Changes to Student Regulations

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The University regularly reviews its student regulations and following discussions with staff and student representatives a number of significant changes have been agreed to the student regulations with effect from 1 September 2010. The changes are being introduced in response to very high levels of non-submission of assessment items and also widespread use of the “24 hour rule”. Feedback showed that the existing arrangements were unfair to the many students who submitted their work by the deadline.

It was also clear that students who did not submit at the first opportunity forfeited the opportunity to receive feedback, which might be helpful in the case of resubmission. There was also a widespread view, which was shared by staff and students that meeting deadlines is an important skill and that students should be encouraged to acquire the ability to manage their work to meet deadlines in preparation for their future employment.

Following extensive consultation, Academic Board has agreed the following changes to regulations:

Late submission of coursework
All coursework must be submitted by the 3pm deadline. Work submitted within 24 hours of the deadline will no longer be considered on time and will therefore be considered a late submission and the grade will be capped at the minimum pass grade.

Non-submission of assessment items
Students who fail to submit an item of assessment or attend an examination will no longer be able to submit reassessment and a student will be required to RETAKE the module again. An undergraduate student who fails 90 credits due to non-submission will be required to leave the course and the University and will not have the opportunity to retake the year.

Mitigating Circumstances
Students who make encounter difficulties outside of their control may submit a claim for mitigating circumstances. Claims for Mitigating Circumstances will only be accepted for non submission of assessment if the circumstances are such that submission within 14 days of the due date was not possible.

Arrangements for Reassessment
Reassessment has been moved from the end of August to the end of June. For this academic session reassessment examinations will be held w/c 27 June 2011.

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22 Responses to “Changes to Student Regulations”

  1. Lucy Says:

    Who are the student representatives that speak for me? I was never asked my opinion. How can a rule that applies to every student be unfair? The opinions of a few representatives (elected or not) are not reflective of a student population who have not been consulted and were not aware of the agenda. I suggest an online poll would be a more approprate and inclusive way of polling opinion, even if it only acts as a third voice in the discussions. Total failure to hand in assessments can not be compared to submission within the 24 hour rule.

  2. Danny Says:

    I think that this is totally unfair and saying that majority of students who get their work in before the 24 hour period, think its unfair is absolutely rediculous. I was never asked my opinion or what I thought about this movement. And the only reason I ever needed to use the 24 hour extra period, is because I don’t live on campus and sometimes find it difficult to travel to university and hand my assignments in. This is totally unfair, and unconsidered by a majority of students. I believe that this should be re-considered.

  3. Adam Says:

    Yet again another set of regulations that penalise students that commute. Take the freak incident at the start of the year where quite a few of commuters had to have non submission of assignments because the snow meant the work could not be handed in or even researched adequately to pass. Hopefully enough complain and the regulations are amended for semester 2

  4. David Says:

    As a current student at Worcester Uni going into my third year and a past student at Sheffield Hallam Uni, I have always thought this 24 hour rule is absurd! Although I do not consider it ‘unfair’ to other students, it is a completely pointless rule. A deadline is a deadline and good preparation for life in work and life in general is having to meet deadlines. In previous years I have felt that my fellow students have ‘aimed’ to hand in work within that 24 hour deadline instead of making the initial deadline their target; hopefully this will help students in future to set their aim on the correct deadline.
    Having experience of another university too, I am fairly sure that this 24 rule is non-existent in that majority of universities in the UK, if not all.
    As to the ‘I have to commute’ excuse…..give me a break!!!

    • Danny Says:

      The I have to commute excuse is valid. Last time we had snow, I was unable to get to university for over a week, because of where I live. And it was not at all that I was unprepared but had finished my due assignment before the deadline but was unable to get there.

      • David Says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong Danny but wasn’t this considered under the mitigating circumstances regulations? As far as I know those regulations are not changing. Students caught out by the ash cloud were also allowed extra time to submit their assignments.

      • Danny Says:

        And yes David you are wrong, since it was not considered under the mitigating circumstances, instead we were told that we have to have recorded delivery. – But even then, difficulties in getting to a post office by the deadline caused problems too.

