Recent changes in the English syllabus will ultimately be good for students. Opening up more opportunities for dialogue between tutors and students to work on special modules, and giving more time to absorb feedback, should hopefully help essays to improve. Any changes from open exams, due to the broad nature of questions and the eleven days’ time they have to do it, will be negligible.
However, failing to adequately inform third-years of this decision was a blunder that led to mass discontent. The third year of a degree is the most important, providing 60 per cent of the final grade, and seemingly radical change to module content panicked a lot of students very quickly. This should have been cut off before it occurred.
Student ambassadors, though, deserve credit for their handling of the situation, and emails were soon sent from the department to quickly dispel any fear. All this is, hopefully, a lesson for the future.