By: Lord Whistledown
Tayo, a 400-level student of Medical Laboratory Science, spent a little above 3 weeks processing his transcript, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for student transfer, early this year. For him, retrieving his transcript was a journey of navigating the bends and turns of a painfully bureaucratic system and unresponsive staff members. In a similar circumstance, Adebola, a 400-level student of the department of the Arts and social science education has not been able to rectify some of the errors on her transcript, dating as far back as 100-level.
According to Adebola, she is not the only student in her department that has this issue. She explained that the students bear the brunt of transcript errors, due to the time length for rectification and the bureaucracy, inherent to the procedure. “When we went to complain to them, they kept on posting us, over and over again. Now they said they would set up a committee, and that the deadline for submitting everything they asked of us is Monday – 28, November 2022. At this point, it is already stressful but we have to do it before the stipulated deadline”
Background – How Transcript Collection and Result Management works in UI
Figuratively, transcripts are like mirrors that reflect students’ performance. These documents are important not just as records and proofs of studentship, but also as a numerical summary of the efforts of students, and as a reminder of their position, relative to the academic ideal of an institution. This inherently creates the necessity for proper management of the transcripts and the record they contain. Recognizing the importance of transcripts and result management, the University has made important changes in transcript distribution and result availability over time.
As deduced from interviews with UI students, the University operates a decentralized transcript distribution system. This distribution is decentralized to the lowest level of structural division in the University– the department. Each department makes provisions and automatically dictates the condition for the distribution of transcripts for their students
Also, in 2019, the University attempted to digitize and centralize result management and distribution by launching the Result Management System online. The former Vice Chancellor first announced what was later dubbed the “link of life” on the 22nd of December, 2019. So far, the RMS has suffered the same fate as other components of the UI web services. Sometimes, there have been reports of errors in student results and website unavailability. As a result of these inconsistencies, the Result management system has – at best – complemented the traditional system, and has shown no considerable potential of replacing it.
Speaking on the RMS, Jide, a 300-level Student of the Basic Medical Sciences, explained how there are inconsistencies with his test and exam scores last session. “That RMS can be problematic at times. It is a good innovation actually but it is problematic, there are errors in some of my semester results on the RMS, and sometimes, it just doesn’t load up”
Corroborating the above, Chinenye, Faculty of Agriculture explained how she has never been able to access the RMS, because of broken links and website dysfunctions. “Maybe, I am just unlucky, I have never gotten to the use of RMS when others say it is going. I just cool down and wait for my results when the department gives me the transcript”. For others like Tade in Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, Janet from the department of Psychology, and Suzan from the Faculty of Law, the RMS has been working smoothly. “For me, the RMS has always been smooth. I have heard that some people have problems with their scores, but not me” Tade commented.
UI Departments and the Smooth Transcript Distribution Process
As established earlier, individual departments are responsible for the conditions that surround the transcript distribution in their departments. The responses from the UI students populace show that transcript collection at the University is relatively hitch-free.
Speaking with Suzan, a 300-level student from the Faculty of Law, she described the process as organized and coordinated with certain rules. “It’s very easy, to be honest. You just go within the stipulated hours and get it, and It’s sessional I’ve never had any issues with mine but some of my friends have and it got rectified after they complained” She explained
Tade, a 400-level student of the department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, described the transcript collection process as hitch-free. According to him, the only time they have ever had issues was when he was in 200 level. “After my 200l second semester, we were told we could not have it. So after complaints in 300l to the sub-dean and some lecturers, they assured us that we will get our 300l transcript at ease. To some extent, I can say it was kind of easy compared to my previous experience. We got it from the departmental secretary and dropped our school I.D. card which we got back after submitting the photocopy of the transcript collected”. He surmised.
Janet, a student in the psychology department corroborated the above and explained how the ease of transcript collection in her departments. To quote her “At the beginning of every session, a level advisor is assigned. Students get their transcripts from their level advisor. This session, they requested school fees and dues receipts before collection. Regardless, it’s smooth. The only issue is when there’s an error on the transcripts”. Jide, another student in the department of physiology, believes that transcript collection in his department is the easiest. According to him, the course advisor sends the result to the registered email of each student every semester.
For people like Tayo and Olumide, in the department of Wood Products Engineering, the reality is a little different. Tayo believes that the process can be bureaucratic and the staff unresponsive. “It took me around 3-4 weeks honestly. But I was constantly on their neck. I needed it for my transfer application to another University abroad then.” Olumide thinks the process is easy enough, but the attached payment is not clear. “They are collecting 1k from me, why? The process of collection is easy actually but why do I need to pay 1k to process my transcript” He queried.
Not to the swift – UI and Transcript Correction Inconsistencies
Result management extends beyond the ease of collecting transcripts. Relevant points of consideration include result accuracy, oversight and correction, and result confidentiality, among others. On the matter of confidentiality, the public availability of the book of life is a pointer to managerial failure in that regard. However, on the subject of result accuracy and the corresponding oversight process, the students of the University have expressed their doubts and worries.
Elaborating on her predicament, Adebola explained that the process of correction is stressful and extremely delayed. “We have to provide a whole lot of things for them to effect this correction. For my class, some of the things they told us to bring include a Letter of complaint, the evidence of course registration; the transcript. They also told us to attach the year the exam was taken and whether we repeated it or not”. Janet’s story about rectification is not so different. According to her, lecturers may sometimes be not able to rectify transcript errors peculiar to their courses. “They say only MIS can rectify it but when you go to MIS, they ask you to go back to your department. Sometimes, people just retake the course.”
These experiences represent the reality of result management across Faculties in the School and may be suggestive of what graduate and graduate students pass through. The subsequent part will detail some of the challenges, and the positives of transcript collection for graduates of the University. Considerations will be given to the newly launched transcript processing website and other relevant subject matters.