Wednesday, September 5, 2012

RMIT I think you made me feel cheated

This story comes from a International student called Ivy. I vy is doing her bachelor program in Information and Knowledge Management and is in her second year. She came to Melbourne from China in 2008 and is paying full fees. She has a learning disability called Autism which makes it difficult to proccess information in a timely manner
Now Ivy is registered with the DLU. Ivy also failed about 10 courses in her time and is excluded from the program. She is in China at moment and tells her story here:

"I have a disability called Austism which makes it harder for me to study and adapt to life in Melbourne. I take longer time to process information than everyone else. I need extensions for all of my written work.
When I applied for the Information and Knowledge Management degree a representative from RMIt came to China and spoke about the course. She said it was easy for me to do and gave me a brochure explaining about the course itself. I had no friends or family in Melbourne at that time to help me with applying so I had to do it all by myself and pay the $70 application fee.  The RMIT representative said that the DLU is quite good and explained that I would eaily pass everything"

Life in Melbourne
" Life in Melbourne was a very different story. I got no orientation from RMIT DLU whatsoever. Instead I just had an initial consultation with them and found that process very difficult. I also found the enrolment quite difficult to understand and I didn't know which subjects to enrol in. The DLU staff only made reccommendations to my school about my needs and only said that I can have one week extensions when I needed more from them. I tried to ask for a two week extension and they said no you have to apply for Special Consideration and on many occassions it was denied and The special consideration panel said to contact the DLU and I was already registered with them. Teachers laughed behind my back when I said that I needed help from them and they refused to assist me. Hence this led to a few fails during my first year. In the end I wrote a letter to the UAC and got the Student Union to help me with this. The UAC did not do a lot except to recommend a meeting with the school and the dlu and me. And they recommend that I resit one of my exams which didn't help much, but it was a start".
" My English was not really good. I had a band of 6 for IELTS and I found out that I needed a band of 7.5 on the offical website. My score was two years old and RMIT still let me in. RMIT did not tell me in China that if I don't have good English I would fail easily".
"I went to the Study and Learning centre and they gave me heaps of wrong advice about stuff. Hence I still failed assignments".
" I also went to SLAMS but they also did not help a lot as I can only spend about 15 mins per week on each subject with them and for some of the subjects they did not offer assistance such as "Research project" ".
" I was up for exclusion a number of times but each time it was overturned"
" I hurt my back really badly at work and needed a wheelchair. Most of the lecture theatres are not wheelchair friendly so I had to listen to lectures at home. I also tried to apply for Special Consideration but again the Uni did nothing to assist me leaving me to fail all my courses and be up for Exclusion.  My back is a lot better now".
"I found it extremely difficult to get to classes in the cramped lifts in 108, especially in a wheelchair."
" I volunteered with the Union until late 2011 when I was finally up for Exclusion. I found this proccess hard to deal with and had a Student rights officer help me with my case. I did not win this case and the UAC was really harsh towards me by asking about my volunteer work at the Student Union rather than my assesments and how classes are going. By this stage I had done Research Project twice and I had a supervisor who was really unwilling to help me much. At that time my English was still pretty bad. The UAC laughed at me behind my back. The hearing happened during semester not during the school holidays and I never recceived a "show cause" nor did the uni acknowledge it. By then the Exclusion policy had changed and the uni became all about money making not about students being treated fairly. I went to the Vic ombudsman but they said that the uni was right"

Advice after the exclusion
" I would never never go back to study at RMIT. If I was given the correct information in the first place I would never choose this place"
"Students I recommend thee stay away from the place until RMIT improves their student services and policies to be more student friendly rather than be about making money in the first place"
" The exclusion rate is really high here. Best to study somewhere else".
" Don't waste your money or your time here. I had to pay around $96000 + to study this course. And that does not include living fees. RMIT did not do much for me and it might not for students with a disability".

Ivy is not alone in this. Many students have felt like they have been cheated of their money especially after exclusion. Now I have  read that Vic  Ombudsman receives a lot of complaints from RMIT students about exclusion and other stuff. I also volunteered at the student union from time to time and found that RMIt has a high rate of exclusion and that they don't care about their students. What I also found is that RMIT has built an $80 mil SAB building but failed to care little about their students and their rights.
But there are some lucky ones who didn't need RMIT's services and support so this might not not affect them.  But for those that does need support, you may want to reconsider RMIT
In the future if RMIT continues to waste money on new buildings and not improve their student services or policies to make it into a friendlier environment then student numbers will dwindle. Mr Baillieu please please promise that you will make sure that RMIT doesn't do these dodgy things and make them clean up their act? Or otherwise they will never see students again.


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