Students’ Frequently-Asked Questions
Updated Fall 2015
1. How can a student graduate on time with a degree?
Students must pass every class (“module”), every semester. There are five modules per semester and six semesters (three years), making 30 modules total. In the first semester, students have to pass the additional “Orientation to College Learning” module. Also, every student must meet the minimum attendance requirement every semester. Students should also not have any disciplinary issues.
2. How can a student progress to the next semester?
There are five modules every semester. Students have to pass at least three out of the five modules to be able to continue to the next semester, or they are out of the College (if they fail three or more modules). If they pass at least three they can continue, but they will have “back-papers”, which are failed modules that have to be cleared somehow, or the degree will not be awarded. If a student builds up too many back-papers from multiple semesters, they may still not be allowed to progress to the next semester.
3. What happens if a student fails a whole semester?
If students fail three or more modules out of the five in a semester, they are failed from the course. If they failed all five modules, they may not be allowed back. If they failed three or four, they may be allowed back by informing the Registrar / Student Services. The deadline for students to declare their intent to reenroll (or recover the security deposit if they don’t want to reenroll) is three months from the date of results declaration (or the deposit is considered surrendered). The exact date of the deadline will be published on the results.rtc.bt website. If allowed, students can repeat the semester they failed and continue with the junior cohort of students. Students may only fail and repeat once, and the entire degree course must be completed within a maximum of five years from date of first enrollment.
4. What does it take to pass a module?
The overall pass mark is 50%. Plus, every module typically has two components, continuous assessment throughout the semester (CA) and a semester-end final exam (SE). For each component separately, the student must have at least 40%. That way, a student who is stronger in one component than the other can still have a chance to make it to 50% overall. But, if a student gets between 40-50% in both the CA and SE, the module is still failed since it won’t come to more than 50% overall. Students should therefore be really careful not to fail the CA and should study early and continuously throughout the semester, not right at the end, because if they fail the CA, even if they do very well on the SE, they will still fail the module and have a back-paper. On every assessment, students should be sure they are remaining above 50%, otherwise, they are at risk of failing the module – all module repeats or re-examinations will incur significant fees (see below).
5. How can a student clear a back-paper?
Students have several opportunities to clear back-papers (see below) – they must take every chance and be sure to clear the back-paper as soon as possible. Upon first failing a class at the end of a semester, a student must register for the “Supplementary Exam” right away and pay the required fee. This is a chance to retake the final exam after the semester break is over. If a student failed a class at the end of Fall semester, he/she can take a supplementary exam at the end of the Winter vacation (beginning of the coming Spring semester) for the failed module. If a student failed a class at the end of Spring semester, he/she can take a supplementary exam at the end of the Summer vacation (beginning of the coming Fall semester) for the failed module. This is the best way to clear a back-paper because students can study during the vacation time and the module subject is still fresh in their mind. Parents should ensure that their students are regularly studying during the vacation so their students can clear the exam. Otherwise, the student will have to wait almost a whole year and try again, and again pay fees. Then, if they fail again, they have one last chance in the supplemental exam. Students might have to repeat continuous assessment also if they failed that component. If a student has to clear a back-paper by sitting through every class of the module (such as for Academic Skills), full tuition will be charged for the extra module.
|Fall Semester Module||Spring Semester Module|
|1st Chance||Pass the module Continuous Assessment and Final Exam regularly in Fall Semester 2015; Fee: included in tuition||Pass the module Continuous Assessment and Final Exam regularly in Spring Semester 2016; Fee: included in tuition|
Winter School in Jan/Feb 2016 – Nu. 4,000 (tutoring and exam)
Supplemental Exam in Feb/March 2016, just before Spring Semester 2016; Fee: Nu. 1,000 - exam only
|Supplemental Exam in July/August 2016, just before Fall Semester 2016; Fee: Nu. 1,000 - exam only|
|3rd Chance*||Repeat the module Continuous Assessment and/or Final Exam in Fall 2016; Fee: Nu. 6,500 – partially-tutored module repeat (weekly classes and exam)||
Winter School (Jan/Feb 2017) prior to Spring semester – Nu. 4,000 (tutoring and exam)
- And/Or -
Repeat the module Continuous Assessment and/or Final Exam in Spring 2017; Fee: Nu. 6,500 – partially-tutored module repeat (weekly classes and exam)
|4th (Last) Chance||
Winter School in Jan/Feb 2017 – Nu. 4,000 (tutoring and exam)
- Or -
Supplemental Exam in Feb/March 2017, just before Spring Semester 2017; Fee: Nu. 1,000 - exam only
|Supplemental Exam in July/August 2017, just before Fall Semester 2017; Fee: Nu. 1,000 - exam only|
* Some modules may be offered every semester (especially common modules such as IT Skills, Dzongkha Communication, Academic Skills) – it is possible and recommended to repeat these in the very next semester and not wait until the next Fall/Spring.
