University denies student’s plea on exam after death of her father
March 05 2016 10:44 PM
Saima Haq with her father in November.

Evening Standard/London

A university student was left devastated after being told she could not defer her exams after her father died abroad.
Saima Haq, 18, wrote to the University of Westminster asking to sit her March exams in July following the sudden death of her father Amir Ul Haq in Tanzania.
But the first year biochemisty student said despite showing the university the burial permit, they refused her claim for mitigating circumstances because the evidence was “not sufficient” to support her request.
Haq told the Standard: “I was in shock that they rejected me so soon and with no sympathy.
“I understand the policy is in place to treat all students equally, but not every student has a parent die abroad.
“In a case like this, they should have taken the initiative to just accept that it’s not easy for us to provide original documents right now.”
Haq, who lives in Hounslow, said she was asked to explain why the documents were not original copies.
She said: “In a country like Tanzania, it is not a simple process to obtained typed up documents translated into English.
“The medical report I gave was handwritten, which the uni have said does not have a clear medical opinion, even though it has been stamped by the hospital.”
To add insult to injury, Haq said the university sent her eight separate rejection e-mails for the eight exams she asked to defer.
A University of Westminster spokesman said: “We are very sad for her loss, but cannot comment on individual students due to data protection.
“However, we have clear and robust procedures for students submitting exam deferral requests, which must be substantiated by original, independent documentary evidence.
“Students fully complying with this procedure will be granted deferral.
“We are committed to proving support and guidance to our students, especially during difficult times and bereavement, and offer a wide range of academic and personal support services.”

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