UTAR postgraduate students attend examinations physically

With the country transitioning into endemicity since 1 April 2022, the university also progressed towards having more physical activities on campus but with strict compliance to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for health and safety. Practical classes and tutorials have resumed with physical classes and hybrid learning while lectures remain online.

After two years of online teaching and learning, including assessments, the university has begun moving back to normalcy in stages, including examinations. The final examinations for the January 2022 trimester for postgraduate students were held physically on campus with its first day of examination, commencing 11 April 2022, which were conducted smoothly with no issues. The students followed the SOPs and entering the examination venues was orderly, following physical distancing, including seating arrangements in the exam venues. The postgraduate examinations were scheduled to end on 23 April 2022 for Kampar Campus and 24 April 2022 for Sungai Long Campus.

Postgraduates taking the exams

Randoms checks revealed that postgraduate students were happy to return to campus for physical examinations as the traditional and approved method of assessment. They feel that online learning should be complemented with physical examinations to give a better assessment of their knowledge and learning capabilities. They feel that this is also the industry’s expectation that graduates should have physical assessments in addition to online learning for a balanced assessment of their education in the university.

When asked about his opinion regarding the physical examination, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science postgraduate HW Chan said that physical examinations brought him the perception of fairness comparatively. He mentioned that the quality of the assessments will be more reliable with physical examinations since students would partake in the physical exams without fraud or cheating. It is also a fairer assessment of academic performance among students.

Project Resource Management postgraduate S.Priya Dharshini said, "I think it is better to have physical examinations, so you have to think critically and can come up with facts to answer on the spot. Whatever you have learnt, you can test it out through the physical exam. I personally think this is much better from the perspective of learning compared to online exams where you can get all the information online. So, this is not what education is all about and they don't get to apply what they have learnt." She added, "I have no worries regarding my health and safety on campus. UTAR pretty much abides by the standard operating procedures set by the government and we have to follow them."

Another postgraduate student, Sylvia Liew commented that, "It is important to have physical examinations because it is one of the best ways to determine the quality of students' learning and their intelligence." She added that, “It is the best way to evaluate what students have learnt in the university. I don't mind attending online classes for lectures and all because I am a full-time working professional. However, when it comes to final examinations like this, I prefer it to be physical. As for UTAR's SOP for the physical examination, we were required to do the COVID-19 test and fill in an online form before attending the exam. They also made sure students were sitting one metre apart from one another. Hence, I have no problems with it." 

Postgraduates queueing outside the exam venue

UTAR imposed strict SOPs for students returning to campus for classes, including the examinations. Students had to do the COVID-19 self-test and submit the test results online before coming in to campus. Upon entering the campus, they must check in via MySejahtera, show their MySejahtera status and scan for temperature. Before entering the examination hall, all students queuing up to enter following physical distancing. They have to check in using the MySejahtera App and scan the location QR Code via the hi-hive App before entering the exam venue. Face masks must be worn at all times in campus. In addition to students, all university staff on duty were required to do the RTK-Antigen Test, fill in the health declaration form and submit it before entering the examination hall on campus.

For good safety measures, the university also made sure that the examination halls provided adequate space for physical distancing between students and good ventilation to ensure students' safety. Sanitisation of the exam venues were also done more vigorously during the examination period.

Postgraduate students taking their examination at Sungai Long Campus

The reporting station located on the first floor of KB Sungai Long Campus

The examinations in progress at Kampar Campus

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