Graduate takes QUB to court over degree

A QUB graduate is challenging his degree classification in the High Court yesterday claiming that better supervision would have helped him achieve a 2.1 rather than the 2.2 he was awarded in June 2010. Legal challenges to the actual awards given (or not given) by universities are rare enough, never mind querying the final degree classification.

What makes this one to watch is that, like all other universities, QUB already has pretty lengthy and detailed regulations which govern exams, awards and appeals. This case may deem all of that irrelevant.

In Section 1.3.60 of the Study Regulations for Undergraduates it provides two grounds only for review of marks (challenges to academic judgement are not permitted):

i. that there was a procedural irregularity in the assessment process which may have adversely affected the student’s results (Note: an appeal may not be based on the claim that the examiners should have made greater allowance for e.g. a student’s extenuating circumstances);
or, in the case e.g. of the thesis/dissertation element of taught programmes.
ii. that there was inadequate supervision of the student’s work. If a review is requested on the grounds of inadequate supervision, good reason must be provided as to why action was not taken before completion of the assessment.

The current appeal is based on item (ii) above. The details of this individual case aside (as the complainant graduated he may be deemed to have already ‘accepted’ the result), it will be interesting (and significant) to see if the High Court seeks to exercise authority in this matter.

Presumably, if it does, the universities will have to adjust their charters and regulations accordingly – otherwise expect an avalanche of appeals against results and chaos when it comes to graduations (wonder what the statute of limitations would be for this…).

It will be also be another small step away from assessing university students as learners and towards treating them as customers. So much for the knowledge economy, then.

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  • BigBoss

    I think this is kinda pathetic to be honest,

    “better supervision would have helped him achieve a 2.1 rather than the 2.2”

    So he is basically saying that it was the University fault that he was a lazy shite for 3/4 years, didn’t pay enough attention in class and didnt put the work in, while he was probs off drinking in the Bot, or off in Rain!

    This is an insult to anyone who ever got a 2.1. and actually worked their asses of for it,

    And lets look at another of Queens exam rules,

    a 2.1. grade is awarded to anyone who gets 60 or above, but it is also awarded to anyone who gets 59,58…..they are usually rounded up. Anyone who gets a 57, is also rounded up to a 60, IF they have enough essays and exam marks over the 60 mark. (So basically if they were doing 6 essays and have 60 in 3 of them, then they will be rounded up.)

    This guy didn’t even achieve this, his either fell below the 57 mark, which meant he didn’t put the work in and was a lazy shit, or he didn’t get enough 60s, again because he didn’t put the work in!!!!

    I was warned in my first day of Uni, that a 2.2. really doesn’t go far these days, and you need to be finishing with at least a 2.1……..this guy didnt, live with it!! Its not the University job to hold your hand

  • Rory Carr

    If this case is successful I might attempt an action against Oxford’s refusal to award me a doctorate on the grounds of their earlier refusal to grant me admission and a scholarship to study at one of their colleges.

    Then on to Le Sorbonne, Heidelberg, Harvard… to infinity and beyond….

  • Oracle

    less boozing more browsing
    less football more focus
    less yahooing more yahoo
    less oogling more googling
    less effing more effort

    LESS CRYING MORE TRYING

  • Christy Walsh

    I think the Plaintiff has said he is taking the case on grounds of poor supervision and the Courts will decide on that. The University position is that where poor supervision is involved the onus is upon the student to make that known before sitting exams. On one hand valid but on the other that is the Univesity putting too much responsibility upon a student who for various reasons feels intimidated at the idea of ‘complaining’. A balance should be found and Universities should not hold all the cards in cases like this.

  • Christy Walsh

    I should have added that many students may be wary of complaining for fear that it may rebound on less favourable grades.

