University of Wales Lampeter Newsletter

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OIA Pathfinder Project – University of Wales Lampeter

December 4th, 2008 · No Comments

OIA

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education

Initial Evidence to the Pathfinder Project – University of Wales Lampeter

Cc: Ms K Worsey HE Policy & Funding Welsh Assembly Government
HEFCW / QAA
Secretary & Academic Registrar University of Wales Lampeter
Interim Vice Chancellor University of Wales Lampeter

Main Points

1. The OIA may well have done an excellent job in the context of the judiciary working without a police force. The question is how many students and witnesses have been knobbled to prevent the OIA from adjudicating?

2. The health service has a system that monitors and ensures that complaints are dealt with by the rules. Without this, any claims by the OIA concerning regulation are meaningless.

3. The University of Wales Lampeter deliberately flouts and perverts the rules fabricating and destroying evidence to suit its defence.

4. I have a so-called ‘letter of completion’ that is no more than a contrived pack of lies. For example, a complaint lodged in November 2003 was not addressed until May 2006.

5. Anti plagiarism software is deliberately manipulated to show that comments in quotes with the reference underneath is deliberately underlined in black to show that it is plagiarised.

6. Officers and staff use solicitors to threaten students who to make this conduct public knowledge in order to keep them quiet, threats of claims against them for damages and high court injunctions are made.

7. This conduct is no different from calling in the thugs and having somebody beaten up in the street, the psychological damage can leave somebody just as debilitated and just as dead.

8. Assignments a seriously marked down on second marking and false allegations are made against students who complain or are considered trouble makers

9. Students are routinely and brutally ridiculed and demeaned for complaining with the liberal use of the terms ‘paranoid’ and ‘crazy’ used by staff.

10. Lampeter University Council has no idea of what really goes on, I have evidence they have been told lies to conceal the corruption of officers and staff.

11. Given the compulsive liar mentality of officers and staff, any attempt at reasonable adult discussion is a waste of time, this institution only knows total denial, lies, and the use of solicitors to make threats in order to make the complaint go away.

12. Given the large amount of debt associated with higher education, students are at an unacceptable disadvantage and should be being treated as ‘vulnerable consumers’.

13. For these reasons, you must publicise what goes on, it will only be openness and transparency that will bring about change and reform, the biggest deterrent against any wrongdoing are the consequences of being caught. Unfortunately, in Wales there are no consequences!

Summary

My evidence is based upon my experience as a former student of the University of Wales Lampeter from 2002 to 2003. I am 57 years of age with two professional qualifications and 16 years experience in social work management who made the mistake of going back to a Welsh university to obtain a degree. I am also of sound mind; I make that point because having attended two English universities and my professional experience I would not have believed such conduct could go on inside an HEI let alone continue without regulation or intervention. However, the QAA has in effect validated my claims regarding procedures on plagiarism and the failure of management.

Having worked with young offenders for 16 years there is not much that would actually shock me, we expect criminals to behave as such. With regard to the conduct of lecturers, we expect that there will always be cases of wrongdoing but when that happens these institutions would act according to the procedures that are in place. The real shock was too not only find out that procedures are totally disregarded, lies told, evidence fabricated and destroyed but this conduct was part of the culture in this so called university. From my life experience, the only difference in the conduct of criminals and those that run this institution is that there is some honour amongst thieves. The ultimate shock is the total lack of regulation that exists in Welsh Higher Education concerning the obligation of HEI’s to its students. It seems this conduct is all part of the culture throughout the University of Wales.

My complaint was outside the timescale to be heard by the OIA, however that did not stop the Secretary and Registrar and the Visitor Bishop Carl Cooper colluding to send me off to the OIA in the knowledge that my complaint would be struck out. They both had difficulty reading a student leaflet on the issue so I had to explain it to them.

This came after I had to make a futile claim against the bishop in the county court to force him to act. When he did he considered the plagiarism results by a member of staff Zed Zorichak which started off at 11% without proof, then rose to 24% without proof, and then back down to 19% on two different versions of software with comments in quotes and referenced counting as plagiarism along with the title, to be ‘robust’. The bishop seemed to object to my comment that his handling of this matter would be enough to make a kangaroo court blush with embarrassment. Not surprising that the bishops own clergy conspired to get rid of him for this very sort of abuse of power.

The ‘University’ considered this to be amongst the highest standards in the (Welsh) university sector, however, as far as accuracy and consistency is concerned it has to be said that you can train a monkey to do better than that.

I have had to take further futile court action to uncover the extent to which this institution will conceal its corruption and the role of the legal giant Eversheds, which has been the subject of complaint to the Office of Fair Trading and published in The Lawyer Magazine. As a result I now owe this ‘University’ legal fees for which then have used to carry out a lawful harassment and continued threat of petitioning for bankruptcy despite a previous petition be thrown out by the court.

The problem with this King and his new suit situation is that there is no child around to point out the obvious that there is no plagiarism. The ‘adults’ are too afraid to state the truth for fear of the consequences; therefore, this matter simply carries on without resolution. Eversheds on behalf of their client consider my complaints to be without merit, and as far as an independent revue is concerned, I have already had one!

My only weapon has been openness and transparency by publishing my experiences to the internet at www.lamp-post.info . I am pleased that Universities UK has made a thorough study of the site and in particular, the blatant misuse of anti plagiarism software.

The website has attracted support from both staff and students who have confirmed my general complaint that those who are considered trouble seem to be stitched up with something. Moreover, once an accusation has been made against a student, the evidence is no longer considered or reviewed for fear of the student being right.

Unfortunately, there has recently been what appears to be an organised campaign of email abuse some of which have been sent from the university. As a result, this situation has reached new heights of absurdity in that the university is going to have to explain to students that they cannot send abusive emails as they run the risk of committing a criminal offence and a civil claim made against them. This also exposed another failure of management and non-compliance with procedures that necessitated the intervention of the higher education internet service provider JANET.

There is also the issue that under the Higher Education Act 2004 I am entitled to complain about the Federal University of Wales. However, because they refuse to implement any complaints procedures I have an outstanding complaint of non-compliance with their own regulations that is being effectively gagged. HM the Queen as Visitor has written to the first minister of the Welsh Assembly who has ignored it. If our head of state is being ignored what chance do you think a mere student is going to get of having any substantive complaint being resolved. They seem to set the tone for the denial, lies, and threats method of dealing with student dissatisfaction.

I will submit factual evident in support of this summary in due course, if you have any questions please ask. I would be very happy to meet and discuss this matter with you.

Trevor Mayes

Tags: Evidence - UWL