Assessment of Study Abroad

In the context of the University’s strategic priority of increasing student mobility to focus on internationalisation, principles on the treatment of assessment from study abroad were agreed by Senate. See also Study Abroad - Credit Loads for Students.

Policy and Guidelines

It was noted that the benefits to students of spending some time studying abroad were clear, but there were also some challenges for the University and one of these was determining how to treat marks, grades and credits for assessments completed during study abroad. In proposing the principles, the Treatment of Assessment from Study Abroad Working Group (which reported to EdPSC’s Learning & and Teaching Committee) had identified significant variations in current practice across the University and had therefore concluded that a single conversion scheme would be unworkable.

Senate approved the following principles on the treatment of assessment from study abroad.

The overarching principle is fairness to students, whether they study abroad or at home, while encouraging mobility.

(i) School and subject coordinators or committees that have responsibility for arranging periods of study abroad should obtain as much information as possible about the course content and assessment processes in the host institution, before our students go there, to judge comparability of their marks, grades or credits with those awarded in Glasgow.

(ii) There should be clarity and transparency about how an assessment during a period of study abroad is treated.

(iii) Students should be informed, in advance of choosing a course of study abroad, how their marks, grades or credits will be treated when they return to the University of Glasgow. (We would also encourage students to find out for themselves as much as they can about study and assessment in a host institution they intend to visit).

(iv) Systems of translation should be developed at programme level and these should be approved at programme or School level before students undertake a period of study abroad. It is the responsibility of programme boards/committees to apply the system of translation and periodically review it to ensure that it continues to be fit for purpose.

(v) These systems of translation should be subject to the University's Quality Assurance procedures and information about them included in Examination Board minutes. Reports about agreed processes should also be forwarded to College Learning and Teaching Committees to ensure consistency of approach across the College.

(vi) No assessments undertaken abroad will be marked again by assessors in the University of Glasgow.

(vii) Students should receive full recognition at the appropriate level for an assessment undertaken during a period of study abroad.

(viii) Exam Boards will continue to exercise their judgment in discretionary cases.

The 2011-12 edition of the Code of Assessment was amended to reflect these principles with the addition of clause 16.79 see Fees and General Section of the online Calendar: www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_205314_en.pdf#page=7&view=fitH,610

Senate also agreed that a mechanism for sharing best practice across the University in the translation of marks, grades or credits obtained during a period of study abroad should be established e.g. by using a web based forum.


For the Attention of

College and School Learning & Teaching Committees and programme leaders. [For use by programme leaders when considering potential host institutions, and by programmes when dealing with assessment outcomes from periods of study abroad].


Approval and Amendments

Approved by: Senate, 2 June 2011