  • PJ Maybe

    Nonsense. How can a student be prevented from appealing against a result, on the basis that they already know the result? The regulations (seemingly unchanged in 20 years) are designed purely to frustrate any appeal, rather than facilitate it. I suspect this individual has realised that QUBs regulations are exist purely to deliver the pretence of an appeals process, with albeit with a veneer of independence – although how independent any process where those supporting the decision get to pick the “independent” visitors is entirely open to debate. Indeed if the process was properly and thoroughly independent, and didn’t take place within the semi-detached legal bubble Universities exist, then frankly this would never have reached court. As it is, this is long over due. A successful outcome will lay precedent, and will hopefully force all Universities to review their appeals processes, or time for the creation of a UK wide University Ombudsman who can properly administer any appeals process.

  • Nunoftheabove

    The universities should have their menu of teaching/supervision standards right up there alongside their prices. If they breach their contract, fine – insist on your money back and/or additional time to enjoy the proper standard and then sit the exam on the uni’s dollar, if the teaching standards are fine and the student too idle or thick (and/or is cursed with bad exam technique) and gets a 2:2, tough cack.

  • Christy Walsh

    I would go along with that, and point out absurdity in the University rule that a student must complain before sitting the exam –not that he knows the result –but if the complaint is investigated and found to be true -the Univesrity cannot be obsolved of its responsibility of providing adequate supervision to begin with simply because a student spoke up too late.

  • Christy Walsh

    Absolutely. But it is all too easy to blame an otherwise first rate student because many students indulge themselves. I have seen diligent students struggle and I have also seen excellant lecturers go out of their way to keep that student on board. But bad lecturers should not be protected by unfair rules that are unreasonably weighted against the student.

  • PJ Maybe

    Actually re-reading the regulations, quoted above, they have been slightly amended. And, it seems, the vagueness which previously existed, which allowed enough wiggle room for an (successful I should add) appeal on the grounds of poor supervision has been changed. However, and rather typically, QUB, don’t appear to have realised, that in doing so they’ve actually left themselves wide open to an appeal on the basis they are currently facing. Two things strike me immediately. The first is QUB should have employed someone with more legal competence to redraw the regulations, and secondly I’m surprised its taken so long for anyone to challenge this regulation, and for it to have reached court.
    Honestly though? From an individual point of view, if the symmetry of this case, and its basis was any more beautiful, I think I’d cry.

  • Oracle

    That’s a pile of cobblers guys… they have on average 4 years think about that 4 years to do nothing else only study for an ever increasingly easy degree…
    Four years and they get a 2.2 no fucking sympathy from me i’ll tell you.
    Thr foreign student come here pay through the nose for their courses in a language that’s not their native tongue, do they bitch? do they hell.. they work away and get the degree.

    If someone would like to post the requirements for the grading of the degree in question for 2.2 and 2.1 then we could all have a chuckle

  • Nunoftheabove

    Correct. Bad lecturers (or teachers) shouldn’t be protected in any event – the harbouring of incompetent academic professional’s in this country and the utter refusal of the teachers and lecturing professions to face the music in terms of a reasoned approach to individual performance management is a scandal. There’s an outside chance that this case may bring us an inch or two closer to addressing that issue if the universities find that they are litigation vulnerable if they don’t deliver what they commit to delivering to the appropriate standard as a conseuence of incompetent lecturing staff that they’ve done nothing to improve or fire.

  • Alan Maskey

    This is indeed a very interesting case and very valid points have been raised here. Those of who have attended universities and kept an eye on such matters will note the opaque nature of the examination process and the loaded dice nature of the process.
    My dear friend Nunoftheabove makes valid normative points but wishing don’t make it so. PJ Maybe hammers the nail on the head.

    Surely there is a case in natural justice to appeal this all the way up to the House of Lords and beyond. Are the Students Union weighing in (financially) here?

    Academics are on publish or perish mode. There is no gain for them in “wasting time” with their customers though of course they must tread warily with them. If nunoftheabove’s wishes came true, the s–t would well and truly hit the fan. That would be fun.

  • PJ Maybe

    Er you can’t challenge a degree award on academic grounds. That’s the reason why you have challenge on technicalities. Therefore the grading process is irrelevant.

  • Christy Walsh

    You don’t know what your talking about. Say the first 3 years the student in question got top grades but in the final year it has slumped because of the quality of the Lecturer, these things happen. And you are not correct about foreign students, they can, and they do, fail just like many other students.

