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We understand that the current situation with COVID-19 and the changes this has caused in your teaching, placements, assignments and exams is not ideal. UEA have made some changes and it is now easier to get an extension and a delayed assessment.

Getting time extensions and delaying assessments.

Under the temporary changes, you can get time extensions for work due before 1 March of:

  • 10 working days for standard coursework
  • 20 working days for dissertations, professional portfolios and projects.

You apply in the normal way via e: vision. You must give the reason for needing a time extension (e.g. illness, personal problems) but you don’t need to provide evidence. If it is something you can easily get evidence for do send it in any way, it might be useful later.

This 10/20 day extension is on top of your two 3 day self-certification extensions for the year.  If you have 2 deadlines close together and need an extension for each, make a separate request for each one. 

You can also ask for any exams scheduled before 1 March to be delayed without evidence

UEA have provided a FAQ guide here.

Remember this does not mean you can get an extension without a reason (extenuating circumstance) you just don’t need to provide evidence.

I'm not happy with the changes to my course.

We know that some students are not happy with these changes and how teaching/assignments and exams are being delivered and would like to make a formal complaint.

Below we have set out the changes to extension and delayed assessment requests and the steps you should take and things you should take on board if you are thinking of making a complaint. Remember - we are here for you.

This guidance is written from the perspective that the changes to your course were as a result of UEA’s decisions and about things of which UEA had direct control.

There are, however, changes to courses that have come about due to things outside of UEA’s control and are under the direction of the UK Government or professional bodies.

How have you been impacted?

How you have been impacted by the changes UEA have made to your course can often be different for different people.

Let’s start by tackling one of the biggest myths -

“I haven’t had X lectures face to face in a lecture theatre therefore I am entitled to part of my tuition fee back”.

It would be nice if it was as simple as that, but unfortunately its not and if you submitted a complaint on this basis it’s likely to be rejected.

There two areas to consider when it comes to the delivery of your course;

  • The quality of teaching provision and its impact on your academic performance and/or
  • Whether you have been taught everything or had access to opportunities through your course that had previously been promised to you.

Whilst constrained by the UK wide lockdown, UEA still needs to deliver the teaching, academic support and assessments you signed up to, albeit from a distance and UEA believes it has done this and appropriately mitigated where this is not possible.

In short, this means that UEA still needs to teach, as far as is practicable, what they promised you they would teach (meeting the learning outcomes) before you signed up to the course.

If the quality of teaching has not been of a good enough impacting on your academic performance or an element of your course has not been delivered and not mitigate for then you have grounds to make a complaint.

 
Have you spoken to your School?

If you are looking to make a formal complaint you will need to show that you have looked to address the issue informally first.

The goal in addressing issues should be to ensure any changes your school has made are not detrimental to you and you still receive the course you signed up to, as far as possible, in the here and now.

Where you feel this is not the case, you should talk to your school at an appropriate level; this could be your Module Lead, Course Director or Head of School, starting with Module Lead and escalating if needed. There could be an issue that your school has not thought of so it could be helpful for them to be made aware, in order for them to make appropriate changes.

You can make contact directly with your school and the people listed above or you could use your course rep or faculty convener, or raise the issue with either the Undergraduate or Postgraduate Education Officers, as appropriate to your level of study, although it is worth noting that they are unlikely to be able to deal with your case on an individual level, but will be able to raise common themes with the University. If you don’t know who your course rep is, contact coursereps@uea.ac.uk and they’ll be able to tell you.

 
Formal Academic Complaints.

To submit a formal academic complaint you will need to complete this form and email to your HUB or PGR office along with any evidence you wish to submit.

Once received your complaint will be processed. If it’s thought that it can be dealt with informally an informal remedy will be offered to you. You do not have to agree to this and can request for your complaint to be heard formally.

Formal complaints are heard by a Faculty Appeals and Complains Panel (FACP) who will consider your complaint form and evidence. You’ll be informed of the date your complaint will be considered. The FACP will also request a response from your School to the issues you have raised. You should be informed within 10 working days of the outcome of your complaint.

Full details on the academic complaint process can be found here.

 
Can I get compensation?

When people use the word compensation in Higher Education they are usually referring to either a refund of tuition fees and/or a payment for being inconvenienced.

Tuition fee refund.

It’s worth pointing out that, if your course is funded via a tuition fee loan, you will not get any refund returned to you directly. Instead, it will be returned to the Student Loans Company and be deducted from your overall student loan.

For you to receive a refund or partial refund to your tuition fee you will need to show that you have not received the teaching or quality of teaching that was promised to you.

Inconvenience payment.

Inconvenience payments are made when someone has been impacted directly or indirectly by the actions of another and there is a tangible loss.

If you have experienced a loss due the actions or in actions of UEA that could have been prevented and it's reasonable to expect UEA to take responsibility for, you may be entitled to some level of inconvenience payment. However, this is very much on an individual basis and we advise you to speaks to advice(su) to discuss your particular circumstances.

 
How successful is my complaint likely to be?

This is a very difficult question to answer. Complaints and compensation related to Higher Education is a largely untested world, particularly at UEA. This means we are not able to provide advice based on precedence, there is none.

However, what we can say is your complaint is more likely to be successful if –

  • you are able to evidence a tangible link between the quality of the teaching and your performance or
  • that you simply have not been offered an element of your course that had been previously advertised and UEA have not appropriately mitigated against this.

The truth is that you may not know the answer to these until after your final results are known. There is no rush to make an academic complaint, and our advice is to wait until the end of the academic year before making a formal complaint.

At the end of the academic year you will know whether or not you have achieved the marks or degree classification that it was reasonable to predict you would and whether UEA have fulfilled their course promises to you.

 

advice(su) have a team of experienced, trained and independent advice workers who would be more than happy to discuss your particular complaint, give you advice on what action to take and support you every step of the way. Click here to book an appointment.

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