Following the example of virtual lessons and board meetings, the University of Pisa has now turned its attention to the completion of final degree exams entirely online. From Friday 13 March, in fact, not only the candidates but also the president and secretary of the commission need not be present in person for the degree session. In this manner, everyone will be able to remain safely at home, limiting personal contact as required by the measures taken to contrast the COVID-19 epidemic.
This new manner of presenting theses has come into force immediately, thanks to the timely approval this morning by the Board of Directors of the Rector’s Decree modifying the Temporary Regulations for conducting board meetings online dated 6 March.
“The life of our university and our students must not stop,” explained the rector, Paolo Mancarella. “Holding all meetings and committees of the various bodies online was a fundamental move. Fortunately, we live in an age where new technology allows us, even in situations of emergency such as the one we are living through at the moment, to act online in a ‘diverse normality’, as one student quite rightly called it. It was our duty to safeguard everyone involved in the degree session, as it was juridically and technically possible.”
It was already possible to present a thesis online from 6 March as, according to the new Rector’s Decree, “the virtual technology supplied by the university is able to guarantee the public viewing of the online exam by inviting all the candidates of that session by means of a link. This also allows students who are not enrolled in that specific session to view the online exam.”
The one remaining problem, which has now been solved by the new Regulations, was concerned with the virtual verbalization of the exam. This was solved, as we can see in the document, thanks to the fact that “the president and the secretary, being public officials, can testify in the minutes to facts that they declare occurred in their presence or that they carried out during the degree session online and then endorse this by digital signature.”
The calendar of the degree sessions is already online in all the Department websites. The procedure for the online presentation of theses will be communicated to individual candidates by email and/or posted on their Department website.