  • Alan Maskey

    Oracle: My dear friend Nuncyoftheabove may well object to your femophobic language. That said, Chinese students do not “bitch” because they do not have the linguistic or immediate organisational skills (via the Students Union) to do so.
    There is a large element of the crap shoot in degree classifications.
    Legal cases would lead to all types of hilarious complications.

  • The case will be thrown out because the courts don’t have jurisdiction over academic matters at QUB. Unlike universities in the UK which had the ‘Office of the Independent Adjudicator’ established by the Higher Education Act 2004 to rule over complaints, in QUB the Visitor system still operates. However the Higher Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 did not contain these provisions and the Visitor scheme therefore still applies to universities in Northern Ireland. The Visitor system protects against any academic challenge.

    For those who don’t know what that is, the office of Visitor dates back to medieval times when it was used to oversee the governance of the church and to deal with offences committed with it. Later in the 16th and 17th centuries it became accepted that while ecclesiastical corporations should be subject to visitations by the bishop, all other corporations whether public, private or eleemosynary should also have a visitor to ensure they adhere to the purpose of the institution and that the visitor could be appointed by the founder and heirs. The office was seen as an inexpensive way of resolving disputes within a corporation or between members and the corporation.

    The authority and jurisdiction of the Visitor was confirmed by the decision of Holt in Philips v Bury (1694). In his judgment Holt placed the governance of private and eleemosynary corporations outside the jurisdiction of the King’s courts under which public corporations fall and continues. Holt also determines in Philips v Bury that where the Visitor has made a determination, the sentence cannot be appealed to the King’s courts as they do not have jurisdiction.

    The jurisdiction of the Visitor remained intact and has been recognised repeatedly. The most recent case I think was around 1998.

    As noted, in QUB the Visitor scheme still applies and as such common law does not apply and the ordinary courts have no jurisdiction in disputes involving students. At QUB the equivalent of the Visitor is a four person Board, appointed by the Queen which makes all final determinations in relation to student disputes or complaints. The courts can exercise only a supervisory role over the Board by way of a judicial appeal, but only then when the Board acts outside their jurisdiction. The result of this is that the student does not have the right to appeal any decisions made by the Board of Examiners except through the University Regulations and then only as far as the Board of Visitors.

    He may have a case if he went to law appealing on the basis that his civil rights were infringed and he hasn’t had the fair hearing he is entitled to under Article 6 of the Human Rights Act (1998). However this matter is complicated as if QUB is recognised as a public body then that article may not be applicable.

    The problem that arises this student at QUB is that the courts are reluctant to interfere in cases involving academic judgement (such as in R v University of Cambridge ex parte Persaud, 2000) and any appeal for a judicial review under public law would be deemed to be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Visitor. It could also be argued that although during the initial investigation and deliberation the procedure might not be strictly fair, the student does have access to an appeal process which does not involve the lecturer responsible for the module. Kingsley V United Kingdom (2002) noted that even when a body determining disputes over civil rights is not impartial, there will be no breach of Article 6(1) if the proceedings are subject to subsequent control by an independent and impartial body with ability to quash the original decision. The relevance of is that even if there is a conflict of interest through the lecturer sitting on the investigating committee and Board of Examiners, his exclusion at the later appeal stage might be enough to satisfy Article 6(1) of the HRA.

    There is a case which is directly relevant to this student and that’s the long running case of Wilkinson v Aston University where Wilkinson was seeking damages for breach of contract due to inadequate supervision. The complaint was originally referred to the university’s complaints procedures but Wilkinson refused to go to the Visitor with his lawyer Jaswinder Gill arguing that the Visitor system was outdated and lacked transparency, independence and sufficient expertise . The case was struck out on the basis that it was not a matter for the court, appealed to the High Court and eventually referred to the Court of Appeal. Alex Galloway, clerk to the Privy Council which acted as Visitor to 17 UK universities admitted at the time that the system provided only “amateur justice, at least as operated in this office”. The Wilkinson case was settled before it reached the court of Appeal so there was no definitive ruling as to whether the system breaching Wilkinson’s right to a fair hearing under Article 6(1) of the Human Rights Act.

