USIU students hold demonstration opposing the varsity grading system - The Sauce
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USIU students hold demonstration opposing the varsity grading system

The United States International University students are up in arms.

The students held demonstrations, protesting the varsity’s grading system. According to a report by Kahawa Tungu, students from the School of Science who are mostly from the Bachelor of Pharmacy course tabled complaints that the university grading system is too high and failing students en masse, so as to get them to repeat courses and make further payments. The USIU grading system has been a bone of contention with most students claiming that they are not being treated like other students in the country.

Video from the ground indicates that the students have indeed taken to the streets to demand a fair grading system.

The demonstrations were unauthorized by the institution, with a security notice being issued over the weekend. A press statement from the university read, “A group of individuals has organized a protest along USIU Road on 28th March 2019 as from 0800hrs to 1100hrs. Students, staff, faculty and their visitors are asked to avoid accessing the campus through the main gate during the protest… you are expected to exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings.”

The University Management has also shared a statement with The Sauce, clarifying that the matter at hand is being dealt with the utmost urgency. In a statement, USIU management said, “Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza received a petition from Pharmacy majors that primarily raises issues of approval of a proposal to contextualize the grading system.

In his response, Prof. Zeleza reiterated the value USIU-Africa places in its students, especially ensuring they are listened to, and appropriate action taken on any concerns they raise. This value is so entrenched it is included in our charter and is embedded in our governance structure, and in the case of student voices, through the Electoral College and the Student Council. Indeed, our open door policy provides students with direct access to university administrators to provide and receive feedback on matters affecting them.”

The statement also addressed the student concerns on the grading system. It read, “It is important for the university community to understand the roles and responsibilities of the different governing bodies. Discussions pertaining to academic policies begin at the School level, then they’re brought to the University Senate, from where they are forwarded to the Management Board (MB). The MB then forwards the recommendation to the Academic Affairs Committee of the University Council, which in turn, forwards its recommendation to the full Council for final deliberation and decision. The Council may adopt, reject, or recommend further revisions to the proposal.

In close consultations with the Management Board, the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is currently addressing the recommendations for improving a contextualized grading system proposal to be applied to all health sciences majors, with a view to submitting the revised proposal to the MB. The revised proposal will then be submitted for deliberation by the Academic Affairs Committee of the University Council, which will make its own recommendation to the full Council. The next scheduled meetings of the Committee and the Council will be in June and July 2019, respectively.”


Efforts to reach out to USIU student leaders were foiled as they declined to comment on the demonstrations.

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