NEED help about Access Course Grades and Appeal!😱

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trmsullivan
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#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
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Ok, so where do I start... Basically I need help and advice for the situation I'm in now.
It's LONG guys, sorry! But if you can offer advice please read😅
I completed an Access Course at XXX college after relocated all the way from Scotland to attend the college in South East England due to my mother's good experience their back in 2004.

However things had clearly changed over the years.

To get to my point, I study the Health Sciences Pathway with the plan to go on and study Adult Nursing at Kings College University London this Sept. I am a mature and obviously completely understood what was required of my to get into this Russel Group uni.
The entry requirements were 30 Distinctions, 12 Merits and 3 Pass. I worked so hard to achieve this, constantly asking the tutors what I needed to do to get distinctions. I was very proactive and was the type of student that recorded all the classes and played them on the bus, whilst cooking and at night so to fully immerse myself into the course and assignmemts.

I calculated all the assignmemts I NEEDED to get distinctions I'm and what ones I could relax a little on. However, from day one when I mentioned that I am aiming to go to King’s College University London, the response I got from my college was “why go there? Just go to local uni's here!” I was slightly shocked, to say the least with the rather disapproving response.

As far as I'm concerned, the college is not supposed to pick the universities a mature student should go, but encourage and support wherever the student has chosen to go. After all, it's me who will pay back £60,000 worth of debt, not the college.

However, all came to light as the course progressed. You see, the Access course lead is also a lecturer at the local Universites and works within the admissions department of both. Since this is the case, I have been made aware (by the course lead) that he can influence these universities in allowing his students in and ensure that they receive the grades (mainly merits) needed to make it in with ease, so if a student applies to any other universities they are on their own and most likely struggle get a confirmed offer due to the grades requirements. The more students get into uni the better the college looks. So why not go to the local uni the the course lead has the power to turn a few knobs. Plus the local uni's entry requirements are pretty low so it's so easy for him.

The statement made by the course lead that has upset me the most is this:
Even if your work is of distinction level, only 16% of the student population can or should achieve distinctions, in fear of the college being condemned by the awarding body.

Now, I'm not sure if any of you have heard this before from your Access Course college, but this really doesn't sit well with me for some reason.

Now, I'm not trying to puff myself up in anyway at all, but I know that I had done everything to achieve distinctions in the assignmemts I knew I could get distinctions in. Some I got distinctions but many I had gotten merits.

At the end of the course, my course lead tried to give me a transcript with 12 Distinctions and 33 Merits on it, knowing full well the requirements of my offer at King's.
I had passed the math, English tests and interview at King's and received my offer. My college knew full well, but it seemed as if I was somehow a bee in their bonnet and they (from what I can see) have graded me unfairly. By the way, I had never made cause to be treated unfairly as I have... I was pretty chilled and quite in class. I came to study and get my diploma.
Many of the student this year have all agreed that would never recommend this college to anyone!

Now here's worrying part, so I asked my course lead for a remark over 6 weeks ago and still haven't even heard boo from them.
King's have obviously rejected me upon seeing my ridiculous grades but have said that if I still want to be considered (due there still being spaces on the course) I must come up with at least 27 Distinctions by the end of this month. So because my college is not responding to my calls and emails I have now taken this to the QAA who are contacting the college on my behalf.

I'm really frustrated because I have worked so hard this past year to get to where I've dreamed of being and now my dream has prematurely been stumped due to these ridiculous grades I have received.

-Has anyone else experienced this or is it just me?

-If you studied an Access course this year or last year what grades did you achieve (Maybe the grades I got are the avarage???)?

- What's your advice and what do you think will be the outcome now that the QAA are involved?

Thank you so much for reading!😘
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999tigger
Badges: 19
#2
Report 3 years ago
#2
(Original post by trmsullivan)
Ok, so where do I start... Basically I need help and advice for the situation I'm in now.
It's LONG guys, sorry! But if you can offer advice please read😅
I completed an Access Course at XXX college after relocated all the way from Scotland to attend the college in South East England due to my mother's good experience their back in 2004.

However things had clearly changed over the years.

To get to my point, I study the Health Sciences Pathway with the plan to go on and study Adult Nursing at Kings College University London this Sept. I am a mature and obviously completely understood what was required of my to get into this Russel Group uni.
The entry requirements were 30 Distinctions, 12 Merits and 3 Pass. I worked so hard to achieve this, constantly asking the tutors what I needed to do to get distinctions. I was very proactive and was the type of student that recorded all the classes and played them on the bus, whilst cooking and at night so to fully immerse myself into the course and assignmemts.

I calculated all the assignmemts I NEEDED to get distinctions I'm and what ones I could relax a little on. However, from day one when I mentioned that I am aiming to go to King’s College University London, the response I got from my college was “why go there? Just go to local uni's here!” I was slightly shocked, to say the least with the rather disapproving response.

