On exam timetables, the university needs to speed up


Fraser McDougall

Hypocrisy riles the public perhaps more so than any other sin, and it’s the accusation laid at the University of Glasgow’s door after the delay of the release of this year’s Spring Examination Timetable. The University’s own handbook on late submissions outlines the severity of the consequences of late submission: Section 2.2 explicitly states the original grade of ones work will “be reduced by two secondary bands for each working day the work was submitted late” and “work submitted more than five days after the deadline will be awarded Grade H”. Students accept these penalties  and the majority of students would rather pull an all nighter than be subject to these harsh penalties. If we are judging the university on their own deadline policy, it is safe to say they have missed their deadline, and by some margin too. Grade H it is.


As of Saturday morning, the University finally published the timetable. However, this late publication will not hide the bigger problem for the university – the fact that they constantly fail to stick to their own deadlines and fail to communicate with students in the process. As student Peter Wojcik believes, the release “is still too late” and argues the timetable could be released as early as February. Many students would agree with this sentiment, especially since the university is the last of Scotland’s top universities to publish their timetable.


This delay causes numerous problems, all of which seem to have been totally ignored by the university. The University’s shocking inability to stick to a fairly broad (and self-imposed) deadline has caused unnecessary stress to already panicked students. The effect this timetable delay has on international students, for example, seems to be a mystery to the University. Lucia Espadas, a second year student from Spain highlighted the frustration felt by international students, saying she is being hit with rising costs of flights and is unable to book flights home until she is certain she has finished for the semester. The release of the exam timetable at this late stage, Julia Bambach believes will mean that many international students can now not afford to travel back home due to extortionate last minute airfares and the University’s ignorance of the issue is evidence that they “use their international student community only as a selling point.”


UK students are also suffering from this shambles. Those from England, Wales and Northern Ireland are paying around £6750 a year for their education at Glasgow. Paying such an expense for a top university should guarantee a decent level of communication between students and the university – not a feeling that the students are last to know about any changes.

Martin, a second year politics student believes the impact of this delay will be felt far beyond the examination period.  Martin has had “difficulties applying and accepting internships during spring break as I cannot definitively state the possible duration of my internship”, due to the delayed timetable’s.


This shambolic delay combined with a deafening silence from the University will not help international students planning when to return from Easter or leave for summer, it will not help those desperately trying to improve their career prospects by interning over summer and it will not help those fighting to make a living over summer. In truth, the delay in publishing this timetable helps absolutely no one at all. If students are expected to adhere to deadlines, the University should be expected to do so too.    


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