    At the end of the day the QUB student may only appeal or complain within the internal procedures as far as the Visitor and no further. The Visitor will only grant a hearing on the basis that Regulations have not been followed, so the student has no means to question the fairness of the procedures themselves. The precedents are that the judge must sent the case back to QUB if the student hasn’t exhausted those procedures and as he only graduated a few months ago if a safe guess he hasn’t even got beyond the first tier of the process.

    My own personal opinion, is that the QUB Visitor system would breech rights that are guaranteed under the 1998 HRA but it has never been tested and so under the strictest sense the current QUB Regulations are quite legal. As such the courts will have no option but to dismiss the case. IMO the courts use the Visitor system to hide behind with the excuse they aren’t the most appropriate people to rule on academic matters. However if you contrast this with cases where they will rule on things like medical negligence then it’s obvious the system is unfair.

  • Christy Walsh

    The Visitor scheme must comply with the HRA. In this case this student is not challanging the academic grade persay but how he achieved less than he would have had he had adequate supervision. The case may be no more than an act of desperation on the students part or there may be a valid case to answer and the Court will decide that.

  • joeCanuck

    Of course, it is always somebody else’s fault.
    I am a birth survivor; where do I apply for compensation?

  • You see that is the rub. If the students are in fact “customers” as you say (acknowledged in Clarke v University of Lincolnshire and Humberside) then he may have a case. However if one recognises that the university is a public body, then because the HRA specifically refers to guaranteeing “civil rights” he doesn’t have a grounds for an appeal as the existing processes and procedures are deemed legal.

  • Seymour Major

    Joe,

    Re Statute of Limitations

    It is in the Rules of the Supreme Court(NI) 1980, Order 53, rule 4(1)

    “An application for leave to apply for judicial review shall be made promptly and in any event within three months from the date when grounds for the application first arose unless the Court considers that there is good reason for extending the period within which the application shall be made.”

  • Nunoftheabove

    Sue your ma.

  • joeCanuck

    Bah.

  • Davros

    What apparently happened was he submitted his dissertation, supervisor told him (by email, he has evidence)it was a definite 70+ and to concentrate on his exams. He actually got 55 which dragged down his average to 2:2. This is whats hes angry about, had his supervisor given better guidance he would have spent longer on it. Frankly I don’t know why Queens didn’t just allow him to resubmit it on the QT.

  • joeCanuck

    From the BBC report – “He avers his employment prospects have been jeopardised..”

    He’d better be careful what he wishes for. If the case does go to court he may find himself unemployable. He may be known as the litigious guy who might sue us if he doesn’t receive promotions, even if he is NFG.

  • Oracle

    Why not sue the Graduates who got Firsts obviously they got more tuition time than the 2.2 failure, question is were they in the same class???????

  • magnus

    Is it really 30plus years ag that we all bought a copy of Barber’s History of Economic thought and read it out loud in unison with our lecturer. He curtailed his lazy habits, at least with us anyhow. Happy days.

    Anybody see Jesus getting crucified last night?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    We could make it a “class action” as I have been hindered by much the same for over 30 years. I was forced aged 18 to go into a mediocre provincial university with delusions of being better than it actually is…….actually it was Queens.

    But for our class action to succeed we might need unethic………er I mean ethical solicitors. I know some. They also went to Queens.

  • MPP

    I graduated four years ago.

    The way I see it is – if you got a 2:2 you deserve a 2:2, if this guy is complaining that supervision was woeful then no one else in his class should have been able to attain anything more than a 2:2, but i doubt that is the case. Where are the rest of his classmates and why aren’t they supporting his claims?

    However I will say that making a complaint against a lecturer is a tricky business and unfortunately one that will almost surely have some negative consequence for the student.

    Nevertheless this looks like a big pile of sour grapes!

