College branded “joke” after whole class fails exam


A PRESTIGIOUS college has been branded a “joke” after a whole class of 20 pupils failed the same Higher exam.

Every single pupil in a Higher Media class at Inverness College UHI received ‘No Award’ – the
lowest of the five obtainable grades.

The results have affected several students’ university plans, and many have spoken out about the “unfairness of the situation”.

Inverness College UHI have insisted that the usual quality assurance processes were in place and that the Scottish Qualifications Association (SQA) are conducting an investigation.

Writing on Facebook on Wednesday – the day after exam results were published in Scotland – students took to social media to vent their anger.

One student who had received the ‘No Award’ grade wrote: “This is awful. Myself and others have had to make changes to our university plans and it is time to act.

“I urge you to speak out on social media about the unfairness of the situation. How throughout the whole year we were given very little support. How the online system was
never updated and we were left with few resources.”


Others specifically attacked the college, and said the poor grades were not the first results day issue experienced by pupils studying there.

One wrote: “That college is a joke, not the first time Higher Media has had an entire year’s course work go missing.”

Another posted: “Shocking but not surprising. UHI is an unwieldy beast which makes it almost impossible to monitor quality of teaching and learning standards.”

Inverness College UHI insisted it was not at fault and that an investigation into the matter was taking place.

Diane Rawlinson, principal and chief executive at the college, said: “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.

“We work extremely closely with schools and colleges running our qualifications, to support teachers and lecturers to ensure the national assessment standards are fully understood, and how those national standards apply to their subjects.”

The number of Scottish students passing Higher exams in Scotland dropped this year to 77.2% from 79.2% in 2015.

Despite this, the number of Scottish applicants who won a higher education place increased by 5% to 28,300.