Students charged 40 pounds for module failures Watch

cpchem
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#61
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It is, quite simply, unacceptable to impose a fine on you if it was not stated (in some way) beforehand that they would. Of course, it probably is written down somewhere - we were all given the tome that is "Examination Regulations" at the start of first year - it runs to over 1000 pages (yes, one thousand), and is a fantastic doorstop.
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thesard
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(Original post by Music_Enthusiast)
Umm nah I don't think my work was acceptable lol. Maybe the lecturer fancies me or something.
Ooh, you should play up to that. Get yourself a 1:1 :p:
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Sephiroth
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#63
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Why do they need 1000 pages for some exam regulations? Is it to ensure no one reads it so that they can pretty much do what they want and people will be clueless as to whether they're supposed to do it? Or is the book the size of a match box?
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kellywood_5
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(Original post by Sephiroth)
Sad thing is you're at a top university and some people have the attitude you described. There's people at lower universities who would love to have their places and put the effort in to succeed. Just shows you that exam grades are a poor way of determining entry, but it's all you can go off since you can't predict who will mess around. Now that I think of it, kick them off the course if they do that, not charge them £40. Of course there's situations where people genuinely fail, which is fine.
Exactly. I naively thought that getting into a good uni would mean I'd finally get rid of all the idiots at school and sixth form who just mess about and don't care if they get rubbish grades, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case at all. I guess arrogance probably comes into it somewhere- they think that just because they've done well at A-level and got into a good uni, they're automatically above those with worse A-levels at lower unis and therefore don't need to work. If they were kicked off the course for consistent poor attendance or not handing in work on time, it would show them that actually they can't get away with things like that anymore now that they're in the real adult world.
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Sephiroth
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I think people just don't realise how important the first year is for setting you up for the next two. One solution could be to make the first year count for 10% or something to encourage these people to make the effort, but if they don't want to succeed that's their problem and making the first year count towards the final grade might harm genuine students who do better in the latter two years. At least with kicking them off they could start again somewhere else the following year. The extra debt would teach them a good life lesson.

Oh and thanks for the rep, it gave me a new gem. ^_^
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cpchem
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(Original post by Sephiroth)
Why do they need 1000 pages for some exam regulations? Is it to ensure no one reads it so that they can pretty much do what they want and people will be clueless as to whether they're supposed to do it? Or is the book the size of a match box?
Not the size of a matchbox, no... it's normal paperback-type size in proportions, except the thickness. 1168 pages, to be precise. It has all of the general stuff (how they're to be conducted, how you have to dress for examinations etc.), as well as highly specific information on every exam paper set, down to the most obscure paper that nobody ever sits.
For some reason, you can buy it, for £40... have a look on Amazon, but we were all thrown a free copy (woohoo!) during Fresher's week.
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kellywood_5
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(Original post by Sephiroth)
I think people just don't realise how important the first year is for setting you up for the next two. One solution could be to make the first year count for 10% or something to encourage these people to make the effort, but if they don't want to succeed that's their problem and making the first year count towards the final grade might harm genuine students who do better in the latter two years. At least with kicking them off they could start again somewhere else the following year. The extra debt would teach them a good life lesson.

Oh and thanks for the rep, it gave me a new gem. ^_^
Definitely. So many people say things like 'oh, the first year doesn't count, I just need 40% to pass' which is true, but they don't seem to understand that without the foundations provided by the first year, when the idea is to introduce the subject at degree level and teach you the academic skills needed to succeed without the pressure of having the results count, they're going to struggle in the second year when it gets harder. It's also not going to look good on their transcript that they barely passed the first year, even if they get a 2.1 in the end. I think making the first year count for 10% would be a great idea. To be honest, I don't see why students who put the work in would do badly unless they had extenuating circumstances, and if they did better in the latter two years, they'd still do well overall because those years are worth much more. It just feels like kind of a waste of a year at the moment when I worked really hard and got an average mark of 65, plenty of others dossed about and got an average mark of 40, yet we both have the same result in that we've both progressed to the second year. Kicking them out is still a better option though. When you think about it, taxpayers are subsidising their degree because it costs a lot more than £3k a year, and there's also grants and bursaries if they get them, so why should this happen if the student isn't going to appreciate it and is just going to waste the year not turning up to any lectures or doing any work?