As far as I'm concerned, the college is not supposed to pick the universities a mature student should go, but encourage and support wherever the student has chosen to go. After all, it's me who will pay back £60,000 worth of debt, not the college.

However, all came to light as the course progressed. You see, the Access course lead is also a lecturer at the local Universites and works within the admissions department of both. Since this is the case, I have been made aware (by the course lead) that he can influence these universities in allowing his students in and ensure that they receive the grades (mainly merits) needed to make it in with ease, so if a student applies to any other universities they are on their own and most likely struggle get a confirmed offer due to the grades requirements. The more students get into uni the better the college looks. So why not go to the local uni the the course lead has the power to turn a few knobs. Plus the local uni's entry requirements are pretty low so it's so easy for him.

The statement made by the course lead that has upset me the most is this:
Even if your work is of distinction level, only 16% of the student population can or should achieve distinctions, in fear of the college being condemned by the awarding body.

Now, I'm not sure if any of you have heard this before from your Access Course college, but this really doesn't sit well with me for some reason.

Now, I'm not trying to puff myself up in anyway at all, but I know that I had done everything to achieve distinctions in the assignmemts I knew I could get distinctions in. Some I got distinctions but many I had gotten merits.

At the end of the course, my course lead tried to give me a transcript with 12 Distinctions and 33 Merits on it, knowing full well the requirements of my offer at King's.
I had passed the math, English tests and interview at King's and received my offer. My college knew full well, but it seemed as if I was somehow a bee in their bonnet and they (from what I can see) have graded me unfairly. By the way, I had never made cause to be treated unfairly as I have... I was pretty chilled and quite in class. I came to study and get my diploma.
Many of the student this year have all agreed that would never recommend this college to anyone!

Now here's worrying part, so I asked my course lead for a remark over 6 weeks ago and still haven't even heard boo from them.
King's have obviously rejected me upon seeing my ridiculous grades but have said that if I still want to be considered (due there still being spaces on the course) I must come up with at least 27 Distinctions by the end of this month. So because my college is not responding to my calls and emails I have now taken this to the QAA who are contacting the college on my behalf.

I'm really frustrated because I have worked so hard this past year to get to where I've dreamed of being and now my dream has prematurely been stumped due to these ridiculous grades I have received.

-Has anyone else experienced this or is it just me?

-If you studied an Access course this year or last year what grades did you achieve (Maybe the grades I got are the avarage???)?

- What's your advice and what do you think will be the outcome now that the QAA are involved?

Thank you so much for reading!😘
I read it but am a bit non plussed and dont really have any advice as I dont think theres any to give.

Didnt you realise it was going wrong early on it are all the marks given at the end rather than as you progress?

You did the right thing by requesting a remark
You did the right thing contacting the QAA.

As far as I can see youve made various allegations and now the QAA can decide if theres any merits to it.
Will they examine and mark your work?
At least they will be experienced and neutral. Its odd they should be bothered where you are applying to. Its just a course. I have doubts about them getting back to you before the end of August, but I dont know what the QAA have said. Presumably youve told them and i doubt you can push them much, so you are going to have to wait.

If they do remark and you end up getting the grades then just reapply next year.

http://www.qaa.ac.uk/concerns/concer...t-access-to-he
It seems the QAA dont do the investigating and the issue has to be raised eventually with the relevant regional Access Validating Agency.

http://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/HowCours...s/Default.aspx
Complaints about delivery and management are to the SFA Skills funding agency.

Ideally youd like the AVA to do a priority remark to check the standard of your work. Obviously you have the advantage haven spoken to them. Fingers crossed they think the level of your work is at the level you believe it to be. Maybe there are other classmates who did get the higher grades?

Cant really think of anything more. They are either going to find your allegations founded or they are not. At least they have standards and guideline marking to work by, so hopefully you will get a fair assessment. I have no idea of time frames. I'd think it could be done quickly if someone was sent to exclusively assess it.

Just make your concerns known (sure you did) and then its patience GL.
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Notoriety
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It is quite a bold claim to think that your lecturer is biased to get you into the local university. The lecturer works for the college and it looks good for the college, especially when Ofsted inspectors are in town, to show off the RG success stories. Often the lecturer will suggest local unis because most mature students have local ties and commitments, so the local unis are the ones they are familiar with. Also Access is one-year and the students apply without any history of past assignments (A-Level students will have AS results or at least a bunch of mocks), so it is a lot safer for you to choose local less competitive courses.

Your grades are the average. The IV grading will be generally approved by EV. Your several assignments might be the several which fell through the verification cracks. But it is not the more parsimonious answer.
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