The University is aware that, on occasions, students may need to apply for further time to submit an assignment or piece of work due to unforeseen and difficult personal circumstances. The current extensions policy in the Student Related Policies and Procedures is as follows:
2.14 Extensions may be granted by a topic coordinator where the following criteria apply:
- the student has made a written request for an extension prior to the due date for the assessment item;
- the student has justified the request on the basis of unforeseen individual circumstances that are reasonably like to prevent completion of the assessment by the specified due date;
- Any extension granted will specify in writing a new due date for submission of the assessment item by which the student can submit the work without a penalty being applied.
In recent years, a trend appears to have emerged where students may have been instructed by some Schools or staff to seek supporting verifying documentation from the University Counselling Service for extensions on non-medical grounds. This has led to the Counselling Service appointments being overwhelmed by students seeking such documentation but not necessarily seeking or needing counselling.
It is important that the Counselling Service be as accessible as possible for students with serious difficulties who are seeking counselling. Accordingly, the University is undertaking a review of the management of extensions, to put in place a process that is fair and equitable for students and manageable for teaching staff and the Counselling Service.
For extensions on medical grounds, the requirement to submit a medical certificate continues. For other instances, I have asked all topic coordinators or their nominees to personally assess the merits of applications for extensions and make the decision whether to grant the extension without insisting that a supporting note be obtained in all cases from the Counselling Service. So I would ask you, in the first instance, to approach your topic coordinator if you wish to apply for an extension. If your School has in place a uniform process that does not involve a requirement to obtain a supporting note from the Counselling Service, please follow that process.
I take this opportunity to remind you that the Counselling Service is available to assist you if you are struggling with issues that are having an adverse impact on your wellbeing and study.
Best wishes for continuing good progress in your studies.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)