FUBiS Program and Academic Policies and Student Code of Conduct

FUBiS is the official summer and winter program of the Freie Universität Berlin, a fully accredited German research university of international standing. It is FUBiS’ mission to provide international students with a premier summer and winter abroad program delivering the highest academic quality and fostering the development of intercultural competence.

In order that students attending the FUBiS program may earn credit toward their degrees through their home institutions, an Academic Board has reviewed and approved all FUBiS course offerings. The Academic Board consists of five tenured university professors from various disciplines.

The Academic Board has established the following rules and regulations for courses offered by the FUBiS program:

 

I. FUBiS Program and Academic Policies

A. Admission Requirements

Students must be at least 18 years of age and should have completed at least one year of higher education (college or university) at the beginning of the FUBiS program. However, registrants to the FUBiS program do not have to be enrolled in any program at the point of their registration. FUBiS also accepts registrations by adult learners and professionals. Please note that credits can only be awarded if you are currently / have been enrolled at a university.

Admission will not be denied on the basis of race, ethnic or national origin, creed, gender/sex, religion, disability, age, or sexual orientation/identity.

B. Participants’ Responsibility

As members of an academic institution, FUBiS staff and faculty are expected to respect the rights and dignity of students, staff, and faculty.

Students participating in the FUBiS program are expected to take full responsibility for their own actions or failure to act, for which the FUBiS staff and faculty will hold them accountable.

Students participating in the FUBiS program through a study abroad program offered by their home university are subject to the rules of conduct, academic procedures, academic honor codes, and student disciplinary procedures of both their respective universities and the FUBiS program.

FUBiS students are adults and guests abroad. They are expected to abide by the FUBiS academic and program policies as well as the customs and laws that govern their host country, Germany.

These policies exist to enhance the educational process and to ensure a safe, fair, and successful learning experience for students enrolled in the FUBiS program. FUBiS holds students responsible for knowing these policies; ignorance of the policies is not an acceptable excuse for their violation.

C. Program Start, Arrival, and Departure

Students are expected to make their travel arrangements so as to arrive and depart on the designated arrival and departure dates. Students who are not present for the orientation, the placement interviews, or the first day of instruction will not be permitted to participate in the program.

Move-in and move-out dates for accommodation arranged by FUBiS are the designated arrival and departure dates. Students who arrive earlier or leave later will need to arrange for their own accommodation during those times.

D. Academic Standing and Course Requirements

All FUBiS students are expected to maintain good academic standing throughout the program. Inadequate class preparation, irregular attendance, or unsatisfactory performance may result in dismissal from the program.

Students must complete all oral and written assignments for each course according to the deadlines established for each assignment. Late work will be marked as “failed.” This will affect the student’s final grade and may even result in a failing grade for the course as a whole.

Course requirements for each class are published on the official program website www.fubis.org and/or are listed in the syllabus that the students receive from their instructor.

E. Transcript and Credit Transfer

Every student receives a Freie Universität Berlin/FUBiS academic transcript. The transcript lists all courses, the number of contact hours, the ECTS credits earned, and the final grade. Please note that credits can only be awarded if you are currently / have been enrolled at a university.

Academic work arranged and supervised by any program or institution other than FUBiS or the Freie Universität Berlin will not appear on the transcript.

FUBiS issues the transcripts approximately 4 weeks following the end of the program. The transcript will be sent to the student’s home address or to the student’s home institution. It is the student’s responsibility to provide FUBiS with a correct mail address. Students should bear in mind that overseas mail delivery may take two weeks or longer.

Because each institution has its own policy regarding credit transfer from other institutions, FUBiS strongly recommends that students consult with the appropriate advisor(s) and professor(s) in order to receive credit transfer approval prior to enrolling in the FUBiS program. Students will find the following course information on the FUBiS website:

  • course description
  • course syllabus
  • course requirements
  • grading scale
  • professor curriculum vitae

FUBiS recommends that students present these documents to the person(s) responsible for issuing transfer credit approval well in advance. If there are any questions regarding these matters, please contact FUBiS at fubis@fubis.org.