You're welcome, and thanks for mine too
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34253
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(Original post by kellywood_5)
Definitely. So many people say things like 'oh, the first year doesn't count, I just need 40% to pass' which is true, but they don't seem to understand that without the foundations provided by the first year, when the idea is to introduce the subject at degree level and teach you the academic skills needed to succeed without the pressure of having the results count, they're going to struggle in the second year when it gets harder. It's also not going to look good on their transcript that they barely passed the first year, even if they get a 2.1 in the end. I think making the first year count for 10% would be a great idea. To be honest, I don't see why students who put the work in would do badly unless they had extenuating circumstances, and if they did better in the latter two years, they'd still do well overall because those years are worth much more. It just feels like kind of a waste of a year at the moment when I worked really hard and got an average mark of 65, plenty of others dossed about and got an average mark of 40, yet we both have the same result in that we've both progressed to the second year. Kicking them out is still a better option though. When you think about it, taxpayers are subsidising their degree because it costs a lot more than £3k a year, and there's also grants and bursaries if they get them, so why should this happen if the student isn't going to appreciate it and is just going to waste the year not turning up to any lectures or doing any work?

You're welcome, and thanks for mine too
For a start how does a history degree cost more than £3k a year to pay for, i've only had a maximum of 6 hours a week all year! Thats £20 each person pays to sit in 1 lecture, so they make £5000 per lecture, when they pay lecturers 15k a year. Add to that the fact that the books everybody needs are in limited supply so if you don't get there early you don't get anything!

I don't get any money from the government and how I decided to spend my first year was entirely upto me. I barely ever went in and had a great time and still got 55%. Next year I'll work hard and do much better, just because I had the common sense not to exert effort where I didn't get any reward doesnt mean I'm a bad person, it means I have common sense. Why should I be kicked out becuase you worked hard and your grade doesnt count? We both knew the score at the start of the year.
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Paeony
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#69
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You're not just paying for a lecturers wage though - what about the chairs you're sat on, the clean (we hope lol) toilets you use, the paths you walk on, the books you take out of the library, the computers you use in the computer rooms, the subsidised sandwich you eat in the canteen, the subsidised beer you drink in the bar ... Just because you don't physically 'see' where your money goes doesn't mean that it's not being spent. A uni does not make much profit (if any) from your average undergrad, it's postgrads and research that bring in the real cash.

Think of it like a restaurant - you don't just pay for the food you get on your plate, but the fact that someone has cooked it, stored it, served it to you in a clean, furnished restaurant. I'm not saying that unis don't make money, but it's really not from teaching undergrads. That's why most unis run as both charities and businesses - the charity teaches you, the business makes some money from running conferences, weddings, hiring out the uni for filming etc (that's why my uni did).
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34253
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(Original post by Paeony)
You're not just paying for a lecturers wage though - what about the chairs you're sat on, the clean (we hope lol) toilets you use, the paths you walk on, the books you take out of the library, the computers you use in the computer rooms, the subsidised sandwich you eat in the canteen, the subsidised beer you drink in the bar ... Just because you don't physically 'see' where your money goes doesn't mean that it's not being spent. A uni does not make much profit (if any) from your average undergrad, it's postgrads and research that bring in the real cash.

Think of it like a restaurant - you don't just pay for the food you get on your plate, but the fact that someone has cooked it, stored it, served it to you in a clean, furnished restaurant. I'm not saying that unis don't make money, but it's really not from teaching undergrads. That's why most unis run as both charities and businesses - the charity teaches you, the business makes some money from running conferences, weddings, hiring out the uni for filming etc (that's why my uni did).
The union is barely subsidised if at all, the beer is the same price if not more than everywhere else, as is the food. I don't see where 250 students £3000 is going when the basic running costs must be really low; the lecture theaters are nice but they are always in use and all the other courses are in for alot more than 6 hours per week.
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kellywood_5
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(Original post by Elipsis)
For a start how does a history degree cost more than £3k a year to pay for, i've only had a maximum of 6 hours a week all year! Thats £20 each person pays to sit in 1 lecture, so they make £5000 per lecture, when they pay lecturers 15k a year. Add to that the fact that the books everybody needs are in limited supply so if you don't get there early you don't get anything!

I don't get any money from the government and how I decided to spend my first year was entirely upto me. I barely ever went in and had a great time and still got 55%. Next year I'll work hard and do much better, just because I had the common sense not to exert effort where I didn't get any reward doesnt mean I'm a bad person, it means I have common sense. Why should I be kicked out becuase you worked hard and your grade doesnt count? We both knew the score at the start of the year.
As Paeony said, it's not just the lecturers who have to be paid. There are a lot more support staff involved, such as librarians, study skills advisors, counsellors, resident tutors in halls, porters, caterers, cleaners, shop assistants and so on. Then there are all the facilities, such as the library, the computer rooms, the sports halls, the launderettes, the lecture theatres, the shops, the bars, the cafes and so on. I don't know the specifics about each course and uni, but I do know that the reason unis want the current £3k fees cap lifted is because they don't get enough money and I'm also sure that if students had to pay the full cost of their tuition, they'd be paying quite a bit more than £3k a year. Why do you think the fees at American colleges are so astronomically high?

