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University looking to introduce universal late penalties

Given some faculties will be allowed to opt-out of the system, it is unclear how 'University-wide' the policy will be.

Students working on Cadigal Green Image: Sydney Uni via Flickr

The University Executive’s Education Committee has endorsed a proposal to introduce University-wide late penalties of five per cent per calendar day for written assignments, with a mark of zero applied after 10 days.

At a previous meeting, University faculties and schools voted seven-five for the common penalty to be five per cent per day rather than 10 per cent.

This penalty would reduce the late penalties of some disciplines, such as law and engineering which are currently 10 per cent per day.

A University spokesperson said implementing the change may require changes to Faculty Resolutions.

However, they also said “some faculties and schools may adopt a local provision for pedagogical and accreditation reasons”.

Given the close split between faculties and schools in favour of five per cent per day versus 10 per cent and the possibility of opting out, it is unclear how “University-wide” this change will be.

Students’ Representative Council (SRC) President Isabella Brook told Honi she supports the change.

“This is a step away from the harsh late penalties that exist in some faculties that unfairly target disadvantaged students. A University-side policy sets a clear standard for students, especially those who are studying across multiple faculties.”

The University is also looking into the possibility of a university-wide deadline of 11.59pm.

The proposal needs to be approved by the Academic Board before it can be implemented.

Assuming it is successfully passed, the committee proposed it would come into effect in semester one, 2019.