F. Credit Calculation

FUBiS awards ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits. ECTS is based on the principle that the workload of a full-time student during one academic year is equivalent to 60 credits. This includes in-class contact hours as well as individual work on assignments and class preparation. On average, the student workload of a full-time study program in Europe is between 1,500 and 1,800 hours per year; thus, one ECTS credit represents between 25 and 30 hours of work. The Academic Senate of the Freie Universität Berlin has stipulated that one ECTS credit is equivalent to 30 hours of study.

G. Assignments and Examinations

The instructor(s) of each course will evaluate students’ attendance, participation, and examinations (at least one final examination, normally in written form) throughout the course. The results of graded assignments and examinations should be communicated to the students in a timely manner.

Students must complete all course and program requirements before the end of the program.  They may petition for an extension of the final assignment deadline of up to one week after the end of the program. The petition is to be addressed to the instructor and the Program Director, who will closely consult on the matter.

An extension deadline for completing a course assignment or the course will not extend beyond one week after the end of the program; thereafter, the grade becomes an “F.”

Detailed information on assignments and examinations and their grading can be found in the course description and/or syllabus of each class. These are published on the official program website www.fubis.org.

H. Academic Dishonesty, Plagiarism, and Cheating

Academic dishonesty is a severe offense that is incompatible with the academic standards and self-understanding of the Freie Universität Berlin. Therefore, FUBiS students pledge not to engage in academic dishonesty, plagiarism, cheating, the use of unauthorized materials, or accessing or distributing confidential academic materials.

If a student appears to have broken this pledge, he or she will be notified, usually within two working days, that there has been an academic dishonesty charge filed against him or her. He or she will also be notified when and where the review of the charge will take place.

The Program Director and one faculty member will conduct the review. During the hearing the student will be presented with all details of the charge filed against him or her and be asked to present his or her case.

If the student admits to the charge, the circumstances of the violation will be discussed and an appropriate sanction will be determined.

If the student denies any wrongdoing, the review committee will consider all existing information, gather more data if necessary, and make a decision. The student will be notified within two working days of this final decision.

Sanctions for academic dishonesty include (but are not limited to) the following: warning, grade penalty, notification of the home university, suspension, dismissal from the program, or any combination of the above.

I. Class Attendance

Regular attendance in class and on study trips is mandatory; instructors take attendance. Unexcused absences will negatively impact the student’s course grades. If a student misses more than 28 % of the total class time due to unexcused absences, this will generally result in the student failing the course.  

Absences are excused in case of illness; however, longer absences due to illness must be proven with a written medical excuse. For the third sick day and every other sick day after that (consecutive or cumulative), the student is required to present a doctor’s excuse. Students are not entitled to make up missed exams. Excused absences may impact the grades if the student does not fulfill all course requirements. In this case, an agreeable solution will be found in close consultation with the Program Director.

J. Pass/Fail Grading and Audits

FUBiS is a short-term intensive academic university program that grades students on their individual academic performance according to the Freie Universität Berlin grading scale. For this reason, students may not simply audit FUBiS courses and there is no “pass/fail” grading option.

K. Course Change

Since FUBiS is an intensive short-term study abroad program, there is NO drop/add period. However, a class change is possible under the following circumstances:

•         the maximum enrolment of the other class has not been reached;

•         the instructors of both classes have approved the course change;

•         the student has received permission for the course change from the Program Director.

The student is advised to contact his or her home institution regarding credit transfer.

The deadline for changing a class is the first Thursday of the 3-week Term I, the first Friday of the 6-week FUBiS Term II and the first Wednesday of the 4-week FUBiS Term III. A course change is not possible after these deadlines.

Should a student decide to drop a class, the rules for withdrawal apply (see L.).

The fee for course changes made after registration is 75 € per course.

L. Withdrawal

The course withdrawal deadline is the end of the second week of the term. Students who wish to withdraw from a course should first consult with the Program Director. Should a student withdraw from a course after the withdrawal deadline, the title of the course will appear on his or her transcript with a failing grade.

M. General Grading Policy

At least 68% of all course requirements must be completed in order to pass a course. This does not affect the policies in section I. Class Attendance. The Freie Universität Berlin grading policy applies to the FUBiS program and is communicated to students at the beginning of the program. It is also published on the official FUBiS program website www.fubis.org.

