LUU should lobby the UoL to get rid of resit costs

Passed: November 2019 (19th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

I propose the abolition of resit costs for failed modules. The tuition fee for studying at Leeds is already quite high, especially for those non-EU students. For a multitude of reasons those students are more likely to be unsuccessful in a module and the resit costs only add up to their already high financial pressure to study at Leeds. It also discriminates students from a low-income background that might have problems paying the resit fees and/or have to work alongside their studies, which can also contribute to poor performance in exams.

Expires: November 2022 (19th)

Submitted By: Sebastian Schmidt

Officer: Education

Area of Work: Access to Education

Updates

June 2020: Unfortunately there are no major updates to this work over the summer as a result of lots of LUU staff being furloughed (ongoing), as well as the LUU building and campus being closed. As staff return to work and the new Officer team settle into their roles this will be picked up again.

January 2020: This issue has been raised before (in around 2017). When asked, the University maintained that the fees were required to cover the costs of running the exams. It is ultimately about Cost of Education, as this is a Hidden Cost which punishes those who have already experienced academic failure, which in itself could be rooted in educational disadvantage.

  • The proportion of students taking resits is small, and has reduced since the number of resits allowed was reduced. LUU's Advice Team done get much reported as casework, and our School & Course Reps also see small numbers of students raise it. This could be due to the fact that those resitting have other problems to contend with, or they may not realise it is something they can challenge. So we don’t have a decent data set to show the Uni.

  • We can also compare the University of Leeds approach to that taken by other comparable institutions - in the main, they are also charging, often more. We do however have a strong principled argument within this policy, that those who are already likely to be at educational disadvantage shouldn't be charged more for the privilege.

  • We have asked for figures on the income from resits and the estimated costs of running the exams. Also looking at specific examples like if a special circs exam is more costly to set up (as it’s in a room on its own, requires more staffing), should it follow that the student covers the cost of this? Probably not as this would be discriminatory – so why are resitters being charged at all?

December 2019: Political Engagement Team met with Academic Representation Team. The Student Exec meet regularly with Student Education Service Directors at the University. - this might be one to raise with them.

November 2019: New Policy