The recent expose on Carte Blanche about UNISA has shocked students to the core, with Facebook and Twitter abuzz with angry and upset students. It shows several students who were unhappy with their marks, and who followed this up relentlessly until they got confirmation of some pretty large mistakes. In every case they had to fight the university to get this recognised; sometimes for as long as 6 months!
Many students are upset by the expose, saying that it is showing their university in a bad light. Errors will occur, and Carte Blanche has done a shallow and sensationalist piece designed to stir students up.
Now, I fully believe that every university will make mistakes, and as UNISA is that much larger it will have a much larger number of them. My problem is not with very human mistakes – my problem is with the fact that there are not the right processes in place to help students when these mistakes happen. UNISA’s strategy appears to be to make it so hard to do anything about it that most people give up. The number of students who are coming forward on our Facebook page saying they believe they have experienced the same problem is testament to this.
My personal hope is that the Carte Blanche expose of UNISA motivates students and UNISA to find a real solution to this problem. It is our university, and it is our futures that are at stake if these problems continue. There have been some great suggestions by the students as to possible solutions. They say students should able to properly engage with their lecturers should they not be happy with their marks. Also, marking rubrics should be easily available so students can understand the marks they have been given. And my personal view – students should have a clear and transparent process to follow should they feel they still have not been given the mark they deserve.
Could MyUNISA not be used to better effect to facilitate this?
I think CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is always good, and I hope that this expose is the start of some real pressure on UNISA to ensure that they come up to scratch and start communicating with students. At Together We Pass we believe that keeping in touch with students is our NO 1 priority, and I wish UNISA could try to up their game a LITTLE bit in this regards!!
Written by Tabitha Bailey