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Application for Maths III Supplementary Exams 2017

This petition had 106 supporters

We are writing to the School of Mathematics, to apply for supplementary examinations to be granted for Mathematics III 2017. To our knowledge, the University has in the past granted supplementary examinations to students in their final year of study, for courses that would prevent the particular student from completing their degree. We have communicated with a number of Mathematics third year students who have alerted us to their growing concern about their Real Analysis III and Group Theory III results. At the end of semester 1 of 2017, students' year marks (before examinations) for Real Analysis III were published. Along with these marks, a document showing statistics for the course indicated that approximately 70% of students registered for the course had a mark of below 50%. Many students have indicated that not only did they receive a final mark below 50% after the examination for this subject was written, but that many failed to obtain the minimum result of 35%, required to qualify for the result of "PMIN" at the end of the year. This means that many students will not be able to graduate and will be placed in the difficult position of having to extend their academic programmes into 2018, which brings added financial strain to many students, who would then have to postpone either their entrance into the job market or into postgraduate studies. In the case of Group Theory III, again less than half of the class had year marks of 50% or above when the statistics accompanying the year marks was published, ahead of the June examinations.

While we understand that the University maintains a certain standard in order to maintain the credibility of the qualifications it awards, it can be argued that the fact that well over half of the class (a large majority) struggled in this regard, particularly in the case of Real Analysis III, is an indication that there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed regarding this course. Discussions with various members of staff in the School of Mathematics have led us to believe that this is indeed a problem that the School of Mathematics is aware of, and as such, we raise this concern in hopes that  the School will be open to granting its students an opportunity to improve their circumstances.

We appeal to the School of Mathematics to grant concessions, similar to those granted for Basic Analysis II and Multivariable Calculus II in 2016. Those being, that all students with any result below 50% would be granted an opportunity to write supplementary examinations for these courses in January. In addition, lectures would be held before the examinations, to provide students with much-needed support and an opportunity to revise the syllabus, ahead of their final opportunity to improve their results.


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