6. What if a student has a back-paper in Continuous Assessment (CA)?
Students must independently clear both the CA and Semester-End Exam in order to clear a module. A fail in CA results in a back-paper which must be cleared by repeating the CA components like assignments, presentations, projects, class tests, etc. The module repeat must take place the very next opportunity when the module is offered again. The CA repeat can be completed by taking the twice-weekly partially-tutored classes (Fee: Nu. 6,500). In some cases, especially for skills-based classes such as Academic Skills or IT Skills, the module may have to be completely repeated by fully sitting through every class period of a module - a separate module may scheduled especially for repeaters or they may have to sit in evening classes with the night-time continuing education students – either case will incur a full extra module tuition charge of Nu. 10,000.
7. What is the maximum number of back-papers a student can have?
If a student builds up too many uncleared back-papers, he/she might never graduate with a degree. The College requires that any student with four or more back-papers within a single term (Fall or Spring) should not progress to the next semester, but reenroll as a “back-paper candidate” and clear all the outstanding papers. This can be to clear a combination of any back-papers from any year as long as they are offered in that coming semester. The tuition would be the same as any other student. The back-paper candidate may progress as normal from the next semester.
8. Is there any extra tutoring outside of the regular semester for students to have a better chance of clearing back-papers?
Yes – Each January-February, a one month “Winter School” will be offered during the Winter vacation, followed by Supplementary Exams that the students can attempt and immediately clear their back-papers. RTC Faculty will hold classes during regular office hours and ensure students get the help they need to have a good chance of pass the exams. Students may get direct tutoring in up to two back-paper modules during a Winter School session. Winter School is mandatory for any student having three or more back-papers going into the Winter vacation.
9. Is there any academic support for students outside of classes during the semester?
Yes. Every first year student and every student with a back-paper has an academic advisor from within the RTC faculty that they can and should meet with regularly about their academic issues. Students are also always encouraged to seek extra help during scheduled tutorial periods, and during consultation hours that every module teacher holds regularly. Faculty have their offices in the Faculty Block on campus, and students can make appointments to meet them there. The Library is also professionally staffed with librarians who can help students find resources they need to study and prepare better. There is also a “Learning Resource Center” on campus that students can refer to for extra help with basic skills development.
10. What is the attendance requirement?
Students must attend at least 85% of the grand total number of class periods each semester, overall. The requirement is not calculated separately for each module, but rather in total. Monthly attendance updates are given for the benefit of students and parents. If a student’s attendance does not total to 85% overall by the end of the semester, he or she will not sit for final exams and will fail out of the College. Students should attend all classes every school day (Monday through Saturday). If students are genuinely unable to make it to class for any reason (feeling sick, transportation problems, some other tasks or errands to do, family issues), they may have to be absent for one or more classes. Students can be absent for up 15% of the grand total class periods to be eligible to sit for final exams each semester. Being late to any class is considered an absence.
11. Is there extra attendance consideration given for medical reasons?
Students can be absent for up 15% of the grand total class periods to be eligible to sit for final exams each semester. This 15% can cover most occasional illnesses and accidents. A student can comfortably take a few days off for recovering from a cough/cold/fever or any situation requiring bed rest. It is not necessary to show to the College any documentation of such medical conditions, like “OPD” slips or prescriptions or Doctor’s notes for a few days “bed rest”. None of these documents are acceptable to apply for medical consideration below the 85% minimum requirement. If there is some long term medical leave necessary (for hospitalization or travel leave for treatment outside Thimphu), documentary evidence should be submitted as soon as the student returns to the College and extra consideration can be given (see below).
12. What about emergency situations where the student has to be away for a longer period of time and the attendance might drop below 85%?
There are two situations where it is possible for students to take extra time off and still qualify to sit for exams at the end of the semester. First, consideration can be given for students that are hospitalized or students that have to travel out of Thimphu for medical treatment. To avail this leave, students have to submit the medical documents to the Dean’s office upon their return to college. Second, consideration can be given for family emergency situations such as a death in the family. To get excused leave for family emergencies, students should get permission from the Registrar’s office before missing classes. Even with these kinds of leave, attendance should not go below 75% overall, or the student will not be allowed to continue in the College.
13. When do students need to carry their college ID cards?
Students must carry their ID cards at all times on campus and produce them when requested by any staff/ faculty/ security personnel of the college. Students will not be allowed to enter the campus after 6.30PM without a college ID. Student ID cards are mandatory during examinations and without the ID they will not be allowed to sit of exams. Students that have lost their ID cards must immediately replace them through the Student Services Department. Only the Student Services Department can replace lost college ID cards. Any attempt to print or forge unauthorized replacement cards is a criminal act will be dealt with severely.
14. Who do I contact for housing/roommate concerns?
You can contact Student Services Department during the office hours at 02-351801 (ext: 119) or 17982500.