  5. sarah Says:

    The’i have to commute’ excuse it a totally valid one!! i personally live in Worcester during termtime but i have a few friends that do commute and they really struggle to get in. In essence, they get less time to write the assignment so yer…i believe it’s a valid one.
    In response to the rule being scrapped…rubbish! i was not asked about this! i’ve used it because my printer stopped working and was a few hours later than the deadline and under the new rules, i’d only get a D for having no ink!! this absolutely rubbish!! on another point, they have created a rod for their own back for there being more claims for mitigating circumstances. so more work for the uni, unfair for people who have a genuine problem and i think it’s totally wrong to stop this now!

  6. Lucy Says:

    At other universities they do a card for students, giving them the use of one 24 hour get out per year – this is a good idea because if you save it and something out of the blue does happen you have this to stop your grade being capped.

    Personally though, I think that as the lecturers will say – you should plan your time ahead, so printing problems don’t affect you. Worcester has a good reputation, so I think this will add to it, because students have to keep to deadlines.

  7. Nick Says:

    I wonder what percentage of the student population was consulted on this idea…

    I for one and not overjoyed at this decision as I have needed the 24 hour rule for legitimate reasons a couple of times now. However, this change really is NOT a problem! All you need to do is write the deadline date 24 hours earlier and you essentially have your 24 hours grace. As much as I’d like to disagree with this rule change I find myself agreeing with it more and more. Too many people are abusing the current rule(and rightly so) and getting away with being incredibly lazy and frankly irresponsible.

    The only genuine negative from this change is for commuters who legitimately have problems getting to the University. But the same could be said for any other University in the country. I think this change was inevitable, give it 2 more years and people wont even talk about it as the current students will have moved on

  8. Paul Says:

    Hi,

    I rarely used the 24hour rule but I still think it is unfair. I live in Worcester during term time and find comfort that if an accident happened with myself, family etc. I would know I have another day to hand in (not complete work as that’s not the main reason for the added 24hours) my work just in case. After all I was told by all lecturers when I started that it was there for such emergencies.

    I think internally, how lecturers grade papers should be examined (as I have put shed loads of work into assignments and seen people start and finish on the 24 deadline, drunk and finish with a better grade. By their own admission shouldn’t of got it!) and the time the lecturers take to mark the work. It’s absurd, un-organised and unfair on the student population to place double standards when lecturers can’t meet deadlines of marking work themselves!

    Although the uni may be moving up in terms of comparison to others, I can definately say from many (not pretending to speak for a few like this rule has) it’s reputation among students is getting worse. I and a few others have reccomended future students look elsewhere.

    You need to be fair Worcester Uni!

  9. Seraph Says:

    No one asked me about this! Or in fact, anyone I know. This ‘Grace Period’ was a valuable safety net for students who would otherwise have gotten caught out by what the university doesn’t consider worthwhile mitigating circumstances, i.e., anything less than near-mortal injury.

    This is unreasonably strict and punishing to students. Why focus on tightening submission guidelines when Worcester is still so far behind every other University in the country by still refusing to move on to electronic submission, which is safer, more secure, and of course greener.

    You are not representing the students, you are punishing them.

  10. Laura Says:

    The 24hour deadline is used by the majority as the official deadline thus scrapping it makes very little difference. The whole point is to make people realise you shouldn’t be so disorganised that you leave it so late that an hour here or there matters and that you need to plan for time to get to hand it in.
    If students worry about being unable to submit by the deadline because of printing problems, travelling, accidents etc they can just construct their own 24-hour deadline and if they don’t make it they’ve still got time before the deadline that everyone else must aim for. Anyone who argues with the 24hour deadline on the grounds that they are organised but have used the 24 hour deadline for genuine reasons have no reason to complain as they can make their own personal 24 hour space. If this is a problem they obviously aren’t being truthful about their use of it.
    The actual time of a deadline is irrelavent- the skill is to plan and perform the assessment in a certain time. Those who do not plan to submit early to avoid an uncontrollable obstruction causing late submission are failing to understand the point of a deadline-its ignorant to think that merely writing the assignment by the deadline is enough. You know you’ve got to factor in time to hand it in so there’s no argument there.

