Appendix 5: Bylaw XI C: Failure in the First Public Examination

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    1. The Senior Tutor shall write to any undergraduate who fails the First Public Examination at the first attempt.
    2. The Senior Tutor’s letter shall
      1. clarify the academic support offered in preparing for the re-sit;
      2. make clear the possible consequence of termination of the course in the event of a second failure; and
      3. remind the recipient of the importance of disclosing any extenuating circumstances which may have affected performance in the First Public Examination.
    1. The Senior Tutor shall write to any undergraduate who fails the First Public Examination at the second attempt to notify them that their course will be terminated.
      1. The undergraduate shall have the right to appeal this decision on the grounds of exceptional circumstances to an Appeals Panel convened by the Warden, or the Sub-Warden in the Warden’s absence. This shall comprise no fewer than three members of the Governing Body of whom at least two shall hold the office of Tutor. The Senior Tutor shall not be a member.
      2. Any tutor of the undergraduate whose case has been referred and any other interested person shall be replaced by other members of the Governing Body co-opted by the other members of the Panel. For the purposes of this sub-paragraph only a “tutor” shall be defined as any person who has acted as that undergraduate’s director of studies or has filed or will file an academic report on that undergraduate’s work during the course of the current academic year.
      3. The members of the Appeals Panel as constituted under Bylaw XI C after any replacements have been co-opted shall elect one from among their number to take the chair.
      1. Any appeal pursuant to Bylaw XIC.2(b)(i) above must be made in writing to the Chair of the Appeals Panel within five days (not including Saturday or Sunday) of the communication of the Senior Tutor’s letter.
      2. The appeal must set out the exceptional circumstances applicable in the case.
    1. If the undergraduate intends to rely on medical evidence at the hearing, he or she must submit a report from the College Doctor to the Senior Tutor at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing unless the primary treating clinician is not the College Doctor, in which case the medical report must be sent to the College Doctor in the first instance five working days in advance of the hearing so that the College Doctor can advise the College appropriately.
    1. The Senior Tutor shall notify the undergraduate of the date of the hearing, giving at least five days’ notice (not including Saturday or Sunday), unless the undergraduate agrees to shorter notice being given.
    2. The hearing shall be conducted and determined by the Appeals Panel.
    3. The undergraduate may attend the meeting with a current member of the University (except the Senior Tutor or their subject tutors) or an Oxford SU sabbatical officer as an advisor.
    1. The purpose of the hearing shall be to enable the Appeals Panel to assess whether the exceptional circumstances presented by the undergraduate mean that their course should not be terminated.
    2. At the hearing, the Senior Tutor (or deputy) shall present a report on the circumstances of the case. The Panel may also seek the comments of subject tutors who may attend in person or submit a report as circumstances permit.
    3. The undergraduate shall then have the opportunity to present their own view of the situation and any supporting evidence, and to respond to the Senior Tutor’s report and to the subject tutors’ comments.
    4. After this, members of the Appeals Panel shall be given an opportunity to put questions on any aspect of the case.
    1. At the end of the hearing, the undergraduate, advisor, the Senior Tutor and subject tutors shall withdraw while the Appeals Panel considers its decision.
    2. The Chair of the Appeals Panel shall write to the undergraduate as soon as possible to communicate the decision, providing a brief account of the reasons for it.
    1. If the Appeals Panel decides that exceptional circumstances mean the undergraduate’s course should not be terminated, the undergraduate shall be informed of any conditions which must be met before being allowed to return to residence.
    2. The University’s regulations prevent an undergraduate from progressing to the Final Honour School without passing the First Public Examination. Permission will need to be sought from the University’s Education Committee for any third attempt at the First Public Examination: the College does not have authority to permit this itself.
    1. If the Appeals Panel decides that the circumstances presented as exceptional do not justify withholding the usual sanction of terminating the undergraduate’s course, the undergraduate may appeal to the Conference of Colleges Appeal Tribunal, a body independent of the College.
    2. The undergraduate must normally exercise this right to appeal within five working days of receipt of the Appeals Panel’s decision. The Chair’s letter shall explain how to do this. Further information shall also be available from the Academic Office.
  1. If the Conference of Colleges Appeals Tribunal upholds the College’s decision, the undergraduate may appeal to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education. Application forms and guidance notes shall be available from the Academic Office.

[Adopted Trinity Term 2012]