Edinburgh Uni lose four students’ exam papers

The exam was worth 100 per cent of the course

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Rebecca* experienced everyone's worst nightmare when she received an email from the School of Law informing her that her exam paper had gone AWOL.

Along with Rebecca's paper, the school lost three other papers for the same exam.

The examination was for first years taking Public Law of the UK and Scotland, and it was worth 100 per cent of the course.

Rebecca had been revising for this exam since early April, and had been battling with the course after missing several weeks of lectures and tutorials due to the strike action that was ongoing.

When asked about the exam, Rebecca told The Tab: "I felt the exam went well. I'd revised all of the topics and would guess I'd achieved a B or a C".

She went on to say how shocked she was when she received the stomach-turning email: "I did not expect it from the institution and I'm worried about the impact it might have on my final grade and summer holidays".

When Rebecca heard the news, she immediately phoned the law school and told them how disappointed she was, and said she "wouldn't expect it from such a reputable school, especially with four papers being involved".

For Rebecca, she only really has one option in terms of redoing this assessment which is to opt for the light-touch assessment, as she has an internship planned for the entirety of August when the resit would have been.

Rebecca plans to "lodge an official complaint with the University" as she feels the university handled the situation poorly with the resit not being a viable option for her. Even if it were to be feasible, she says "it would cause stress over the whole holiday period with having to wait longer for the final result".

The email from Rebecca's course organiser read:

I write to you to inform you, with considerable regret, that your examination answer paper for Public Law of the UK and Scotland has gone missing. This has occurred with four scripts on the course and the examiners and support team have been unable to locate them.

As Course Organiser please let me offer my personal apologies to you for this. I have never known such an occurrence on any course I have been involved in throughout my career as an academic and it is very troubling. I know it will be very upsetting to you and I am deeply sorry it has occurred.

Please be assured that we will do all we can to minimise any distress or inconvenience to you as a result of this. We are keen first that this not cause you unnecessary anxiety and, in particular, does not in any way prejudice your mark for the course.

To that end we propose to ask you to submit an alternative light-touch assessment. Our aim is that this should be as straightforward as possible, and in particular that it not require of you any extra revision. Its assessment will take full account of the difficult situation affecting you.

To this end, we would propose a short (500 words maximum) alternative assessment to be submitted electronically within a week from a date to be agreed between us. This will count as 100 per cent of your grade for the course.

We would hope that this can be completed by the end of June. Once we agree on a submission date you will be informed of the choice of questions, but rest assured it will not require any further revision on your part.

If you do decider to take up this offer, please let me know of a date between now and the end of June when it would be convenient to submit the assessment.

You might of course decide to enrol for the resit examination in August which we would ensure counted as your first sitting of the subject. I felt however that having prepared for the May exam you may prefer to submit this short assessment and thereby get your mark finalised as quickly as possible. As I say, the examiners will assess the work fully mindful of the difficult circumstances you have faced.

I appreciated that this is most unwelcome news following the completion of your examination diet, but as I say we are keen to ensure that you are awarded an accurate grade for the course at the June exam board.

If you want to discuss matters further, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The School of Law have been contacted for comment.

*Not her real name