Strathclyde University to end Zero Mark policy

Earlier this month, USSA’s lobbying with the University to The End the Zero Mark policy finally bore fruit. In the future, late assignments will be taken into account – even if submitted after the deadline. The new policy is anticipated to launch next academic year, 2018/19.

The longstanding campaign to end the HaSS faculty policy that dictated a fail mark to assessments submitted after the submission deadline, is finally coming to an end. Keith Burns, Vice President Support at the Strathclyde Students’ Association and a sitting member of the University Assessment Committee, has revealed that the committee has heard the complaints made by student campaigners, and has come to a decision with regards to solving this issue.

The proposal, which was accepted by the committee on the 2nd of February, will be announced at the University Senate in March. It will consist of the implementation of a “sliding scale” approach to marking late assessment submissions, meaning students will receive a mark deduction of 10% for the first day, and 5% for each subsequent day if their late submission is not justified by extenuating circumstances.

These deductions will also end at the pass mark (40%), so that even extremely late submissions cannot lead to an indiscriminate fail. There will also be a 4-hour grace period following the submission deadline to ensure that Turnitin or Myplace troubles cannot result in students losing marks.

This new late submissions policy will be implemented University-wide to ensure parity between faculties in regards to marking. University management has indicated that they expect to introduce these changes in time for the 2018/19 academic year.

This outcome is completely in line with what the End the Zero Mark campaigners have been asking for. Matt Crilly, HaSS Faculty and organiser of the campaign said: “Students raised their concerns, the University heard us and responded in a spirit of partnership. For that we are grateful”.

By Bohdan Starosta