  • Together with the attendance register, the final outcome of this deliberation is to be substantiated and included by the secretary in a deliberation report that needs to be delivered to the Faculty Student Administration (FSA) via fsa.lw@ugent.be. The Faculty Student Administration (FSA) delivers this report to the student.
  • The second session (public defence) takes place within 60 calendar days after the first session (the precise date is fixed in joint consultation after the Examination Board has taken a deliberation decision during the first part of the doctoral examination). During the second session, which takes one to two hours, the doctoral student puts forward an oral and public defence of his/her doctoral dissertation before the Examination Board. The session starts with a short presentation by the doctoral student, which lasts no more than 20 minutes. Next, each member of the Examination Board is given the opportunity to ask one or more questions. The session takes place in Dutch or English, unless otherwise established.
  • The Examination Board deliberates in camera on the examination as a whole, immediately after the public defence. The Examination Board members decide by simple majority of the votes, abstentions not taken into consideration, whether or not the academic degree of doctor is to be awarded. If a second voting round again results in a tie, the decision will not be in the student’s favour. Together with the attendance register, the decision is to be substantiated and included by the secretary in a deliberation report that needs to be delivered to the Faculty Student Administration (FSA) via fsa.lw@ugent.be. The Faculty Student Administration (FSA) delivers this report to the student.
  • The examination decision is publicly announced by the chair immediately after the deliberation, following the second session. Ghent University does not grant grades of merit within the context of a doctorate, nor does it ‘congratulate’ the student. Doctoral students pass or do not pass. In case of a positive decision, one of the supervisors may hold a laudatio. The doctoral student will receive his/her degree and a beret.