  • Christy Walsh

    Engineering students are often split up into lab groups. I was once partnered with another student and after successive varience between our grades, on the same lab results, we finally agreed to write and submit the exact same lab report word for word. Mine got 20% less than my colleagues…

  • Christy Walsh

    Your considerations may have been his concerns for remaining quiet prior to the exams, for fear to complain would impact on the results? There may have also been a mutual understanding that the lecturer would not concern him/herself with supervision and would thus not be too demanding in grading the student who co-operated? These things can happen.

    Whether the case wins or fails it may shake up University vigilance on bad lecturers though I hasten to emphasis that the vast majority are professional and diligent in their work.

  • Internationalist

    All I know is there is an awful lot of rubbish lecturers up at Queens. I assumed that when I left school for university that that would be the end of bad teachers, how wrong I was.

    I had one lecture in my final year who plagiarised an entire module from another lecture from the university of limerick and then set an 2 hour exam for what was 3 two hour exams in limerick. As a result of the shit hitting the fan 2 days before the exam (someone looking for sample questions for Cobol found the identical lecture notes from Limerick university on the web with a different lecturers name on them)… scores were award on the basis of coursework if people struggled in the exam. Did QUB sack the lecturer, nope they moved him up to a nice little office in the titanic quarter to protect their reputation. That shows just how seriously they take plagiarism.

    That particular waste of space provided no supervision whatsoever and at the end of the year there was a stink storm from anyone who missed their targeted grade by a fine margin, QUB duly obliged and gave them the requested grade.

    In first year I had a lecturer who came to class under the influence, I know this to be true because I was in the same bar before the lecture. (I wasn’t drinking with the lecturer)

    I have quite a few stories about the ‘quality’ of lectures at QUB they are both good and bad in equal measure. But one thing that does strike me is that they themselves are fond of a strike.

    I hope he wins his case as I believe that the people who run QUB are full of themselves and the cards are very much stacked against the students and anyone who is prepared to dissent.

  • Ulick

    “Did QUB sack the lecturer, nope they moved him up to a nice little office in the titanic quarter to protect their reputation. That shows just how seriously they take plagiarism.”

    That is not true. The lecturer you refer to went “out on the sick” before disciplinary procedures could be enacted, disappeared back to the US from whence he came and is currently taking legal action against his employers for victimisation.

  • Critical Alien

    Great teaching doesn’t guarantee great results. Awful teaching doesn’t necessitate awful marks. Nuff said?

    Teaching is and ought to be less than half the equation in university anyway. The degree is meant to be more than (or at least ‘other than’) just an 11+ for entrance to the job market. It’s acquisition is meant to indicate a ‘degree’ of self-tutelage.

    It’s Queen’s fault to a great extent as through this VC they have fostered this consumerist attitude, tried to play themselves as “QUB PLC”. This kind of idiotic action has been on the cards and ought to amount to nothing. But who knows?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The problem with Students is that they are so damn young. and impressionable. And a lot of lecturers/tutors use that to advantage.
    The kids starting at Queens this month…..had to wear uniforms last year, were told off for running down the corridor or wearing too much jewelry or whatever.
    While some will undoubtedly go daft and booze and puke their degree against a wall in Agincourt Avenue, some are very pleasant young people.
    If you look at those very fine buildings in University Square, it might seem that a group or even individual waiting outside a door for a tutorial or an appointment actually has a chair to sit on….rather than sprawling on the floor or narrow stairs.

    While it is the norm for the great and the good to display usually two hours during the week when they are available, this is often both an invitation and a barrier.
    Many of the finest and best at QUB effectively have an open door policy….the bigger they are, the nicer they are……while in many other cases, people are effectively invisible.
    There is a difference between being AVAILABLE (a requirement of employment) and being APPROACHABLE ( a social skill many lack)
    We may of course choose to find it risible that a guy with a 2.2 wants to turn it into a 2.1 because supervision was bad. But lets be honest, the range of supervision is variable.
    And people learn as they did at Wallace HS or St Pats Armagh that being a “crawler” (“well said Professor….you are so right”) is a better strategy than “Im 19 and I know better than you”.
    Of course things are tightened up. In the 1970s there was no such thing as sexual harrassment of female students….no sirree bob……nor would a pretty student have fluttered her eyelashes at a tutor.
    “The History Man” is of course pure fiction.
    But thankfully we have rules in 21st century to stop that kinda thing…..so obviously it doesnt happen.

