Highlands & Islands

Probe after mass failure of Inverness College UHI course

Inverness College UHI
Image caption The media course had been undertaken by 20 students at the Inverness College UHI

An entire class of 20 students may have failed a Higher Media course run by Inverness College UHI.

Most of those on the course were 17 and 18-year-olds hoping to use their mark from their studies to go to university.

Inverness College UHI said quality assurance processes were in place, adding that the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) was investigating.

A spokesman for the SQA said the nationally-available 2016 Higher Media assessment had "performed as intended".

Twenty students signed up for the Inverness College UHI-run and marked course.

Many of the students were young people in rural areas who received tuition online, but also had to make frequent visits to the college in Inverness from where they lived in places such as Lochaber.

'In limbo'

A father of one of the students said that, following postings by his daughter on social media about her no award for her work, at least 10 others had come forward to say they had also been given a no award for their course work.

He told BBC News Scotland online that about five other people who sat the same course at Inverness College UHI last year had also been in touch to say the same thing had happened to them.

The situation meant his daughter not being able to secure a place at the University of Glasgow, but she will be able to take up an offer from another university because of qualifications she gained at school.

But her father said there were others who did the college-run media course who were less fortunate and were now "in limbo" and unsure if their course work would be re-examined and then given a mark that would allow them to take up university places.

'Results review'

Inverness College UHI is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Diane Rawlinson, principal and chief executive at Inverness College UHI, said: "We take exam results and student success very seriously. This is evidenced by the excellent HMIE report we received earlier this year as well as the year-on-year improvements to attainment levels we have achieved in both Further and Higher education.

"As we do every year, we are undertaking a review of all published results, comparing them against those projected for each student.

"In the case of this particular course, the usual quality assurance processes were in place and the awarding body verifier recently reported 'significant strengths in the delivery and management of this award' and confirmed that 'assessment judgements were consistent with the national standards set'.

"SQA are currently investigating this matter at our request."

A spokesman for the SQA said: "We are happy that the 2016 Higher Media assessment performed as intended and it provided candidates with the opportunity to show their understanding of the subject.

"Many candidates performed strongly and we saw a slight increase in the A-C attainment rate compared to the same qualification last year.

"It was designed in line with past and exemplar papers and according to our course and assessment specifications."