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Tutors 'not up to scratch' claim students as UCE closes course

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Architecture students at the University of Central England (UCE) have blamed a lack of feedback from tutors for the appalling results that saw 93 per cent of them fail their Part 1 examinations.

Though there is still no official statement about the causes, according to student body Archaos many undergraduates are pointing the finger at the tutors, after they were led to believe that their work was of a high enough standard.

And with only four of the 66 students managing to pass the examination (AJ 15.7.04), most now face taking resits in September. It is a prospect that is not being welcomed.

A spokesman for Archaos said: 'If the same tutors are going to be in charge of the resits, many feel they won't be able to help that much.'

Meanwhile, the university has decided to take the unprecedented step of closing the course to the new first-year intake in September while it undertakes a full investigation of what went wrong. They will help students who had already accepted places to find comparable courses in other universities.

Understandably, Adam Truran, a part-time first-year student, is concerned about the future of the school. He said: 'It looks bad on the students and this has all come at the wrong time for me.

'Though I was pleased with my own tutoring, I know a couple of full-time students who complained that their tutors were not up to scratch and that some of the modules were rushed.'

The news has also come as a shock to Jack Pringle, the RIBA's vice-president for education and recently voted the next president of the institute. 'We had no indication that anything like this would happen, ' he said. 'The troubling thing is that there appears to be no single reason for the results.

'Our concern is for the individual students, but the first indications are that everything is being done for them.

However, if UCE comes to us and asks us to help, we would be delighted to do that, ' he added.

In response, Peter Knight, vice-chancellor at UCE, commented:

'The events in relation to the BA (honours) architecture course are unprecedented, hence the immediate and decisive action that has been taken to address the situation.

'Our priorities are to support the existing students to ensure a successful outcome when they resit in September, and to identify and address the issues before the course is reopened to new students, ' he added.

The university denied that it had received any complaints about the standard of tutoring.

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