    As for the commuting I don’t see so many problems. The only issues I see are with texts which are in the restricted section. Given the fight for computers, the noise in the library (apart from the silent section) on-site students are hardly at more of an advantage. If you want to see a tutor you can book a time or communicate via email if there is no other way. Being able to focus on working has nothing to do with being within the uni boundaries, its a discipline of the mind.
    Also you can submit via post and the time you posted it counts. If people aren’t happy with paper submission then why not choose to go to a uni with electronic submission if its that much of an issue? It will happen at some point, especially with the uni’s commitment to being greener, but choosing to go to a new and developing uni surely people must figure that it might not as be advanced in some areas.
    Also as to marking, people might not realise how lucky they get it at Worc. The regulations for marking are to allow time for proper feedback. Some unis return work quicker but on the grounds they only give a grade and a line or two of guidance.
    All uni students complain about marking procedures-it happens everywhere and the double marking at Worc at least maintains some standards-some institutions don’t even have that!!

  11. Kate Gynn Says:

    Please see http://www.worcsu.com for the official Students’ Union response.

    Kate Gynn
    Student Advisor

  12. Alex Webber Says:

    This is just another example of the university failing the think things through. From my personal understanding, the 24hr rule was put in place BECAUSE of the trouble some students who either commute in over large distances have with submitting on time, not to mention mature students who have either work or children to look after, who may need to mail their work in, and because we all know how reliable Royal Mail is, an extra 24hrs for them to show up isn’t too much to ask.
    I would like to comment on two points that have been previously raised by others. One being the mad snow storms that we had earlier in the year. These kinds of circumstances are completely unpredictable, and when trains are cancelled, roads unpassable, and even those who LIVE in Worcester are having a hard time making it up to the uni to hand in, having those few extra hours to try any and all other methods are invaluable. However, to reach my second point, is this uni would finally get up to date and bring in e-submission like most other universities have already done, then possibly placing some restrictions on the 24hr rule wouldnt be so contested, as working parents could submit from home, and commuting students wouldnt have to face the insanity of the train stations.
    In conclusion…

    Why The HELL Does The Uni Never ASK Its Students Before Making These Kinds Of Decisions!?!?!

    • Jonjo Says:

      It did though it asked the Students’ Union who are elected officers. Maybe you check their website once in a while

  13. kate Says:

    I think what is being missed by most here is that once you leave university a deadline is a deadline an employer will not accept “my printer broke” or “it took me ages to get in so I will do it tomorrow”…. you will be sacked. I think this is a valuable life skill which if not learnt could cost you a career. If your time is planned as it should be there will be no issue and if there genuinely is… that’s what mitigating circumstances claims are for! Personally I see many students working to the +24hour deadline as if it is the real one so I don’t see it causing the problems that scare mongers and those who just like to moan have brought up.

  14. Lucy Says:

    ok…so how about those ( a huge amount of us) that work shift work as part of our course. The last time I had to hand in a piece of work I drove in after a late shift (finishing at 10pm) to submit because I was on an early shift the next morning which was the day of submisson and would have missed my 3pm deadline. The work was set before I had my rota and the placement had a ‘couldn’t give a crap’ attitude to my academic work. Please dont give me the should be more organised rubbish. I’m completing a 3 year course in 2, working to earn enough money to pay the bills because I dont have the luxury of living with my parents and studying. The 24 hour rule takes a little bit of psychological pressure off me when I’m working to the deadlines and is very welcome. Worcester uni should reconsider the change and reflect on the student demographics

  15. Alison Says:

    The removal of the ’24 hour Grace’ period is an appalling imposition on the many students who struggle against poor health issues whilst making every effort to complete their assignments. I consider that this change of policy disciminates against them.

    I speak from experience having struggled against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and its many health issues for my entire three years. From headaches to inability to hold lectures in my memory; from sometimes dropping with fatigue having arrived home after lectures to suffering headaches which lasted up to three days.

