Frequently Asked Questions


How many places are available per online course?

The number of available spots differs per course and will be determined by the host university, ranging from 20 to 120 places for all participating universities. We work on a first come, first served basis. So, apply as early as possible.

What fees do I pay?

You are not required to pay any tuition fees to the host university. If a course has additional requirements, such as a textbook, these are detailed in the course outline from the host institution. You will be responsible for those fees

In case I am not selected, can I still do the online course?

Yes, you can do the online course, but not as a Virtual Exchange-student. This means that you cannot participate in the Virtual Exchange exams or assignments, and consequently you will not receive credit towards your home university degree.

If I do not meet the eligibility criteria for the Virtual Exchange Program, can I still take the course?

Yes, you can do the online course, but not as a Virtual Exchange-student. This means that you cannot participate in the Virtual Exchange exams or assignments, and consequently you will not receive credit towards your home university degree.

How many courses can I take?

This depend on the rules and regulations of your home university. Some universities allow their students to take multiple online courses for credits, whereas others restrict this to maximum of 6 credits per year or per degree.

Can I apply for courses other than the ones listed here?

To study as a Virtual Exchange Programme student you can only take courses that are part of the program and have been approved for credit towards your degree. We expect to have a larger offering for future semesters.

Can I already apply for courses starting in the next semester?

TSome courses may be published on the Virtual Exchange website in advance of their opening date for application, however you can only apply as from the application date (indicated in the course details). Please only apply if you are sure that you really want to do (and can spend enough time) on the online course.

Why are the course descriptions from some universities the same as in previous semesters?

A course may appear in the list of available courses with the same course description as previously published when the course is being offered once more by the same institution.

Why some courses do not have ‘sneak’ previews?

Some institutions do not supply preview for their courses; whenever they are available, they are published.

The information on edX doesn’t always correspond to the information on the website. What information is relevant to my course?

Please always refer to the course description published on the university website and not to the edX course pages. The information on the university website is leading as it is tailored specifically to Virtual Exchange-students. The information provided on edX is for all general participants worldwide.

What is expected of me?

Similar to an off-line exchange, the Virtual Exchange requires you to be curious, engaged and committed - to engage with the course and stay with the programme. We aim to maintain high-standards of participation and completion and for you to take full advantage of the benefits, gain valuable knowledge and recognised credits for your home study program.

Are any prerequisites required for the courses?

All course outlines from the partners indicate the level of the course and whether they have any prerequisites. Generally, the courses do not have prerequisites, though some courses are more advanced so it may be advisable to take them later in your academic career.

Can all students enrol?

If you are eligible depend on the regulations of your home university.Some universities only open the program for undergraduate students, whereas other provide the opportunity to Master and PhD students. Check the eligibility criteria of your university.

Do I need to speak another language?

Virtual Exchange Program courses are generally offered and assessed in English; some institutions also offer courses in French or Spanish. Please refer to the course description for details.

Student conduct, which rules and regulation apply to me?

Although you are not part of a physical exchange, and you remain in your home universities surrounding, please be aware that you are also part of the partner’s institution student body and their code of conduct applies to you for the duration of your study with them.

How do I apply?

Student need to apply through their home university. There is no global application process at the moment.

What happens if I want to drop out?

Add and drop dates are determined by the host university. If you wish to drop out, please contact the host university so they can provide advice specific to your situation. Please note that not adhering to the drop deadline of the host institution may result in a failing grade. This grade may or may not appear on your home university transcript, depedning on your home university rules and regulations. However, the grade would remain on your record at the host institution should you pursue a degree or different program there in the future.

What are the benefits of participating?

We encourage all our students to be global citizens and enhance their international exposure. The Virtual Exchange Programme is one way to bring these opportunities to students who may not otherwise have them, due to the structure of their degree or their individual circumstances. The Virtual Exchange Programme also allows our students to participate in one of the leading education innovations of the last decade, and to be recognized for this towards their degree.

Is the list of partners and courses likely to change?

The Virtual Exchange Programme is a ground-breaking pilot developed by a group of world-class partners which commenced as a pilot in 2017. It is expected that more universities and more courses will be offered as the pilot progresses. The pilot is running until 2019, and you could take a Virtual Exchange Program course now and another in the next semester/year if you have space in your study schedule.

How long will the Virtual Exchange Program run for?

The Virtual Exchange Programme will be run as a pilot until 2019 and many partner universities are committed to participating for the full period.

Credits & Grades

Will the Virtual Exchange course be visible in my grade list / How do I receive credit for a Virtual Exchange course?

The result you obtain for this online course will be added to your grade list or academic transcript; in case of a pass grade, credits are granted. Note that if you want to count the course towards your formal study programme (for instance as elective), you need to seek approval from your section, department, program director or Board of Examiners. We strongly advise you to start this process once you have applied for the Virtual Exchange course.

How do I know the number of credits or ECTS of the course?

University credit systems vary between countries and even between universities within a single country. All course credits in the Virtual Exchange Program are expressed in terms of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The units the host institution itself uses are usually found in the course description. It is ultimately the department or section or Board of Examiners at your home university who decides, for those courses from partner universities that do not use ECTS, how many ECTS are awarded. However, the guideline for the universities outside of Europe is:

  • Australian National University: 6 units = 7.5 ECTS
  • University of Queensland: 2 credits = 7.5 ECTS
  • RICE: 0.5 credit hours: 1 ECTS.
Some of the universities use a different grading system, for example the 1-10 or A-F grading scale. How will these be converted?

The Board of Examiners from your home university is responsible for the conversion of grades (pass/ fail result)

What if I don’t get approval to count the course towards my formal study programme?

You can still do the online course for credits, and the result will be registered in your grade list or academic transcript. But the course will not be included in the diploma supplement. The diploma supplement lists the formal study programme as approved by the Board of Examiners.

Will I get proof from the host university that I passed the course?

IYes, you will be formally registered as a student at the host institution; therefore you will receive a formal transcript when you complete the course. Depending on the institution, they will send the transcript to your home institution (which will forward it to you) or it will be sent directly to you. The course and grade can only be registered in your home institution systems on the basis of the formal transcript of the host institution. Informal grade notifications (e.g. on edX) or emails from the teacher are not valid.

How long does it take to receive the transcript?

The time when the transcript will be provided depends on the Rules & Regulations of the host institution.

Exams & Assessment

What kind of assessment do I need to do?

Please check the course description for more information about the assessment method.

When are courses and exams held?

Courses begin whenever the host university decides, so it is important to review the course description in advance for any specifics regarding timing. It is possible that the course may not run in line with your home university’s academic calendar, and some universities schedule exams on Staurdays. The timing of any exams will be set by the host university. Students will be expected to sit the exam at the time scheduled by the host university. Exam times, therefore, may be in the middle of the night Houston time. For example, an exam scheduled at 5:00 p.m. Australian time would be taken at 1:00 a.m. Houston time.You should check whether your home university supports exams that are taking plavce outside regular office hours.

Are the written exams published in the examination schedule of my home university?

No, students will be notified directly.

Do I have to register for the exam?

Yes, you do need to register. Some universities require active registration, other require that you officially notify the university when you NOT plan to do the exam. You will receive information directly on how to do so closer to the exam date.

Are there any re-sit exams?

This differs per university, for example TU Delft courses there are two exam possibilities per academic year. For courses from other universities: check the course description.


Who do I contact if I want more information?

Please email the online learning or mobility department of your home university for any further questions you may have. You can also use the Contact form in this website.