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Simple extensions may decrease from five days to three

The changes were discussed at the latest University Executive meeting.

The University is reviewing the automatic five-day simple extension system, proposing a reduction to three days at the latest University Executive meeting. 

Currently the Coursework Policy 2021 outlines that a five-day simple extension be automatically granted to all assessments, with the exception of group work and short release assessments. This applies to all faculties across the University. Prior to this, simple extensions were only permitted to be two days, and were given to students based on unit coordinator discretion.

The change to five days was implemented in Semester Two of last year, in an effort to relieve pressure on the special considerations system, which left some students waiting months to hear back on the outcome of their application. Since implementing the automatic five day simple extension, special consideration applications have decreased up to 60 per cent. 

While the changes were intended to be short term, with the added clause stating that it only would apply “until the academic board determines that it is no longer necessary,” the University has not proposed any solutions to address the initial issues present in the special considerations system, despite the change in simple extensions being expected to place increased burden on this system. 

Students from the SRC and SUPRA argued in the University Executive meeting that this would unfairly force students back to using the broken special considerations system.  

Unlike special considerations, which requires supporting documentation, such as medical certificates, to be approved, students have to fill out a student declaration explaining their circumstances for a simple extension.

The five-day automatic extension was intended to assist students left without academic support — with many falling into a “grey area” between needing more than two days to complete an assessment, but not having sufficient documentation to receive special considerations.

SRC President, Lia Perkins, said in a statement “The SRC believes that 5-day simple extensions give students the best opportunity to succeed, with the least amount of stress. The university’s special considerations system is broken and moving to 3-days won’t fix it.

“This is particularly important for students from diverse backgrounds, who the university is ignoring.” 

The SRC has put together a survey to collect student experiences using simple extensions. Click here to have your say.