I need my last grade back from my other modules so I can work out to what extent this can go wrong and I still get a distinction (which I don't expect to get, I'm just averaging one at the moment and it feels possible against all my low expectations going into this).
Ladies and gents, if any of you could sign this - I'd be grateful. Two more rounds of 'voluntary' redundancies announced at Winchester today in the midst of the covid-19 stresses, even though the upper echelons of management continue to take home quite disgusting pay packets and bonuses. I don't work at the University any more, but have friends and former colleagues getting shat on. This unfortunately seems to be happening in quite a few institutions.
Mini E wrote:Ladies and gents, if any of you could sign this - I'd be grateful. Two more rounds of 'voluntary' redundancies announced at Winchester today in the midst of the covid-19 stresses, even though the upper echelons of management continue to take home quite disgusting pay packets and bonuses. I don't work at the University any more, but have friends and former colleagues getting shat on. This unfortunately seems to be happening in quite a few institutions.
I dunno where this rant should go so I’m putting it in here.
I’ve been casually employed by an institution to do lecturing and teaching tutorials, supervising undergraduate dissertations, etc. since I finished my PhD a couple of years ago. Last September I heard that because I’m employed by them I might be able to do a PGCert in higher education teaching with membership of the HEA coming at the end. Brilliant, great opportunity.
To take advantage of it I emailed the course support team asking if I qualify for free tuition, as a casual employee, and apparently I don’t. That’s a shame, I thought, I do quite a lot of work for the uni. So I sent an email saying basically “that’s fine, but I’m really disappointed at the stance you’ve taken here.” But the qualification is a really good one to have and enhances employability/job prospects so I applied anyway and ticked the self funding box on the application.
Imagine my surprise when I received an unconditional offer from the uni, which clearly stated that I was due free tuition due to my status as a university employee. They must’ve taken a second look at my request and decided that I qualify after all. Happy days, something has gone my way, let’s rejoice.
So I’m really chuffed they’ve listened to me, set up my student account and tried to sign up for classes. I couldn’t complete sign up due to some problem with my account so for the next few weeks I was in communication with various support teams, IT guys and the same course administrator who told me I was ineligible for funding previously, but it’s never brought up again. The consensus is that there’s a problem with my account.
Unfortunately, working at the uni and also holding down a non-academic role means I don’t always have time to deal with anything else so I dropped in and out of trying to get this sorted out for the best part of the next nine months. Every time it follows the same course of action - I email or phone them, they tell me it’s been sorted, I think it’s sorted and try to sign up for classes, it’s not sorted.
Cut to today and I finally hit the end of my tether with it because the course was supposed to end in May and I should have FHEA status by now. I emailed the course support people and they pass it back to the same person who told me, all those months ago, that I was ineligible for funding. Before it was all sorted out and I was told in writing that I didn’t have to pay.
It turns out that the problem is that they’d sent my acceptance letter by mistake and I should have received an acceptance letter that was conditional on me paying the tuition fees. So the reason I’ve been unable to sign up for any of the modules I wanted to take is because I needed to pay £700-odd per module and nobody noticed for nearly a year.
They can “potentially” look into waiving the fees if I can prove that I’ll be teaching next year. Never mind that I’ve been teaching throughout the time I should’ve been studying for the damn qualification, or that a cursory look at any employment records should prove that quite comfortably. It’s nonsense.
But even then I’d probably be OK about it if someone from the uni took responsibility, said they were sorry for messing me about And let me do the strawberry floating studying that I want to do. I’m still willing to pay the course fees if it’s absolutely necessary. But there has been no apology for the error, or for the time I’ve had to spend trying to get this sorted out, or for the knock on effects this has had on other aspects of my life. If I’d known that I had to pay back in September, I would’ve done. I was prepared for it. But I was told in writing that I wouldn’t have to, that everything was sorted and that my place on the course was secure. And I’ve now spent months of my life trying to sort out what should’ve been clearly obvious to see.
TL;DR I feel like I’ve been messed around and I’m not happy about it.
Submitted my MA dissertation so that's university over with. Been a bit of a slog between the pandemic and death in the family and all archives and libraries being closed, but I'm happy enough with how it turned out in the end. It's 150 pages long somehow. They can't say I didn't try. No idea if it'll go well with the markers but I'm not going to stress over that, what's done is done.
Bit of an anticlimax pressing submit on an online portal on my own rather than getting it bound and handing it in physically and then heading to the pub with everyone else. Bought some of my favourite beers and have booked the weekend in Dumfries to celebrate.
Used this fantastic picture as my cover image too (minus watermark)