Last update: 26.04.2024

This page aims to address many common questions related to studies in order to clarify the framework and limits of EPFL’s current rules. The answers to the questions listed have been written with the assistance of CARE, the legal service of the Federation of Student Associations (FAE) of UNIL.

For a summary of the rules under review, see this page.

Common references below: 

What are the limits regarding where and when professors can organize the consultation of their exam papers, assuming it is the unique occasion to consult one’s own exam copy?

According to article 15 of LEX, it must be possible for each student to consult their exam paper within 6 months following the communication of the result. On a case-by-case basis, if professors announce a date, time, or location that makes consultation impossible, then students can report this violation of their rights through their delegation.

Until when can professors announce a midterm?

The annex of LEX 2.6.1 recommends: “The date of the exams, their number, their nature, and the weighting for the final grade should be announced reasonably in advance and bind the teaching and student parties.” However, this recommendation does not have intrinsic value. In practice, it is not permitted to add a midterm to a course if it was not already announced in some way in the course description, under the “Evaluation Method” section. Note that an evaluation method including “continuous assessment” leaves open the possibility of a midterm.

According to article 8 of LEX 2.6.1, it is formally prohibited for professors to reuse questions from past exams. Professors who do so expose themselves to significant legal and administrative risks, such as disciplinary sanctions, institutional reprimands, and potential litigation.

What recourse is there when a professor refuses to invalidate a wrong question on an exam?

In cases where a professor refuses to invalidate a wrong question on an exam, it is appropriate to refer to the principle of good faith. In accordance with article 9 of the Swiss Constitution, this principle requires that the state act in a loyal, honest, and reliable manner in all its interactions with citizens, including in the field of education. Thus, if a professor refuses to invalidate a wrong question on an exam, it could be considered a violation of the principle of good faith. Students have the right to assert this principle and request a review to ensure a fair evaluation that adheres to academic integrity standards.

Is it allowed for professors to modify the grading scale of an exam or their course after the exam / course?

For example, is it possible to announce that a 6/6 is obtained from 80% of the points and finally only give it from 90%? The answer is no, this constitutes a violation of the protection of the good faith of the individual in case of inaccurate information, as long as the student cannot reverse their decisions. This is trivially the case for exams and assignments that have already passed.