You may not get any money from the government via the maintance grant, but your degree is still being subsidised by taxpayers and I for one wouldn't be happy about paying you to have 'a great time.' If you think it's common sense to waste a year dossing about and not going to lectures you've paid £3k for, that's up to you, but personally I think it makes sense to get the most out of something you've paid that much money for. Uni is supposed to be about preparation for the adult word and if you hardly ever went to your job, you'd be sacked, so why shouldn't you be kicked out of uni for hardly ever going to lectures?
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Arminius
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#72
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(Original post by kellywood_5)
Uni is supposed to be about preparation for the adult word and if you hardly ever went to your job, you'd be sacked, so why shouldn't you be kicked out of uni for hardly ever going to lectures?
Part of that preperation is social development, the first year is there to give you freedom to do whatever you like. Expand you mind in the library, do extra curriculars, or go out on the piss. its everybodies CHOICE at the end of the day.

It is always made clear at the start than the year does not count. So really anything above 40% is for your own personal sense of achievement and of course an investment in study skills for the next years.

I can see some of your logic but you must realise that other people have a different view of the first year, you can both be right. Its everyones choice how to spend that time.

Think about it, somebody that "wastes their first year" may work really hard and graduate witha first. possibly beating you. its their choice to do it like that if they want.

What you call a waste of time i think is a key part of learning to be an adult, sleeping into 2pm, drinking far too much are all lessons and an experiance. Probably something thats best got out of your system so you don't feel you've missed out on anything later.
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apotoftea
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(Original post by Elipsis)
For a start how does a history degree cost more than £3k a year to pay for, i've only had a maximum of 6 hours a week all year! Thats £20 each person pays to sit in 1 lecture, so they make £5000 per lecture, when they pay lecturers 15k a year. Add to that the fact that the books everybody needs are in limited supply so if you don't get there early you don't get anything!

I don't get any money from the government and how I decided to spend my first year was entirely upto me. I barely ever went in and had a great time and still got 55%. Next year I'll work hard and do much better, just because I had the common sense not to exert effort where I didn't get any reward doesnt mean I'm a bad person, it means I have common sense. Why should I be kicked out becuase you worked hard and your grade doesnt count? We both knew the score at the start of the year.
Understand your point but with reference to contact time - how much do you really want for a History degree?

I get 8-10 hours max of contact time, plus added onto that various tutorials and extra seminars. The rest of the time is up to us for reading and researching. I can't see how a History degree would really give us the independent learning skills etc if we had contact hours of say 20-25 hours plus a week. It's not like a Chemistry degree where you're having the practical lab based sessions.

But outside of a lecture - the money goes to so many places, you probably couldn't list all of them.

But then again, I'm one of the lucky ones paying £1200 a year for my tuition fees.
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apotoftea
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And whoever neg repped me for my above comment - how mature!
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Zebedee)
Part of that preperation is social development, the first year is there to give you freedom to do whatever you like. Expand you mind in the library, do extra curriculars, or go out on the piss. its everybodies CHOICE at the end of the day.

It is always made clear at the start than the year does not count. So really anything above 40% is for your own personal sense of achievement and of course an investment in study skills for the next years.

I can see some of your logic but you must realise that other people have a different view of the first year, you can both be right. Its everyones choice how to spend that time.

Think about it, somebody that "wastes their first year" may work really hard and graduate witha first. possibly beating you. its their choice to do it like that if they want.

What you call a waste of time i think is a key part of learning to be an adult, sleeping into 2pm, drinking far too much are all lessons and an experiance. Probably something thats best got out of your system so you don't feel you've missed out on anything later.
I completely agree: you should do what you like. However, you should do it understanding that there are consequences to slacking (like getting a poor degree, or incurring fines). You also end up with a substantial debt at the end of it all. Those who encounter these prooblems should not bleat about them.

However, you should note that a large number of courses don't ignore the first year in marking terms. For instance, the Warwick MPhys counts the first year results as 10% of the whole.
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34253
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(Original post by vickytoria77)
Understand your point but with reference to contact time - how much do you really want for a History degree?

