A marking mockery 1

April 6, 2007

I am a third-year student at Bournemouth University who took Paul Buckland's "reconstruction" unit last year and am taking his "archaeology of the medieval church" unit this year ("Marks U-turn is 'mockery of exam process'", March 30).

The reconstruction exam was hard. I studied enough for it, and received what I thought was a fair mark. I realise now, however, that I didn't need to study at all. In fact, according to Brian Astin, I could have passed without undertaking the required reading. Now call me a fool, but I was under the assumption that "required reading" was required.

This isn't remedial archaeology, where everyone passes just for trying, bless them. This is a qualification that we have to take into the competitive world and if employers know that Bournemouth degrees don't necessarily reflect academic achievement, I'm not so sure it will be worth the paper it's printed on.

Bournemouth is losing one of its best teachers with Buckland. He is passionate about what he teaches, knows just about everything about just about everything and always has an open door if you need help.

Although the unit last year was not the most fascinating, he always tried to engage the class. The churches unit, however, is probably the single most interesting and enjoyable unit we've had in three years.

I feel very sorry for next year's students who will not have the opportunity to take this course.

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