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Clarity on how extenuating circumstances have been considered - PI011602

Teesside University

A student at Teesside University taking a professional qualification claimed extenuating circumstances on different grounds for each of three attempts at an examination. She needed to pass this examination to achieve a degree that carried professional accreditation.

The University initially offered to award her a degree that did not carry professional accreditation and subsequently offered her a capped attempt at the examination that had been the subject of her earlier extenuating circumstances claims. To accept this offer she would be required to forfeit the award of the degree that did not carry professional accreditation. The University did not clearly explain to her how her extenuating circumstances had been considered or why a further attempt would be capped.

We decided her complaint was Partly Justified on the grounds that decisions and communications were not transparent and that the University’s offer of a resit potentially put the student in a worse position since if she failed the examination she would end up with no degree. We recommended compensation for distress and inconvenience, and as a contribution towards the detrimental impact upon her earning potential which resulted from her not completing the accredited degree (that contribution took into account the fact that the student had chosen not to take the resit examination). We also recommended a review of the Assessment Review regulations.