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  • Will Irvine

Tri 1 Grading Failures “Unacceptable”, Students Say

WILL IRVINE (HE/HIM)


Salient has seen shocking information that reveals something we once thought was impossible—University administrators made a mistake, and students were left with little to no explanation.


One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Salient that the Engineering and Computer Science faculty “really mucked around” students of 200-level courses. According to the allegations, around a third of AIML231 students received an incorrect final grade, which was only remedied later. For many students, this meant initially being told they had failed a course that they had actually passed. 


Another AIML student told Salient that her grade still had not been corrected—having had her final grade artificially lowered from an A to a B after the re-grading. This appears to have been done with permission from the Associate Dean of Engineering. 


But the problem was not contained to the ECS faculty. One 200-level Linguistics student told Salient that incorrect final grades were provided to LING227 students. The student, who was initially told she had received a B+ for the course, was later informed that her actual grade was A. Her final grade shift was nearly 10%. Unlike the AIML students, the budding linguists received no apology and no further communication from the University. 


Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Robyn Longhurst acknowledged the failure, stating that “educational institutions do experience this issue from time to time”. 


“Approximately 90 percent of grades were published before the Trimester 1 grade entry deadline. Te Herenga Waka is aware of a small number of Trimester 1 2024 courses where a cohort's final grades were incorrectly entered into students’ academic records.” 


Seemingly contradicting accounts from AIML and LING students, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor also noted that “[these] errors were recognised quickly, corrected, and this was communicated to impacted students.”


However, our AIML student wasn’t so convinced. Speaking to a Salient reporter, she said that her final grade did not reflect the results she had attained in the class. With a lack of clarity in reporting results, and despite the uni’s assurances otherwise, many students feel left in the dark. 


So why did this year’s results leave so many students confused and disappointed? It might be worth looking at budget cuts. According to both Deputy Vice-Chancellor Longhurst and Associate Dean of Engineering Christopher Hollitt, mistakes were made due to a high workload for administrators. With 229 jobs being cut in last year’s round of staff cuts, it’s difficult not to see a link between an increasingly strained administrative staff and a University that functions less and less adequately by the day.


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