Tight deadline causes panic due to incorrect email

New College has been forced to apologise to students who were sent an email that gave them less than half an hour to submit entry examination details.

Rebekah Unwin, the college’s senior academic administrator, told students on 24th October that the deadline for entries was that day. In an email sent to all undergraduates sitting examinations this academic year, she wrote: “Later this afternoon an examination entry form will be in your pidge.  Please complete and return to me in the Tuition Office by 3.30pm on Friday 24th of October.” The email was sent at 2.53pm.

Unwin told The Oxford Student this week it had been a mistake, explaining: “It was human error – my error! I meant to say the deadline was on 31st Oct but accidentally put 24th Oct, the same day I sent the email.

“As soon as I realised I had made an error – about half an hour later when students started emailing me to query the deadline – I immediately sent out an apology with the correct deadline,” she said.

Core examinations do not require exam entry forms but students sitting modules which are not compulsory must sign the forms which are given to them by their college. The deadline varies from subject to subject, but in all cases late entries incur a fine from the University of £40.

The email panicked a couple of students into sending their entries within the 30 minute deadline but most were reassured to find that it was a mistake.

From January, the University is altering the way the examination entry process works, and the proposed system shoud limit the potential for mistakes such as this to be made in future. Instead of submitting forms via college, students will be able to apply online using the Student Self Service, the system used for university registration.