Disability no longer regarded as an extenuating circumstance
Undergrads have been left furious by changes to UCL’s rules on extenuating circumstances.
UCL quietly announced their new regulations regarding extenuating circumstances last week, which affect which students can apply, and what will be considered “genuine cases”.
Many reasons for extenuating circumstances are no longer valid. These include students suffering from mental health issues, learning difficulties, or those who are mentally or physically disabled.
Additionally, new regulations no longer consider “circumstances such as exam stress, financial problems, accommodation problems or domestic problems” as extenuating circumstances as UCL now considers them to be “part of the everyday reality of being a student.”
These students are now unlikely to have their conditions considered as valid circumstances by UCL.
Rather than announcing this change to the student body at large, the new guidelines were emailed to those who had previously applied for extenuating circumstances, leaving many students confused.
Many consider the move another blow for vulnerable students who may not be able to gain a definitive diagnosis in the time needed to apply for extenuating circumstances.
UCLU Halls and Accommodation Representative Angus O’Brien said: “I guess UCL have decided accommodation is so shite that it’s just normal for everyone to have problems with living conditions.”
Despite a council meeting last night, UCLU has not made an official response with regards to this change in extenuating circumstances procedures. However some members of staff are known to currently be working on the issue, suggesting that this may become a further point of conflict between the university and the union.
Meanwhile, students have been left pining for the old procedures.
Chemical Engineering Fresher, Katherine Cropper said: “I’ve always had extenuating circumstances for my dyslexia and really struggle in the written aspects of my exam.
“I’m not sure if I’ll get given any extra time or not, but it’s hardly fair that I’ll miss out on the extra time, I didn’t choose to be dyslexic, did I?”
UCLU Welfare and International Offuicer Tom Robinson told The Tab he is “enormously concerned” about the changes.
“The paragraph about problems which are “part of the everyday reality of being a student” indicates the ideology behind an increasingly marketised university and higher education system. I refuse to accept that our members should have to accept exam stress, financial problems, domestic problems and accommodation problems as parts of their everyday lives.
“I urge any student worried about the impact or potential impact of the regulations on their situation to contact [email protected], and would be happy to meet and advocate for any UCLU member experiencing distress or who feels that their needs are not being met.”
UCL are yet to respond to any request for comment.