    The problem with illness is that you never know when you are going to get struck down – and assignments were always a huge effort to complete. Therefore, although I did not always utilise the 24 hour Grace period, sometimes it was an absolute Godsend! This was NOT from any laziness on my part – nor was it a sign that I could not be bothered to observe deadlines – it happened from sheer desparate need – and I know that many students at UW have health problems and have been grateful for that grace period.

    I do hope that the administration will reconsider this change in policy.

  16. jonathan Says:

    Why does the University not accept electronic submissions of assignments and thus save the need for so much paper usage, travel,forms to fill in etc? Surely this would prepare everyone for employment/work place as the University seem so keen to prepare us for?
    Surely the University is only changing the rules to suit the lecturers and not the students as all the changes will only benefit them!!!!

  17. Neil Larner Says:

    I wasn’t going to get involved but there is only so much of this a man can take.

    I used the 24 hour rule regularly last year (my first year), failed to hand in one assignment, was five days late on one and over five days late on another

    Assignment Questions and Deadlines are set at the beginning of your module, from that point onwards each student has a responsibility to themselves to plan their stratagy. As adults we are all able to identify our obligations, strengths and weaknesses and plan our time accordingly. All students have, in their lives, standing conditions to take in to account;they must travel a distance to reach Uni, have health issues that affect their performance, a diagnosed condition such as Dyslexia or must simply juggle uni work, paid work and home commitments. All these static conditions are known in advance and as such can be included in a plan,one where time is allocated to attend lectures (all of them !), research and read, plan and refine and produce a piece of work. None of these factors are going to change throughout Uni, and whether it’s Uni, your working life or when you are planning a surprise party for your best friend – it’s life – suck it up and get on with it because I can assure you , ‘life’ has no intention to get any ‘fairer’ because you don’t like it !!!
    Start any plan by writing in the target date and work back from that point, and I fear that most students will be surprise to discover that the work starts at the beginning of the module not in the fortnight (or day) before the deadline.
    Some of those static conditions listed above will include a random or unplannable element, particularly in the case of health. Therefore it is neccessary to include in that plan rest, relaxation and contingency planning. Those is the first year may struggle to get the balance right, I did, and will realise their own limitations but as we are all told ‘ The first year is all about making mistakes ‘ so make them and learn from them. The balance is not always easy and through my first year I made many of my own , and nearly all of mine were down to planning my time which allows me some legitimacy in my comments.
    As for all those unseen factors, the variable element of life, snowstorms, printer cartridges, dogs eating assignments ( and I have heard a tale where it was once the marking lecturers’ dog that did the eating, lol) or the book you need is out on loan, then the earlier you start, the better your plan , the easier it is to take them in your stride. If the sky should fall in or all out global thermonuclear war should start then make a claim for mitigating circumstances and get treated fairly. And if you feel that they are not taking your case seriously then come and see me and I will fight tooth and nail on your behalf but before you do please, cut out the bull, and trim down any time spent in the library using it as a social club or checking your facebook page.
    Finally be honest with yourself, brutally so – I used the 24 hour rule last year because it was there, no other reason and I am not going to kid myself otherwise. I handed in one assignment in late, because I didn’t plan my copious ammount of available time effectively – my problem, no one elses. I had to resubmit two pieces of work, both because I was working too many hours, and my priorities were skewed (too much paid work in the week and too much sport at the weekend) and I am glad I noticed it this year so it won’t happen next year.
    Finally, if you don’t know who you Student Reps are or who the Students Union are, then go and find out. Although I struggle to believe that you could have missed them last year, but either way they are YOUR representatives, making it your buisness to know them and use them.

    Finally – SPOT ON about electronic submission, it needs implementing and if there is money for a sports arena then there is money for that. It would make it easier to scan for plagerisim (I trust that bothers no one ?) and is greener, aswell as making life easier for all students.

    I am now climbing off my soapbox, hope you all have had a great summer and may we all have a good year ahead, but please do not plan to fail by refusing to plan at all.

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