    But of course things are different in one very important respect. Loans NOT Grants. And when people jet off to China to sell QUB as a learning centre……..when they talk of business models and people are about £16k in debt thru going to university.then something has to give…….Ancient quasi-religious seats of learning (and Victorian Queens cant pull that trick off as well as Oxford and Cambridge) might give themselves a slight air of detachment……how dare our ethics and judgement be queried by a 21 year old with a 2:2……what is the world coming to.
    But there is a new order. “Buying” a degree at QUB or anywhere else in 2010 is no different from buying three pieces of chicken in a fast food restaurant.
    If the service is bad……if the food is cold……bring it back……complain…..and students might not realise that they are consumers but their parents, increasingly likely to have degrees themselves know consumer rights.

    The mystique of university……classical organ playing….processing into the Whitla Hall and watching the kids have their gowns inspected before getting their degree is all very pleasant…….ancient……or in Queens case victorian………but alas it sits badly in a consumer world.

    I dont know the worth of the case the young graduate is bringing….but if it stirs things up a bit…..good luck to him. I quite like people who stir things up.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I agree totally.

  • Big Boss

    I think this is kinda pathetic to be honest,

    “better supervision would have helped him achieve a 2.1 rather than the 2.2″

    So he is basically saying that it was the University fault that he was a lazy shite for 3/4 years, didn’t pay enough attention in class and didnt put the work in, while he was probs off drinking in the Bot, or off in Rain!

    This is an insult to anyone who ever got a 2.1. and actually worked their asses of for it,

    And lets look at another of Queens exam rules,

    a 2.1. grade is awarded to anyone who gets 60 or above, but it is also awarded to anyone who gets 59,58…..they are usually rounded up. Anyone who gets a 57, is also rounded up to a 60, IF they have enough essays and exam marks over the 60 mark. (So basically if they were doing 6 essays and have 60 in 3 of them, then they will be rounded up.)

    This guy didn’t even achieve this, his either fell below the 57 mark, which meant he didn’t put the work in and was a lazy shit, or he didn’t get enough 60s, again because he didn’t put the work in!!!!

    I was warned in my first day of Uni, that a 2.2. really doesn’t go far these days, and you need to be finishing with at least a 2.1……..this guy didnt, live with it!! Its not the University job to hold your hand

  • turnpike

    I’m surprised anyone can study amongst those hurley wielding, mother’s apron string hanging, ‘hang ‘ sandwich eating culchies… unless of course he was a hurley wielding culchie…..

  • Emmett

    I did this course as well, and have to say that he has a point about a lack of supervision/feedback. Some of the professors I spoke to about it on the course admitted this themselves, and said they had been trying to improve this. I know that you can work your ass off independently and do brilliantly, and that many people do this. But surely the three grand every year should guarantee some level of feedback and supervision. As well, one thing that particularly annoyed me was some lecturers refusing to give completed copies of their notes (where they wanted you to fill them out during a lecture) if you had been absent. I felt that for the money I should have at least been getting all of the teaching material from a lecture.

  • Aldamir

    La Sorbonne,
    I suppose your French teacher will be added to the list now….

  • Critical Alien

    Or for the money you should at least have been showing up? The ‘teaching material’ is your notes. The lecture is your basis for them, the matter which you interpret and synthesise into some useful form. The process is learning, and that’s the point.

    If you miss a lecture you just catch up, either by asking a mate or doing some research. What you seem to be lamenting the lack of is cliff notes in lieu of participation. If people’s degrees were won on such a basis, they’d be anemic.

  • Iano

    Joe Brolly?

