Home News National student news: Oxford gaffe and York drugs investigation

National student news: Oxford gaffe and York drugs investigation

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Image Credit: The Daily Telegraph
Image Credit: The Daily Telegraph

Oxford names and shames lowest performing students in e-mail gaffe


The names and grades of nearly 50 undergraduates studying at University College, Oxford, who achieved a 2.2 or below in pre-Christmas exams were accidentally included in an e-mail sent to hundreds of other students. The recipients of the e-mail were quickly asked by the university to delete the e-mail due to ‘inaccuracies’, but not before they had an ample opportunity to peruse the confidential information regarding the academic shortcomings of their peers.

Though the pre-Christmas exams do not count towards the students’ final grades, the marks do offer an accurate representation of the levels at which the individuals are working. University College has since apologised for the error and Abi Reeves, the Junior Common Room President, told students “The document was sent accidentally and the disclosure of results was not intentional”. The identity of the staff member responsible has not yet been revealed, but Dr Anne Knowland, senior tutor of University College, has assured students that the university is “investigating exactly how this happened and are determined to make sure this does not happen again”.

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20 per cent of York students admit to using prescription drugs

An investigation by York Vision this week revealed that 20% of students admit to using prescription drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall or Modafinil during exam period to improve their concentration and obtain higher results.

Out of a sample group of 240 students spread across the three years, 79% of those studied claimed they would consider using these drugs to improve their capacity to study, despite the fact that they are known to instigate adverse side-effects such as anxiety, insomnia and hypersensitivity. Third year students were found to be the most likely to take mental stimulants regularly due to the academic pressures of dissertations and third term exams.
The Student Union Welfare Officer George Offer told Vision: “I strongly recommend any student currently taking or considering taking any sort of drugs to improve their study, to look carefully through the information available. There’s little to no good, empirical work suggesting that these drugs can improve students’ performance in assessments, and they’re fraught with health risks”.

Josh Gray, Music Editor

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