I get 8-10 hours max of contact time, plus added onto that various tutorials and extra seminars. The rest of the time is up to us for reading and researching. I can't see how a History degree would really give us the independent learning skills etc if we had contact hours of say 20-25 hours plus a week. It's not like a Chemistry degree where you're having the practical lab based sessions.

But outside of a lecture - the money goes to so many places, you probably couldn't list all of them.

But then again, I'm one of the lucky ones paying £1200 a year for my tuition fees.
My point was that theres people who have 20-30 hours a week in uni and use the same facilities as a history student, why are we getting so much less for our money? There arent even enough books to go around...
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kellywood_5
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(Original post by Elipsis)
My point was that theres people who have 20-30 hours a week in uni and use the same facilities as a history student, why are we getting so much less for our money? There arent even enough books to go around...
People with 20-30 hours a week contact time are generally either scientists or doing specialist arts degrees like art, graphics, textiles, photography, music, drama, media, film etc though. I don't know of any academic arts degrees that have much contact time. I had 14 hours a week in my first year doing languages, which was more than twice as much as those doing geography, history, RS, sociology, politics, economics etc and almost twice as much as those doing law. Students doing sciences or performing arts don't really use the same facilities as historians. Obviously they still use the library, computer rooms, lecture theatres etc, but they also need workshops, darkrooms, practice rooms, theatres, TV rooms etc.
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34253
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(Original post by kellywood_5)
People with 20-30 hours a week contact time are generally either scientists or doing specialist arts degrees like art, graphics, textiles, photography, music, drama, media, film etc though. I don't know of any academic arts degrees that have much contact time. I had 14 hours a week in my first year doing languages, which was more than twice as much as those doing geography, history, RS, sociology, politics, economics etc and almost twice as much as those doing law. Students doing sciences or performing arts don't really use the same facilities as historians. Obviously they still use the library, computer rooms, lecture theatres etc, but they also need workshops, darkrooms, practice rooms, theatres, TV rooms etc.
You've just proven my point! They get so much more for their money than Historians do. The least the uni could do is make sure everybody can get hold of the books they need.
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Paeony
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Deparments get funded according to both how many students they have and the level of prestige/funding that that department brings to the university. I don't know what uni you're at, but I'd hazard a guess that 'science' brings more money to the uni than 'history' - just look at the difference in postgrad funding from the research councils for these subjects. In London (sorry, I don't know about other areas) the stipend for an arts PhD student is about twelve thousand pounds pa. I know science PhDs who are on nearly double that. I'd imagine that that's also reflected in the amount of money that the university gets from the research councils for those students - less for arts, more for sciences. I'm not devaluing arts subjects (I was an arts/social sciences student myself) but the fact remains that in every sense, the arts are funded far less than the sciences. Sciences demand more facilites and contact time, and they also bring more money into universities - it seems logical that science students benefit more from this. To reiterate a point I've made before, as an undergraduate you are relatively unimportant to your university - since high level scientific research demands certain facilites science undergrads tend to benefit from the money coming into the uni by getting more access to these better facilites. It's not done for the benefit of undergrads, the fact that undergrads have this access is a kind of 'byproduct' IYSWIM. Arts generally don't need specific facilites, so arts students don't benefit in the same way. University libraries are generally chronically underfunded - the most money in the past few years has gone into developing technology on campus, better computing facilites etc.

Also, when funding is scarce, the first thing that gets cut is the budget for books and journals - what you're seeing is a result of a) expansion of the university sector meaning more students competing for scarce resources and b) the result of a chronic lack of funding, which kind of proves the point that universites aren't sitting on huge piles of cash. Also, given that until fairly recently the university sector was run almost wholly as charitable sector, you're also seeing the results of a fair bit of mismanagement and a lack of real business acumen. This has changed a lot recently - if you want to work for a charity you're likely to need a business degree, but it's going to be a few years before most universites become financially healthy. Science and technlogy attract money, so it makes sense for universities to invest more heavily in these areas. The arts are (at the moment) really loosing out, hopefully this won't go on for too long ...
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apotoftea
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(Original post by Elipsis)
My point was that theres people who have 20-30 hours a week in uni and use the same facilities as a history student, why are we getting so much less for our money? There arent even enough books to go around...
Maybe so at your university but I've never personally had that many problems getting books out.

Think Paeony has made a very valid point though - if a university is known for its Science department(s) over its arts & humanities and has more students studying a science - the money's going to be used to supply the demand.
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