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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

General & Format

  • As of October 2021, which programmes are available?

    In January 2022, CAS 1 will start.

    In September 2022, CAS 1 will be offered again and CAS 2 will also start.

    From September 2023, all three CAS will be offered at the same time.

    Summary calendar:

    • October 2021 = apply to CAS 1 for start in January 2022
    • From January 2022 to August 2022 = CAS 1 is running.
    • From September 2022 to April 2023 = CAS 1 and CAS 2 are running in parallel.
    • From September 2023 to April 2024 = CAS 1, CAS 2 and CAS 3 are running in parallel.
    • From 2024 onwards, every year from September year X to April year X+1 = CAS 1, CAS 2 and CAS 3 are running in parallel, providing that there are enough participants for each programme every year.
  • What is the estimated time commitment per week?

    Participants should be able to dedicate 10-12 hours of study time per week.

  • Can I do the programme next to my job?

    Yes, if you can dedicate 10-12 hours of study time per week.

  • What happens if I have to drop out for some weeks, e.g. because of illness?

    This depends on the duration of your absence.

    In any case, please inform the programmes’ board (contact.icm@unine.ch and m.grossrieder@cabi.org) and the tutor responsible for the concerned topic(s) as early as possible.

    In case of a short absence (less than 3 weeks), you should be able to catch up with the rest of the class (investing more than the usual 10-12 hours or work per week). We invite you to contact the tutor to get some extra advice to help you catch up.

    In case of a longer absence (more than 3 weeks), it might become difficult for you to catch up during the normal time that the programme is running. With a proven justification for your absence, you can request to the programmes’ board an exceptional extension (as defined in Article 7 al. 3 of the Course and Exam Rules). Depending on the case, either we will be able to offer you a short extension of time after the end of the programme, or, you might have to wait for one year for the concerned topic(s) to be taught again. No degree will be delivered until you have successfully passed all topics of the programme.

  • Are there any other languages than English?

    No. To attend these programmes, you must have a B2 level of English or equivalent. More about European language levels here.

    To apply to these programmes, you must then prove that you have a B2 or equivalent level in English. Proofs can be:

    • results from an officially recognized test (like TOEIC, TOEFL, EF SET, or other equivalent tests) 
    • if you have a diploma in English (for example if you did your high school or Bachelor degree in English)
    • if you are a native speaker
  • How many students will be enrolled per CAS programme at one time?

    There will be at least 20 participants enrolled per CAS programme at one time.

  • Are the programmes self-paced?

    Yes and no.

    Course materials are made available to the participants through the CABI Academy Moodle platform and can be accessed at any time by the participants through their browser or through the Moodle Mobile app.

    A participant can freely decide when to work the 10 – 12 weekly hours required (distributed over the week or in blocks, etc.).

    However, each CAS programme is organized around thematic topics in accordance with a predefined calendar. Participants must complete the topics in the order, and according to the overall time schedule presented on the CABI Academy Moodle platform at the start of the programme.

    Moreover, many topics include live sessions organised by tutors, where all participants are expected to join.

    In summary, following the calendar, participants will advance at a similar pace over the 8 months of the programme, but can organize their own week as they prefer.

  • What happens if I am unable to attend a live session?

    Participants are expected to join the live sessions organized by the tutors. They are part of the compulsory course activities. The tutor needs to be informed as early as possible if participants are / were not able to attend.

    Live sessions will be scheduled to assure that participation is possible, ideally, for all. The live session schedule will be announced well in advance to allow participants to arrange for attendance.

    Live sessions will be recorded and made available online to assure that students who were not able to participate can have a look at the live exchange at a later date.

Technical aspects

Registration & Payment

  • Do I have to commit to all three CAS programmes?

    No, each CAS programme is independent. You are then able to take whichever ones are of interest to you.

    Of course, you can also do all three CAS if you wish to. 

    However, at the moment we do not allow for registrations to all three CAS at the same time. Please register to one CAS first. After you have successfully completed a first CAS, you can apply to register for a second CAS.

    If you are interested in the DAS, please see the time limits as detailed in the question below.

  • Can I register directly to the DAS?

    No, you cannot register directly to the DAS.

    DAS registration is allowed only at the time of registration to the third CAS or after having successfully finished the third CAS. The programmes' board will confirm the registration only after the candidate has successfully finished the three CAS programmes.

