Nottingham University wants to track your attendance: What does that mean for you?

Say goodbye to Crisis and hello to lectures.


Between 4th and 8th March this week, the University of Nottingham will be voting for the trial of student card scanning to monitor lecture and seminar attendance.

As part of the voting for the SU elections, students can have their say in backing a policy to allow the collection and processing of student cards to track whether or not you've been going to yours 9ams.

Image may contain: Tower, Building, Architecture, Wheel, Machine, Vehicle, Bike, Transportation, Bicycle

Previously the Student Union voted against the use of biometrics to monitor attendance as students felt their privacy was not being respected.

A spokesperson for the University of Nottingham said: "We are simply exploring if we can use existing student cards to register attendance at lectures rather than use the current paper register, but have no immediate plans to introduce this.

“Last November's SU vote on the use of iPhone style biometrics was superfluous, as we had confirmed last summer that we would not use this method".

Image may contain: Plant, Building, Intersection, Urban, Road, Campus

Second year History student, Matt Cary, said "I would be strongly opposed. The regulations on attendance are already far too strict compared to other unis".

Current paper registers are lacking any privacy. For your attendance to be registered, your signature must be present. This gives anyone the opportunity to fraudulently replicate your signature.

Image may contain: Concrete, Building, Office Building, Porch, Flagstone, Patio, Floor, Flooring

Some departments, which currently monitor attendance, have acted on registers and sent aggressive emails to unregistered students.

This method of attendance tracking removes the responsibility from students. Some students we have talked to believe that not all their lectures are necessary to go to as the content is repeated in other modules.

Image may contain: Tree, Building, Lawn, Urban, Asphalt, Tarmac, Car, Transportation, Vehicle, Automobile, Grass, Plant, Human, Person

One student said that “some lecturers lack any teaching capability and that online material is sometimes better”.

So far there has been no information regarding what the university will do with the data collected.

Cassie O'Boyle, Education Officer for the Students Union, was contacted for comment.