I’m after some advice really. I’d really appreciate any help that could be offered or advised.
I was studying at the university of Liverpool back in 2019/2020 on the zoology course. Obviously, that year we had the heavy disruption of the pandemic, coupled with extensive periods without teaching prior to this due to extensive strike action. In fact, I had two modules in which we had no lectures at all, due to the strike action from the January, then the lockdown in the March (With the uni cancelling all lectures from February of its own fruition).
Anyway, during that time, I lost my head really. Prior to the lockdown, I had been achieving 2:1s and 1sts in most of my modules, barring one which I was in the process of resitting. For context, this module had a heavy focus on the R software, which I hadn’t been taught (Certainly not to the level of my peers) as I had switched from a different university in the year prior, which had focused instead on a different stats software. Nonetheless, my studies were going well.
However, once lockdown came around, I really struggled to learn. I have quite bad dyslexia and dyspraxia, and I had a learning support plan, which emphasized how difficult computer-based learning can be for myself, and that a plan should be in place to mitigate the use of it. Then, all of a sudden I find that all of my studies are computer based. Compounding that, the R software which I mentioned previously didn’t work on my laptop, which I had known prior to the lockdown but hadn’t been a problem as I would use university computers instead. 2 of my modules were heavily if not entirely based on R, and there was no way to complete the exams without R.
Despite my emailing and messaging various academic staff, including the learning disability rep, I had no response from any of them across the several months of lockdown. I was emailing them to say my mental health was affecting my studies, that I was struggling to work etc. Nothing.
Come results day, obviously I failed the 2 modules which relied on R software, as I didn’t have access to the programme. I passed what was left of the other modules I was studying, which I felt was an achievement in itself. At the time, there was an allowance given to students to address the disruption of the lockdown, however that only applied to students who had passed all of their modules. Arguably, those who struggled the most and outright failed received nothing.
I appealed. I was offered a resit, however the university facilities were still closed and I couldn’t access the R software, so I still couldn’t resit the exam. Instead, I was passed around to various staff members, all either straight up not replying or referring me on again.
After this, I was called into a zoom meeting, without a union rep, and told I would be taken off of the course, that there would be no recourse for me to fall back. I was informed my studies were terminated, and I have no correspondence from the university since other than to confirm, after an appeal, that I had no grounds for an appeal, and that I owed the university £200 for some unknown reason (Which they threatened legal action if I didn’t pay, yet to this day I honestly don’t know what that £200 was for).
The whole episode has really badly affected my mental health. I had worked extremely hard to get to university, overcoming coming from a background were nobody went to university, school and college were difficult having to try and learn with specific learning difficulties, and having very severe glandular fever the year prior which I nearly died from. It has taken me nearly 2 years to cope even facing the problem, and it has only resurfaced when I received my transcript a couple of weeks ago, which also shows that I was only ever signed up to 105 credits, not the 120 required. I had signed up to a module which was not on the course itself, as I had substituted it for a module in environmental science (I felt it was more in line with what I wanted to go on to do after my career). This module I distinctly remember was an automatic pass, given the situation with COVID (The course required GIS software which only certain university computers had). Yet it doesn’t appear on my transcript.
Has anyone had any similar experiences to this? Or do I have any recourse which could allow me to take some sort of action against the university?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated