Students at UEA have been left in confusion this week over a lack of consistency in the way the university’s appeals process has been applied. Speaking to Concrete, one student, who has chosen to remain anonymous, expressed their concern that there is “a complete absence of communication” and a “seeming lack of concrete policy on resits and appeals” from the university’s Learning and Teaching Service.
According to UEA’s Appeals and Regulations document, all students joining from September 2013 must pass all modules on their course of study in order to progress to the next year, adding that academic appeals are intended to “allow the formal raising of concerns by UEA students undertaking taught and research programmes regarding their academic results”.
However, some students who have spoken to Concrete did not appear to have had the policy applied consistently.
Whilst some of the students awaiting the outcome of their appeal have been allowed to continue to attend lectures and seminars, having been provided a full timetable for the continuation of their course, some students have been told they will not be allowed to continue their studies this year, regardless of the outcome of their appeal and would instead have to continue their studies starting September 2016 if their appeal was successful. The only difference lies in the nature of what happened, with the student who was allowed to continue their studies having to re-sit an examination, whilst the other had to launch an appeal over their coursework in which they did not receive the required 40%.
This lack of consistency in the way the re-sit and appeals policy has be applied has caused concern for some students. Ben Hardy, a second year economics student who came close to having to re-sit an exam last year, said “it’s concerning that I could’ve been in this situation. Despite the apparent clarity in UEA’s policy, which you’d think would at least offer students some sort of guarantee of equal treatment, it seems that UEA applying the policy how they see fit”.
Connor Rand, the Union of UEA Students’ Undergraduate Education Officer, commented that “it’s really important to students that regulations are applied consistently across the University, especially in such stressful circumstances as reassessment appeals.
There appears to be confusion amongst students and even some staff over whether students should be attending contact hours whilst waiting to hear the outcome of their appeal and overall, I don’t think reassessment works as well as it should for students”. He added that “I’ve already raised this with the university and I’ll be continuing to make this case over the course of the year”. Reassessment and appeals procedures will be “on the agenda for my next undergraduate education forum and an ongoing discussion over the course of the year”.
While all the students who have spoken to Concrete have now received the results of their examination resits and appeals, they told us that they’ve “lost confidence” in the appeals process, and are concerned they may have a similar experience if it happened again.
The university has been contacted for a comment on the issue but are so far yet to respond.