Hallam University overwhelmed by complaints from third-year fashion and management students

Fashion and management students at Sheffield Hallam University have complained over the standard of teaching they have received this year.

This came after a Google document was handed in, listing the students’ various complaints with the quality of the course and teaching.

The issues raised range from late feedback to unprofessional behaviour from the tutors, including WhatsApp groups with students.

The current investigation is focusing on the third years’ complaints; however, several first year students have expressed disappointments in the level of teaching they have received.

Tasia Poppleton, a student on the course, said she complained in November about the lack of focus on the course.

During their first term, the first year students were brought to London on a trip. After telling the tutors they would be late back Ms Poppleton and a fellow student found themselves unable to collect their bags, with tutors not answering their phones.

The whatsapp conversation between the students and their teacher. 

Ms Poppleton said this wasn’t the only incident of unprofessional actions by tutors in the chat.

She said: “One student asked how long the word count was for a piece of work, and a tutor said ‘How long is a piece of string?’ and another tutor replied to that with a laughing face.”

The WhatsApp group was created after tutors collected students’ phone numbers on the first day of the course.

Ms Poppleton said: “At first it was helpful, we all had a lot of questions in the beginning. It almost got used to embarrass us later on, it became a very hostile place to be in.”

This group has since been shut down along with the third years’ chat group; however, the complaints go beyond unprofessional messages.

About the structure of the course, Ms Poppleton said: “One module was marked late but also by a freelance photographer who had only met us twice. This meant that we were told things were okay to use by our tutors but got marked down by this as an issue.

“The next module was marked late again and the teacher commented on work submitted for the first module that wasn’t anything to do with this submission. To me, that meant that grade was invalid because it wasn’t marked on the correct pieces of work. ”

Last month, she withdrew from the course as she believed the teaching hadn’t improved at all.

A Sheffield Hallam University spokesperson said: “We are currently investigating a complaint from a group of students who have raised concerns about the quality of teaching they have received during their studies.

“The University prides itself on delivering high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for all its students and was awarded a Silver rating in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework.

“It is therefore concerning that some students feel these standards have not been met and we are looking into the issues raised as part of the University’s formal complaints procedure.”

The spokesperson added members of the university’s Leadership Team were also looking into the matter.