UPDATED: A BAMMJ student has started a petition to eliminate the course docking system for missing seminars and lectures

jess howells

Jess Howells, a BAMMJ (Multimedia Journalism) student, has kick-started a petition to challenge a system introduced by her course.

According to the petition’s page- the current system deducts 2% from a student’s final grade for every seminar and lecture they miss and 1% every time a student is 10 minutes late to a session.

The rule was  added to the course this year to improve engagement and performance and largely impacts second year BAMMJ students.

Jess Howells spoke to Nerve Online about the new system:

“Everyone on my course was sent an email when the new system started, basically outlining what was changing, how many marks you would be docked and what was required for mitigating circumstances.”

When Nerve asked what she hopes the petition will achieve, Jess replied:

“It’s aimed at trying to change the system and basically just to voice our concerns because they’ve been ignored when we’ve spoken to lecturers about it because they say they don’t have the power to do anything about it themselves. However, it’s being signed by a lot of BU students who aren’t BAMMJ but agree that the system is wrong. It has only just been added to BAMMJ, but it could be added to other courses too so it’s also to try and prevent that from happening.”

Jess explained her thoughts on the new system:

“There are a lot of reasons why people are concerned about the new docking system. I used mental illness as an example because I had issues with it earlier in the year but there are so many reasons why people wouldn’t attend lessons. I think the main points are that students pay a lot of money to attend university and their grade should only reflect their own work and efforts, not their attendance. If someone isn’t attending lessons but is still getting good grades then that shows that they’re still pulling their weight and working at a high standard. Also university students are supposed to be independent but this system is more college or school-like. University students are adults and deserve the freedom to decide what they get out of university.”

Jess admitted that she hopes the petition will catch the eye of Bournemouth University’s student union, SUBU, as she believes they won’t ignore her concerns, and then she aims to deliver it to the BAMMJ programme leader.

Bournemouth University has since responded to the petition with this official statement:

“We are aware of a recent online petition that has been started regarding the idea that a percentage of grades can be removed from students for non-attendance of lectures, and would like to confirm that it is not Bournemouth University policy to reduce student grades as a result of non-attendance of lectures.

“Students will not be losing marks as a result of non-attendance, and the University does not have plans to put such a measure into practice.”

We at Nerve have contacted the course for a response and an update will be given when it is received.