UoB Politics essay deadline changed three times in 24 hours

Students have been forced to consider rebooking Christmas work shifts


University of Birmingham Politics students found themselves panicking on Friday, as they receieved three different emails changing their essay deadline in the space of 24 hours.

In emails obtained by The Birmingham Tab, the Head of the School of Government sent students on the second year module International Political Economy two different deadline dates: the 16th December and the 7th January.

The first email, sent last Thursday, states that the essay deadline had been postponed to the 7th January, due to strike action affecting seminars. The altered deadline gave students an extra three weeks, crucially over the Christmas break when students are likely to be working at home as well as on assignments.

Image may contain: Document, Page, Text

However, by midday on Friday, the Head wrote to the cohort again, bringing forward the essay deadline again to the 16th December, stating that the email had been sent "in error", and that "it has been confirmed that teaching of this module continued [during the strikes]".

Image may contain: Menu, Document, Text

Just before 4pm on Friday the students received a third email, apologising for "the confusion and frustration that this situation must be causing", before altering the deadline to the 7th January again.

Image may contain: Document, Page, Text

One student told The Birmingham Tab: "The undue stress associated with last minute deadline changes after the College of Social Sciences blundered important extensions to assignments, affected by the UCU strikes, severely affected myself and coursemates.

"As it is the Christmas period, many of us took last minute extra work shifts to manage the increased financial pressure of the holidays as a result of the initial deadline extension.

"However, to have this rescinded and then reinstated within the day messed around both students and staff, both of whom were not properly informed and left in the dark surrounding their own assignments undermining their authority."

The University of Birmingham responded: "During and following recent strike action by some of the University’s academic and related staff, our priority has been to ensure that our students continue to receive an outstanding education.

"We have been doing all that we can to minimise any impact, including making alternative arrangements for any cancelled events, such as lectures or seminars, as well as extending deadlines for submitting work etc.

"Working with all Academic Schools and the Guild of Students, we have been communicating with students as changes have been implemented to ensure they are regularly updated.

"We apologise if any confusion or frustration has been inadvertently caused in this instance and want to reassure all students that our priority remains to mitigate the impact of any action on their teaching and learning."

If anything this serves as a reminder to always check your emails.