Time to revise your practices

Students come to University with the primary objective to work towards gaining a formidable degree qualification. We pay, after all, over £3,000 per year for our tuition. Contrary to popular belief in the ‘student life’ culture of binge drinking, endless partying and getting next to no sleep, there comes a time in every student’s life – this will resonate strongly with current third-years finishing their final dissertations and examinations, no doubt – where degree work becomes a priority.

At the University of York, entry level requirements are generally of the highest standards; academic expectations strive for Oxbridge levels of excellence; and the pressure to appear ‘intelligent’ comes not only from academic staff, but other students who also give the illusion of super-human intellect. For a University such as ours, then, the least we may expect is an equally high standard of academic conduct and provisions in return.

In the past week in particular, this has proven to be far from the case. The simultaneous coincidence of many substandard examples of academic misconduct on the University’s behalf leads to what this newspaper can only term questionable academic standards.

It is both alarming and disappointing to contemplate the misfortunes which may unexpectedly befall our studies at the University of York. Charlie Leyland, YUSU Academic Affairs Sabbatical Officer, one of the key – and most importantly, accessible – points of support for students in academic distress can only act on students’ complaints about the difficulties of their degree courses if we assume the role of active informants. Without our objections the Union have no grounds to take steps towards filing official complaints to the University, on our behalf. But why should students have to point out blatant mistakes made by academic staff and Higher Education bodies? For instance, the sheer existence of poorly worded Economics examination paper is a prime example of the type of error which we should not have to contemplate, let alone deal with.

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