15. What is the college dining hall meal timing?
Timing of individual meals are:
7:00AM – 9:00 AM
12:00PM – 2:00 PM
3:30PM – 5:15 PM
7:00PM - 8.30PM
16. Are day scholars allowed to eat in the college dining hall?
Yes, they can eat in the college dining hall but they will have to purchase their own meals.
17. Can students cook in their residence halls?
No, students are not allowed to cook in their residence halls. However, they are allowed to keep a single water boiler in each room.
18. When are the quiet hours?
Quiet hours are usually observed from 9.00PM - 7.00AM on weekdays and Sundays. On Saturdays, the quiet hours are from 11.00PM to 7.00AM. All residents should be in their rooms by 11:00PM.
19. Can boarding students stay off campus overnight or return later than 11pm?
Boarding Students who have a genuine reason to be out later (past 11pm) or want to stay off campus overnight need an Exit Information Slip (EIS). The resident mentors have to be contacted in advance to complete the EIS form. The mentors may contact the parents to discuss with them about their students’ anticipated late return to the college. Resident students returning after 11PM without EIS have to surrender their college ID card at the security gate and mentors will be informed. Students will be sanctioned if they repeatedly fail to show EIS at the gate. The latest time students can stay out with the EIS is 1AM. No student will be allowed after 1.00 AM even if he/she has an EIS form.
20. Are the family members/ friends of the opposite gender allowed in the respective residence halls?
No, family members and friends of the opposite gender are NOT allowed in the respective residence halls.
21. Can resident students keep their vehicle on campus overnight?
Yes, provided they have paid for and obtained a valid semester-long parking permit.
22. Are day students allowed to stay overnight in the residence halls with their boarder friends?
No. If any day student is found staying overnight anywhere on campus, serious action will be taken on both the resident and the day student. The resident student may lose his/her residence seat.
23. How long can day students stay on campus?
Day scholars are permitted on campus till 9.00 PM. However, they can also stay when there is an official activity that runs beyond the stipulated time.
24. How long can day students keep their vehicle on campus?
All vehicles should exit by 9.00 PM and no vehicle is allowed on campus after 6.30PM.
25. Are students provided with a heating system in the residence halls?
No, the students may bring in their own heaters (these must be thermostat controlled) during winter season. However, only one heater is allowed in each room.
26. Are students allowed to bring their own TV?
No, but the college provides a TV in the common room of each residence hall.
27. Do you have public transportation to travel and from to the college?
Yes, we have city bus services between RTC and Thimphu (timings may be found here: http://www.rtc.bt/index.php/other-information/transportation-schedule).
28. How secure is the college campus?
RTC is deeply committed to providing all members with safe and secure environment. We have security staff that are the first point of contact in any possibly threatening situation. They can be contacted at 17685801. However, the security of personal belongings is a responsibility of the students themselves. RTC will not take responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged personal belongings.
29. Where can a student seek help if he/she is experiencing personal issues and needs counseling?
Every week, Lama Shenphen Zangpo comes to RTC to lead a meditation session and he is also happy to help students experiencing personal issues at that time.
Dr. Janet Schofield (PhD in Social Psychology) also offers students individualized confidential counseling services regarding personal issues. She can be contacted at 02-351801 (ext: 123) during office hours.
30. Is basic medical help provided on campus?
Yes, emergency and first aid medical help are provided on campus. The health assistant is available at regularly scheduled times and on an emergency basis. You can contact health assistant at 77290744 during emergencies.
31. Are there any banking services on campus?
Yes. We have ATM facilities located in Academic Block B just above the amphitheatre.
32. Are smoking or possession/use of alcohol or drugs allowed on the campus?
No. Possession or consumption of alcohol, drugs, or smoking anywhere on campus, including residence halls, are strictly prohibited. Sanctions that may be imposed on students include expulsion from the school, immediate expulsion from the residence halls and loss of eligibility from residence hall accommodation in the future.
33. How much are the fees?
Fee details may be found here: https://www.rtc.bt/index.php/admissions/fee-structure/structure
34. Do you accept fees at Chang Lam Office?
No, all fees & payments if paid in cash/cheque will be accepted only at the RTC campus.
35. When are the fees due?
Fees (Tuition, Food & Room) are payable on a semester basis and are due at the beginning of the semester. They need to be paid within 5 days of the first week of a semester. Penalty for delayed payment after last date will be levied (Refer http://www.rtc.bt/index.php/admissions/fee-structure/structure/83-rtc/144-penalties-for-default).
36. Are fees paid refundable?
All fees paid by returning students are non-refundable or all fees paid for semester II onwards are non-refundable. For the first semester, 10% of the remaining fees paid are refundable as detailed in our Refund policy (Refer http://www.rtc.bt/index.php/admissions/refund-and-withdrawal).
37. What are the options to make the fee payment (or payment modes)?