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University - failed first year

(21 Posts)
jackstraw123 Wed 13-Jul-16 10:19:29

My son has just been told by his Uni that he has failed his first year and the Uni have recommend that he leaves. He has been told that he can submit an appeal to either retake the 1st year complete or perhaps just retake the 1st year exams next summer but that the appeal will not be heard by the board for another 2-3 months. (Mid Sept onwards)
He is an A*A*A student and he says that he does not feel that the course was beyond him academically. I know that he struggled with homesickness during his first couple of terms and he (now!) says that he had a malaise towards work and so did not do very much during the first couple of terms, he feels he had turned this around in the final term but presumably the damage had been done.
He is keen to continue with his course and whist he would like to stay at his Uni and so is going to appeal he is also aware that the A level results are out soon and thinks he should apply before places are fully taken up in clearing.
Does anyone have experience of this situation and could offer him any advice especially how best to go about applying to new Uni's

charliethebear Wed 13-Jul-16 10:29:27

Does he not have resits in the summer? Or has he already done those?
I was very homesick during my first year of uni and had to resit in the summer, in hindsight i was depressed and just couldn't work. Now I'm getting 1sts so it is possible to fail and still do well in the end.
If he really likes the course I would stick with the appeal, if je goes to a new university he might feel homesick all over again. Could he transfer to another course in his university?
I know that it is possible to contact universities after clearing and get a place on a certain course, I have know people to transfer a week or so into the year. With his A level grades I imagine many universities would want him?

LuchiMangsho Wed 13-Jul-16 10:34:26

I would get in touch with his Head of Department and personal tutor and explore the option. We typically don't ask students to leave after the first year, but usually offer them the option of repeating/resits. If that's what he wants to do then he should be working very hard right now, and getting in touch with tutors, Department Administrator to make it clear to them that this is what he wants to do.

I should also say, very gently, that it is not that easy to fail the first year. We are as gentle and forgiving as we can be. Your son is used to be academically successful. Maybe it is worth investigating how he has done quite this badly to make sure it is not repeated. I think you might need to get the full story of out of him, before he transfers Unis etc.

sparkleglitterdaisy Wed 13-Jul-16 10:34:39

My daughter changed universities after the first year , seems more common than I realised, & it turned out easier than we thought . But she went through clearing , the difficult bit was finding accommodation at such a late stage , it was all last minute & she got into halls when someone dropped out two days before she moved in. I think that first year at uni is a learning curve & a wake up call . My niece failed her first year , & actually ended up being able to re do the first year again at the same uni . Now she's passed her 2nd year with flying colours !! And will be going into 3rd year in sept . Also have another niece at uni & my eldest son !! Very tired , so excuse the muddily answer .

jackstraw123 Wed 13-Jul-16 10:39:00

Thanks Charliethebear
He hasn't been offered the choice of summer resits, in fact he hasn't even been told the exams results - they will not be released for a couple of weeks - just that he did not do well in them
Another course at his Uni is a good call, I shall put that into the melting pot of ideas for him to consider

AnthonyPandy Wed 13-Jul-16 10:43:29

Has he been attending anything?

LuchiMangsho Wed 13-Jul-16 10:44:19

My suspicion is that the appeal is a formality, i.e. if he wants to resit/retake the year he should. If there is a way for him to repeat the entire year I would do that instead of switching Unis. Clearly he hasn't absorbed the basics of what he was taught, and it might be good to go over it again, and give him confidence. He could do another course at the same Uni, but if he was happy with his first course then he really really needs to speak to his Department. I've been doing this for a while and the number of students who make all kinds of decisions without speaking to us first is astounding.
I know they haven't released his results, but they will have his results on file as many graduations are this week/coming up. So do get in touch and ask them what they would advice.

jackstraw123 Wed 13-Jul-16 11:42:52

Has he been attending anything? - When we asked him he said that he attended most lectures but did miss the occasional Monday morning. (That has an honest ring to it!)

He acheived AAABBBCF for the 8 coursework grades so it is probable that he did attend many of his lectures, but hey, we're his parents so we expect to be the last to know!

