Cherwell

History faculty U-turns over exam regulations change after student pressure

The Faculty of History building.

The Faculty of History has backed down from changes to exam regulations which would have moved forward thesis deadlines, after students expressed their anger at the attempt to pass the changes in the middle of the exam season.

The faculty wished to change the deadlines for submission of thesis titles and synopses, claiming that the current set-up “does not leave enough time for the FHS [Final Honour School] Board of Examiners to find markers with the appropriate expertise”.

However, students overwhelmingly rejected the proposed changes, while also expressing their anger at the faculty for giving them only two days to respond “in a time of immense pressure” – with freshers engaged in prelims and second-years in coursework.

An anonymous Oxfess had urged first and second year historians to object to the proposed changes. It said: “What this email is essentially asking you to do, on incredibly (conveniently) short notice, is to consent to having less time to come up with your thesis proposal, and to make it more difficult to change your thesis proposal once you have come up with it.

“It doesn’t benefit any of us to consent to this last-minute and disorganised change, and the only thing that’s good about it is that the history faculty requires our consent in the first place. If they want to institute faculty wide changes they need to give us due notice and give us due time to reply, not simply try and impose them upon us in a time of immense pressure anyway.”

The Faculty of History’s undergraduate officer, Andrea Hopkins, told students in an email: “Many thanks to those of you who responded to the consultation in spite of the awkward timing.  I do apologise for bothering you during your exams, but the deadline for getting exam reg changes gazetted is this Friday, so I had to do it.

“However, there was an overwhelming majority who did not consent to the proposed changes, so we will not be going ahead with them.”