  • Christy Walsh

    Do we know how this student performed through the year/years –no doubt that will come out. Sure a lot of students fail to attend lectures, copy notes from others, drink too much and can be generally degenerate.. I am inclined to think that none of this will be the case with this student. As an Engineering student he may have had a project to do working independantly, in which case he had a supervisor, the supervisor may never have monitored his work throughout the semester, may never have addressed emails, I have heard students complain of these things, one student I know submitted a thesis and it failed, her supervisor never once read it prior to submission. At no time during her research did anyone examine her work.

  • Emmett

    I was showing up, but over the course of 3 years it is possible to miss classes. And after missing these classes being refused the notes from the class seemed a bit unfair to me. Why should I have to turn to somebody who isn’t qualified (a class mate) for their help, relying on their version of the class, when their is a paid professional there who’s job it is to aid me in learning. What I’m lamenting is the general unwillingness to be helpful from some of the staff (others were fantastic and went well above and beyond) to the point of actually being an obstacle to learning as opposed to an aid.

  • Neil

    I was showing up, but over the course of 3 years it is possible to miss classes.

    Yeah, but honestly would you attempt to blame the college? To adversely impact your degree how many classes a month would you need to miss? Four or five maybe? Even then you can catch up by reading a book on whatever you’ve missed.

    Do you consider that your lecturer, as you say, paid to teach you may have fulfilled his or her end of the bargaining by dragging his or her arse out of bed in the morning and showing up for the lectures you missed?

    It all sounds a bit like blaming anyone and everyone else for a situation that was in your control. You can show up, study hard and get a good degree. Or you can fuck about, get pissed, sleep in and in the end blame the lecturer for not tracking you down after hours and sitting down with you to go through all the stuff that was missed. Imagine if lecturers did that, with hundreds of students, they’d have no time left to live with.

  • Emmett

    Yea I caught up most of the time, there’s just been a few times when they were particularly unhelpful. So I can believe that the person had a point about not being supervised enough. Another point I forgot to strain was that over the years, there were many times when I received no feedback from work that was submitted other than the mark received. So here you go, you got 15/20, but you have to guess where you made the mistakes and what you should now improve. Very unhelpful altogether. And at no point was I expecting the lecturer to go out of their way to help me, just a copy of the notes, or a list of what was covered. A few moments at the end of or the start of the next lecture. Many of the other lecturers frequently did this, but some were very stubborn about it.
    Anyway I did study myself and did well enough, but there were definitely classes I could of done a lot better in if the lecturers were more helpful. As opposed to seeing students as a burden distracting them from their research. And casting us all with the same brush, assuming we all just sleep and drink.
    Oh and by the way, I think the guy is a bit of an idiot for doing this, but I do feel he has a point about the lack of supervision at times. He should have done something about it at the time though, organised a petition or something along those lines.

  • Christy Walsh

    Most lecturers are good at what they do but as you have learned some can be truculent and contrary.

  • Pippakin

    Is it that this person feels he spent four years putting in substandard (his standards) work and thinks he should have been advised and assisted to improve? If that is the case I’m not sure he is wrong.

    Time was a university was held in such high regard it was assumed they could do no wrong, those times have gone. I’m inclined to think all exam papers should be kept and available for scrutiny by independent agencies.

  • Rory Carr

    Vraiment.

  • Nunoftheabove

    joecanuck

    Quite right, no employer will want a workshy complainer for, God knows, there are a surfeit of UU graduates out in the market already.

  • Rory Carr

    “I had one lecture in my final year who plagiarised an entire module from another lecture from the university of limerick and then set an 2 hour exam for what was 3 two hour exams in limerick.”

    And so do I…and after reading that sentence above it is clear that the product of these “rubbish lecturers up at Queens” is “pretty rubbish” as well.

