Over-zealous risk management?

Tick ( of litigation has left some scholars unwilling to criticise students’ work. David Matthews reports

Academics are afraid to give negative student references or put candid remarks on exam scripts because of an overbearing risk-management culture in universities, according to a researcher who has undertaken a two-year study of the issue.

Kim Soin, reader in accounting at the University of Greenwich, said academics needed to engage with the concept of risk management to ensure their concerns were heard, or risk losing “control of what they do and how they do it”.

Dr Soin, who conducted the research with Sharon Wheatley, a lecturer at BPP Business School, said that the growth of risk-management systems in universities had made some academics “quite fearful” and risk averse.

The introduction of Freedom of Information and data protection legislation meant students now had greater access to what academics wrote about them, which had led to fears of legal action.

Read full story… and I wonder what you do? I still mark ‘old-school’ .. I’m interested in seeing the students learn, and mark from a coaching perspective … what help can I give the students to improve, what have they done well, and what can they improve upon (not that I get this right always, of course!).