Thanks LuchiMangsho, that is really useful advice, even more so as you are informed. My view is that the best option for him would be to restart yr1 at his Uni, but I would be disappointed for him if he hangs out for this and is not successful in his appeal and as a consequence misses out on a place at his 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th choice Uni's. I feel sure that somewhere will take him given his grades at A level, coursework grades and a reasonable personal statement but if he is going to be motivated through any repeat of homesickness then I feel he needs to be proud of any Uni he joins and not think of it/himself as an 'also ran'

For this reason I wonder whether he should now apply for his 2nd -5th choices, ie before A level day. Do courses always have room for one more or are they truly fully booked by the end of Clearing?

msrisotto Wed 13-Jul-16 12:05:50

I don't understand...those cost work grades are more good than bad and why won't they tell you the exam grades?

msrisotto Wed 13-Jul-16 12:06:38

Argh course not cost

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 13-Jul-16 12:09:06

It seems odd that there is no offer to resit in the summer.

Cosmo111 Wed 13-Jul-16 12:12:03

Which university is he at? At my old university you got two chances on every exam or coursework. If you failed a second time and you could get appeal but utilmately you were kicked off the course and had to leave the university. I saw many people fail even at the last year. Has he failed this exam twice already? Which university is he at? University can be quite hard in comparison to A levels and can take an adjustment getting used to the standard that is required.

Camembertie Wed 13-Jul-16 12:12:58

Hmm - with those grades is he at or looking to move to a RG uni? I suspect that places are already allocated and won't come up in Clearing - may be worth a few calls but you may find that at this late stage youw on't be able to find an equivalent level course somewhere else so starting again or moving courses within the Uni will be by far the best options.

I would also recommend you get him checked out for depression, it sounds worse than just homesickness and one of the symptoms can be malaise.

NeckguardUnbespoke Wed 13-Jul-16 12:16:36

is this a mainstream uk university? I find it extraordinary that he doesn't have marks: our exam boards were weeks ago and we did progress tutorials, including detailed marks and progression decisions/advice, at the end of June. What sort of university doesn't do detailed progress tutorials with struggling students before term ends?

Home sick for two terms and didn't raise a welfare case? Not offered resits? It all seems very unusual.

NeckguardUnbespoke Wed 13-Jul-16 12:22:15

It seems odd that there is no offer to resit in the summer.

In my department there are some 100% continuous assessment courses which can only be resat by repeating the year. And a student who failed most of the exams would be advised to repeat the year internally or externally because the chances of them passing resits in August are very low and even if they do make progression there is a strong chance they will fail the next year in the same fashion.

AnthonyPandy Fri 15-Jul-16 21:53:23

Does he want to return to Uni? Sometimes you just go along with the next stage in life because everyone else is rather than because you want to.

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 15-Jul-16 22:00:37

Don't take this the wrong way OP, but are you just going on what he has told you? It may not be there whole story. His coursework grades look pretty good, don't most Unis give you the chances to write off one low outlier?

So it is his exams that are the issue. Has he even sat them? Could he have been asked to leave for a non academic reason?

thisgirlrides Fri 15-Jul-16 22:54:25

I'm afraid that based on those grades I would say he's been asked to leave for another reason sad. Hope you get to the bottom of it op and it isn't anything too awful.

sashh Sat 16-Jul-16 09:33:34

This is sounding a bit dodgy to me. No exam results for a couple of weeks? That's very very late.

I've been to a number of universities and they all had exams in May/early June with results about 4-6 weeks later.

What % of his course is course work?

What % is exams?

What should he have needed to progress. Some unis will let you fail 1 or 2 units/credits and continue, but it depends on what it is, if it is a prerequisite then it needs to be passed before going on to the second year.

Some universities have an attendance element to them as well.

Scholes34 Mon 25-Jul-16 13:22:03

I think you'll find too that it's your DS who does the talking to the university, rather than you.

gee1 Sat 17-Sep-16 13:34:07

Feeling stressed also My son failed his 1st yr at Manchester uni, was home SICK AND DEPRESSED, and missed lts of course. We apealed and he retake the year again but he failed 1 exam by 4 marks! resat the exam at end of August after lots of revison {which i WITNESSED} we have just recived a letter saying he failed and is off the course. I am so cross and upset, but I also think this is a life lesson and its important what he does next.
Is it easy to get onto another cours eat same UNi?
He passed his English Lit but failed the spanish, seems crazy that they wont let him stay.

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