    Please note that:

    • the DAS must be completed within maximum 5 years after the first CAS
    • the DAS must be completed within maximum 6 months after the end of the third CAS

    As presented in the Programmes page, the DAS consists of all three CAS plus the completion of an additional technical report.

    For the technical report, students will, in principal, prepare written ICM guidelines for a specific crop in a particular country. These guidelines should be preceded by an introduction in the form of a detailed literature review on the topic. The precise report topic and possible alternative content will be decided during the course period, in consultation with the supervisors.

  • Can I pay by multiple instalments?

    Only if you request it and depending on the programmes’ board acceptance.

  • May I get reimbursed if I wish to withdraw or if I fail?

    There is no reimbursement in the case of failure.

    In the case of early withdrawal from the course, here are the rules defined in Art. 14 of the Course and Exam Rules:

    1. If a participant withdraws more than 30 days before the start of the class, an amount of CHF 300 will be retained or demanded as an administrative fee.
    2. In the event of withdrawal between 30 days and 15 days before the start of the class, half of the registration fee will be retained or demanded. Exceptions are possible if the participant can demonstrate valid reasons.
    3. If the participant withdraws within 14 days before the start of the class or after the first day of class, the full amount of the registration fee will be retained or demanded. Exceptions are possible if the participant can demonstrate valid reasons.
  • If I get a scholarship from the organizing institutions, how much will I still have to pay by myself?
    1. For a CAS programme, and as explained on the Registration fees and scholarships page:

     

    • In case you are from a low income countries, the scholarship will cover 90% of the registration fees. You will then still have to pay 395 CHF.
    • In case you are from a lower-middle income countries, the scholarship will cover 80% of the registration fees. You will then still have to pay 790 CHF.

     

     

         2. After having successfully completed the three CAS programmes (and having payed for each ones), if you want to register to the DAS, and as explained on the Registration fees and scholarships page:

     

    • In case you are from a low income countries, the scholarship will cover 90% of the registration fees. You will then still have to pay 200 CHF.
    • In case you are from a lower-middle income countries, the scholarship will cover 80% of the registration fees. You will then still have to pay 400 CHF.

Completion Criteria & Degree

  • Who will issue my degree?

    The University of Neuchâtel will issue your degree.

  • How does the grading system work?

    The grading system follows the rules of Swiss universities.

    Assignments are graded on a scale of 1 to 6, with a minimum pass grade of 4.0 and a maximum grade of 6.0. Only the fraction 0.5 is permitted, as follows:

    6 : excellent;

    5.5 : very good;

    5 : good;

    4.5 : satisfactory;

    4 : pass;

    3.5 and below : fail.

     

    Within each topic, there will be a set of activities and associated resources to help you complete the activities.

    Some activities are designed to help you practice and engage with the materials (formative activities), whilst some are designed to help you demonstrate your capabilities (graded assignments).

    You will have to do all the activities (formative and graded assignments) in order to receive a final grade for each topic.

  • Do I have to pass all topics of one CAS to get the degree?

    It depends on the CAS programme.

    According to the Article 9 of the Course and Exam Rules:

    • for CAS 1: topic 5 must be passed, but among the remaining topics, a maximum of two topics are accepted with a grade of 3.0 or 3.5 if the other topics compensate in order to have a final overall average of at least 4.0.
    • for CAS 2: a maximum of two topics are accepted with a grade of 3.0 or 3.5 if the other topics compensate in order to have a final overall average of at least 4.0.
    • for CAS 3: all three topics must be passed (grade of at least 4.0). No compensating system allowed.
  • Are these Certificates of Advanced Studies (CAS) and Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) officially recognised? Do I get ECTS credit points?

    Yes, our CAS/DAS-ICM programmes are official programmes from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and follow the rules for any advanced education programmes.

    Each CAS counts for 10 to 12 ECTS. The DAS counts for 36 ECTS.

    For information about the advanced education system in Switzerland, please see the swissuni.ch website (only in French and German) and this summarizing schema.

  • Will the degree be stored in a database, so that employers can check?

    No, your degree will be printed as an original paper certificate by the University of Neuchâtel and sent to you at home by Fedex. The diploma service of the university will always stay available to you to provide official certified copies (“apostilled”) if you need.

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