 

Freie Universität Berlin grading

Recommended US grade

Points (German classes only)*

1,0

A

1000 – 970

1,3

A

969 – 920

1,7

A-

919 – 900

2,0

B+

899 – 880

2,3

B

879 – 830

2,7

B-

829 – 800

3,0

C+

799 – 780

3,3

C

779 – 730

3,7

C-

729 – 700

4,0

D

699 – 680

failed (> 4,0)

F

< 680

* The final grade in the German language classes is determined by the points achieved at the end of the course.

 

N. Grade Appeal Process

Students who wish to formally appeal a grade must submit a petition to the FUBiS office within 15 days of the mailing of the digital transcript copy. The Program Director will give a copy of the appeal to the instructor involved and discuss with him or her the particulars of the case.

The course instructor is the primary authority in grading matters. The Program Director, however, retains a certain discretionary power which will be exercised only in the most extraordinary circumstances.

O. Learning Difficulties and Physical Disabilities

Students with identified learning difficulties and/or physical disabilities should inform the FUBiS program in writing and provide official documentation prior to the beginning of the program. FUBiS can take the appropriate measures and accommodate the student’s special needs only if the staff of the program has been informed of a student’s identified learning difficulty, and/or physical disability in a timely manner.

P. Information Technology

The Freie Universität Berlin maintains computer labs in order to support teaching and learning. Students who use these facilities enter a contract to use them legally, ethically, and in accordance with their educational purposes. Computer facilities owned by Freie Universität Berlin (including the campus network and internet connection), whether accessed remotely or locally, should not be used for commercial purposes or in any way that infringes on state/federal/international laws regarding libel or copyright. The illegal download and storage of music and movies on Freie Universität Berlin servers and computers as well as the use of tools to access peer-to-peer networks is strictly prohibited.

 


 

II. Student Code of Conduct

Students violating the following code will be subject to appropriate review and sanctions, up to and including exclusion from the program. Information regarding students who violate FUBiS policies will be provided to the students’ home schools and may be provided to their parents.

This student code of conduct applies in addition to any other (home) university conduct rules that may be applicable as well as to German criminal law.

The following behavior and/or actions are illegal in Germany and will be prosecuted under German law:

  • Theft and robbery

  • Violence against others

  • Vandalizing

  • Sexual harassment

  • Stalking

  • Possession and abuse of illegal drugs

  • Possession of illegal substances and explosive material

  • Possession of weapons without proper permission

(Please note that this represents only a partial list.)

 

In addition, intolerant, disrespectful, disruptive, or otherwise irresponsible behavior as well as actions detrimental to the safety of students, instructors, and staff are prohibited. Such actions include, but are not limited to:

  • Verbal abuse of faculty, staff, students, or FUBiS representatives
  • Behavior that is noticeably disturbing or distressing to students, staff, or faculty
  • Sexual harassment, disorderly, lewd, indecent or obscene gestures or actions
  • Harassment of any person
  • Stalking of any person
  • Disturbance of classes and/or other FUBiS activities
  • Damage to Freie Universität Berlin property, residence halls, hosts, or apartments
  • Violations of residential guidelines and/or rules, including, but not limited to, unauthorized overnight guests, excessive noise, rowdy conduct, and drunkenness
  • Permanent or temporary diversion of academic materials needed by other students, including unauthorized removal of library materials, audio-visual materials, or technical equipment
  • Self-endangerment, including involvement in activities or behavior that could result in personal harm
  • Excessive alcohol abuse

(Please note that this represents only a partial list.)

 

The possession and use of illegal substances by FUBiS students are strictly prohibited.

If a student appears to have violated this code, he or she will be notified that there has been a charge filed against him or her. He or she will also be notified when and where the review of the charge will take place.

The Program Director, one additional FUBiS staff member, and one FUBiS faculty member will conduct the review. At the review hearing the student will be presented with all details of the charge filed against him or her and be asked to present his or her case. The student may present other pertinent information, including written statements from witnesses.

If the student admits to the charge, the circumstances of the violation will be discussed and an appropriate sanction will be determined.

If the student denies any wrongdoing, the review committee will consider all existing information, gather more data if necessary, and make a decision. The student will be notified within two working days of this final decision.

Sanctions for violation of this code of conduct include (but are not limited to) the following: warning, grade penalty, notification of the home school, suspension, dismissal from the program, or any combination of the above.