  • Fingal’s Cave

    In early 90’s, went to Queen’s, got drunk, squandered grant, skipped lessons, didn’t heed warnings of underperformance…got a 2.2….In early 00’s, went to Oxbridge, stayed sober, fees at own cost, attended all requirements, engaged with dynamism…. first class post-graduate degree. You don’t need a degree in Engineering (or module in Rocket-science) to work out the matrix of influence at work here. This guy only has an actionable case, legalise withstanding, if he has a documented learning need that wasn’t addressed or he wasn’t given allowance or support for it. P.S – why is he complaining anyway? – it’s not like recent graduates have a chance of getting a job in the current market however good their classification! I bet you now, if he is victorious, he spends the compensation on doing a Masters! Plus if he goes to the Univeristy of Ulster in Coleraine, he could easily prosecute for the weather being so piss poor in Portrush. …..Or get millions for having to listen to all those bloody Derry accents in Magee ;).

  • edgeoftheunion

    Now be honest.
    Does the MSM coverage of this story even begin to compare with this outpouring?

  • socaire

    prefer the tray bakes myself.

  • socaire

    Where is the coat which you were wearing?
    There it is – lying on their bed.
    Here is some music for you to hear.
    ………. and I only went to hedge school!

  • MC Observer

    “Why should I have to turn to somebody who isn’t qualified (a class mate) for their help, relying on their version of the class, when *their* is a paid professional there who’s job it is to aid me in learning.”

    You’re barely literate on the evidence of that, the fact you were in university at all tells us everything we need to know about the current failed free-for-all.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    No but how many in the media have actually been to university? 🙂

  • Emmett

    My sincerest apologies, it was a convoluted sentence and I typed the wrong there/their and didn’t notice. Oh dear.

  • Internationalist

    If 18 years of full time education has taught me anything Rory its that you don’t have to read over anything you write that your not being marked on or are putting your real name to. The gist is more important in a forum than the grammar.

  • QUB Graduate

    I agree totally with Emmett, half the people commenting here didn’t even go to Queens and don’t no how bad the lecturers are when it comes to final year honours projects. My supervisor gave me a project that didn’t work, she told me wild rabbits are highly infected with lungworm and I had to investigate why. I got 12 rabbits to dissect, at the start of the year I was promised 200, so to begin with I had a shit sample size. Then when I dissected the rabbits none had the parasite! She then told me ‘oh well ill get you data to work off that was collected last year’! I then had no method as to how the data was gathered. I emailed constantly asking for this data and never got a reply! I was stressing out big time as I needed to get statistics done on the data and time was running out. I then complained about her to the head of the school, I finally got the data I needed, once I’d complained. during my final year I emailed her for meetings half the time she ignored me, when she finally did get back to me about a meeting she never turned up for them, after me travelling down there to meet her! I agree with this fella suing them, its ridicules the money they get every year, and the chasing that you have to do to get work back, or data that they promise. By the way I got a 2.1 with alot more stressing out that than I should have been due to being ignored. I wasnt the only one under this same lecturers supervison that was ignored.

  • Rory Carr

    Internationalist,

    After eighteen years of education one might have expected to have learnt to construct a sentence gramatically without the need for much forethought. I was doing it by the time I was six years old. It is after all the language through which we engage with each other every minute of the day and we surely have encountered enough correct grammar in our daily reading to have imbued it into our consciousness at least by the time we are eleven years old.

    In any case all this talk of obtaining degrees clearly has nothing much to do with education which is an ongoing, neverending process in the spirit of which I would point out that you omitted a comma after ‘everything’ and before ‘Rory’ above and that the phrase, ‘your being marked on’ should be written, ‘you’re (for “you are”) being marked on.’

    It seems that the problem is that you simply don’t read enough or that you don’t pay proper attention to that which you do read.

  • Oracle

    There should be no legal help for this Dumbo, going to court because he’s stupid, I see most of Slugger’s thickos weighed in on his side.

  • magnus

    Slugger’s thickos

    I wanna be in your gang, please.

    I thick therefore I am, and what’s more my vote counts the same as yours, Oracle. Nature’s cruel but democracy’s vicious.

  • Internationalist

    Thank you for the lesson and insightful comments, Rory. I’d hazard a guess that it is spelling and grammar checking technology that has made me (and many others) this careless. Perhaps this technology should be banned from places of learning? It would certainly raise the standards of our schools.

  • Oracle – I just did a count back and make it about 40% sympathetic to the plaintiff and about 60% not sympathetic.