I have tried to get Special Consideration for some of my problems during exam time and it is hard for me to do so. RMIT has rejected my special consideration a few times in the past for legitimate things.
RMIT is making it quite hard for me and other students to do so without any complaints.
What is Special Consideration?
Special Consideration is something that you apply for at RMIT if you experience some sort of hardship during your studies. It can be used when you are doing you assesments for an extension of time, deferred assesment, etc
Why you ask, is it hard to get special consideration?
First of all you need to fill out the form and take it to the Hub before your assesment date or 48 hours after your assesment. This is not a lot of time after the assesment compared to what other universities such as Victoria University give, which is about seven days.
And then you need to supply documentation five days after that. RMIT requires all the supporting documentation such as a death certificate which is not always possible or a police report if you have been a victim of crime. It is hard to speak to Police and you might be fearful of them for the first few days after the assault.
Or you might go to the DLU and they might recommend special consideration instead of giving it themselves. Which is what they should do. After you apply for it you are then asked to consult the DLU which might be hard to understand because they suggested that you apply for special consideration.
After you apply the special consideration panel meets to discuss your case. They then will give you an answer within 5-10 working days after you apply, which most people’s application is declined. Or they would write “Student to liaise”, meaning that students must talk to their lecturer. But what if the lecturer was the one who suggested Special consideration for the student or if the student doesn’t want to talk to the lecturer?
And then if you don’t like the decision you then have to appeal to University Appeals Committee. Here they are stricter with stricter reasonings such as “new evidence” or ” RMIT broke the rules”. Even that is really difficult to argue.
The only other avenue is to make a complaint and even that takes time. It can take up to a month’s time to resolve the complaint, by then the assesment would have been completed.
The effects of this:
For some students it may lead to a wider case of cheating in exams, especially if the student knows nothing about the subject because of their anxiety or depression. It could also to more discipline hearings and harser punishments, neither that you as students want.
This might the cause of being a victim, of someone close to you dying or a disability. Disabilities can affect all students whether it will be mental, learning or physical. Physical trauma such as injuries from a road accident can be classified as a disability according to the Disability standards. RMIT does not always follow these.
For more information see: http://www.su.rmit.edu.au and the Grow a heart campaign