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Extenuating circumstances and non-submission of work - PI011609

University of Leicester

A student at the University of Leicester complained to us after appealing unsuccessfully against the University’s decision not to extend the maximum registration period for an MBA, and to award him a Postgraduate Diploma. The University explained that the request was denied due to lack of progress. The student had not completed his dissertation and had not submitted any work in the preceding four years.

The student claimed that he had been unaware of the deadlines for submitting work. He also claimed extenuating circumstances relating to work-related stress and a recurrent health issue. The University took the view that these were insufficient to explain why he had not submitted work. The student did not provide any indication of how his circumstances affected his ability to complete his dissertation, and did not provide any fresh information to the appeal panel that had not been taken into account when he applied for an extension of registration.

The assessment of the impact of extenuating circumstances normally involves academic judgment in which we will not interfere. We decided that the University’s decision that the extenuating circumstances were not sufficient to explain the student’s lack of progress was reasonable in the circumstances of the case, and that the timescales for submitting work were made clear to students on the Blackboard Student Website.

We decided the complaint was Not Justified.