If you haven't done so already, please email the vice chancellor using the email text below (or download the word document using the button below) and email the head of faculty with your concerns. We attached the email template below for you to use, or feel free to write your own.
" Dear (Professor Tansy Jessop – Pro Vice-Chancellor of Education),
We, the Physics students, are writing to highlight our concerns with the final decision for the examinations for 3rd year physics, primarily bringing to light the decision for ‘1 Extra Hour’ and its direct effect on the mental health and well-being of your students.
We would first like to address the lack of communication from the department of Physics and the undue stress it has caused the student body. Despite numerous enquiries, no updates on the decision-making progress were shared until 15th May (2 weeks before exams commence). It has become evident the faculty came to a decision, “Based off student opinion”, however this discussion was not advertised, nor was the greater student body consulted.
The decision to extend the examination by 1 hour to allow for upload times has completely disregarded the fact that:
• Many modules have received 0 hours of face to face teaching (requiring almost self-learning)
• Other faculties have granted 24hour examination periods – completely undermining the processes by which academic achievements are compared between schools and clearly disadvantaging Physics students.
• The policies and justifications for these decisions are not consistent and are contradictory with previous decisions made by the science faculty – for example, the choice to allow 3rd year, year in industry students 24 hours to complete the January exams, while students at university had 2-3 hours under exam conditions. Due to similar circumstances for current students, we believe a similar leniency is just and more accommodating in these times
• Taking an examination in a home environment is not a fair comparison to an exam hall, and although ‘This will be taken into consideration when marking’, this is not a fair approach. Students need set in stone guidance. Such empty statements have no grounding
• Additional financial stress, health concerns, stress from lack of communication and pressure on students have been brushed aside with a simple wellbeing email, and no actionable steps have been taken to adjust the examination periods – an already stressful time for students.
• 3rd Year students taking their final exams will be affected for the rest of their lives by this decision, 60% of their final mark comes from this year, a large proportion of which is weighed on these summer exams. No steps have been taken to accommodate for these changes.
As we think is clear from the above statements an extra hour does not outweigh the time lost due to lockdown, previous strikes, poor communication, and lack of any contact hours for several modules. As well as university related problems, the stress many students are currently under due to the lockdown doesn’t provide ideal exam conditions.
In contrast, other faculties have granted larger periods to complete the exam. Especially given the fact year in industry students are standardly given 24 hours to complete exams, it seems somewhat unfair to ask students under the current circumstances, working around lockdown, fewer contact hours and technological difficulties to complete exams in the original time period with one extra hour for upload.
Overall, the undergraduate Physics students are formally requesting an extension for the time to complete the summer exams and believe a 24-hour period is suitable, and does not contradict with the University of Bristol’s previous decisions to favour year in industry students or other faculties.
Anything you can do to help would be really appreciated, we're all paying thousands of pounds a year and need our voice to be heard.