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Learning and Teaching Handbook

2.4.6: Concessions for Students with Sporting Commitments

1. Durham University aims to serve the national, regional and international communities through the provision of educational and training opportunities to the highest international standards which inspire and enable individuals to develop their academic and other capabilities to their full potential, and help them to make an effective contribution to society. To meet this aim the University intends to increase sports/leisure facilities to enable all students, staff and members of the North East community to participate regularly in sport and exercise, and to develop top-class coaching facilities in selected sports in order to improve student performance at representative levels.

2. There may be occasions where a student's sporting commitments make it difficult to fulfil his/her academic commitments at the same time as other students taking the same module(s). In such circumstances, the University will consider sympathetically on its merits a request made for a concession to permit the individual concerned to continue with his/her sporting activity and to satisfy his/her academic requirements according to an agreed alternative schedule.

3. Students selected to represent the University, or take part in major regional, national or international events, may request a concession to postpone the keeping of academic engagements or the presentation of written work. The Director of Sport will have sole responsibility for deciding on the significance of each individual sporting event. Departments will have responsibility for the decision to approve or reject requests for sporting concessions.

4. Students seeking a concession to permit them to meet sporting commitments through the rescheduling of academic commitments including any retiming of examinations which may be possible must:

a. give as much notice as is reasonably possible;

b. obtain a sporting concession form (available in Appendix A2.02, or from the relevant department or college);

c. approach, in the first instance, the appropriate departmental staff (normally the module tutor(s) and Director of Studies, Undergraduate or Postgraduate) to discuss their request and, if possible, agree a proposal for an alternative schedule for meeting any academic commitment that cannot be satisfied at the normal time. This may involve the student obtaining signatures from several departments;

d. ensure that a completed concession request form, including either the departmental approval of their request and proposed alternative arrangements, or the grounds of their objection, is, in every case, forwarded to the Director of Sport. Departments are advised that the student will have sight of the form including any departmental comments.

5. The Director of Sport will be responsible for:

a. making a judgment on the significance of each individual sporting event. The Director of Sport will have the authority to overturn decisions to approve concession requests for events deemed not sufficiently significant to warrant a concession (in such instances the departments involved should be informed);

b. in the case of concession requests which have not received departmental approval, the Director of Sport may choose to liaise with the department to seek agreement on fair and reasonable arrangements. The decision of the department will be final.

c. informing the student of the outcome of each concession request;

d. keeping a record of concessions requested and granted and the input of this data onto Banner in order for an annual report on activities in this area to be made to Education Committee (via Quality and Standards Sub-Committee) in time for its final meeting in the Michaelmas Term.

6. Concession requests are by their nature varied. It is difficult to define the circumstances in which a concession in relation to sporting commitments should normally be granted and the nature of the concession to be granted. The following general guidelines are offered, but in all cases due regard will need to be given to individual circumstances and the merit of the case.

a. Students should be expected to make good any academic commitment that would be missed, wherever this is possible.

b. The alternative arrangements required to make good the academic commitment(s), including summative assessments and examinations, should be reasonable for the student, the department and other parties involved.

c. The total number of teaching days missed in any one term through sporting commitments should not, except in exceptional circumstances, exceed a maximum of ten.

d. Where a concession is granted, no further allowance should be made for absences when assessing an individual's academic performance or degree class.

e. All such students should be treated in a fair manner and the arrangements proposed for an individual student should not place that student at a significant advantage or disadvantage compared with his/her peers.