My university have a very strict attendance policy, attendance affect the students marks a lot and if attendance is lower than 75% at the end of the semester, students are not allowed to sit in finals. Not only in the end of the year, if attendance get lower than 75% at any point of the semester Internal marks are lowered a lot.

Not only this, University administration keeps trying to make it harder for students to maintain students by adding more and more classes, sometimes by cutting the holidays or by adding more classes in already busy schedule of students.

I reached out to students, and almost all the students are finding it hard to give time to self study and for other stuff.

What are good arguments against this to be presented in front of higher authorities of the university.

thanks in advance.

  • 2
    This seems to me a perfectly reasonable question, particularly because the described attendance policy seems silly.
    – Dan Fox
    Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 6:55
  • 11
    There are a few details I don't understand. (1) How can the university add classes to students' schedules without their consent? (2) How can the university penalize students for missing classes without instructors' consent? (In particular, how do they know when students have missed class, unless the instructor tells them?)
    – JeffE
    Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 9:15
  • 17
    I find it rather odd when people ask for good arguments for their position. Presumably you have arrived at your position for a reason. Why is that reason not good enough? Perhaps more to the point, if you know your reason is not good enough, why should people help you manufacture a different reason?
    – Solveit
    Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 9:16
  • 5
    @SolveIt Good arguments that have contributed to a lecturer or student reaching their position are not necessarily the same as the arguments necessary to persuade university administration, because administration has different objectives.
    – JenB
    Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 11:01
  • 1
    What are "internal marks"? Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 7:19

3 Answers 3


A hard part of this is that it is not as easy as said. The vast majority of students are (while legally adult) not sufficiently mature, and particularly susceptible to peer pressure. Mandatory attendance (which our university doesn't have) attempts to address this. Fact is that students tend to be poor judges of the benefits of attendance (or prioritising the wrong parts - lectures over seminars or labs). With the right pressure many students can be taught more than if they are left to their own devices and from a student recruitment perspective it is seductive to put the protective measures into place so that the students will gain the relevant subject knowledge, understanding and skills (which are much more prominently assessed, and easier to assess than vague things like study attitude and independence).

Another problem is that when few students attend it is easier for other students to not attend. When students believe that they can pass the exam (that is due in 6/7 months) doing memorization a few days before the date you are fighting against a well established belief that has been reinforced through years of regurgitation exams in secondary (and primary) school. Anything helps.

At the same time, overworking students is also overkill, but in case that selection on entry is not feasible it may be a good way to quickly separate the wheat from the chaff. In many systems, withdrawals only count against the university after some months of study, so getting students who will quit (or are really not up to it) to quit early is quite important.


The best argument against any rule you find unjustified is just not to enforce it in class or to enforce it selectively.

The attendance issue is a difficult one. IMHO, your university policy is quite justified for poorly performing students and totally ridiculous for well-performing ones. The main argument I would put forward is that the main objective of the teaching is to pass the knowledge and that having free time is an indispensable condition of learning at the top level. So, if somebody appears in the class now and then but has consistent top grades on all exams and quizzes, I would let it slip. However, if his performance drops even a bit, the attendance rule goes into full effect for him again.

Whatever way you argue, keep in mind that your administration is not doing something "totally wrong" when requiring mandatory attendance. It just a) aims its policies at the bottom level with the usual idea that "the law should be the same for everyone" (the idea I strongly oppose in most settings except the completely trivial ones, but this opposition is a hard sell in the modern democratic society) and b) tries to solve the problem by using brute force instead of being a bit inventive about it (a much more efficient thing to do would be, for instance, to require a mandatory tutoring for anybody whose current performance is <60%, say, and to have a free tutoring service offered to students).

This was (my humble opinion) about the attendance issues. As to "adding more and more classes", I suspect they are just trying to pump the tuition money at the highest rate they can. If so, there is no argument against a person who just found a way to get 11 dollars per hour instead of usual 10. That is, no doubt, detrimental to the education process, but in every fight of greed against a lofty goal, the greed prevails. See if there are some regulations that explicitly bound the number of credit hours and the student workload in general (you may be (often pleasantly) surprised with what you can find in the university regulation books if you ever bother to read them). That's technically your only chance (again, IMHO).


University is supposed to be about reaching a certain standard. Unlike school, university is where students are supposed to be treated like adults. So if you do not turn up to enough lectures, you have a greater risk of failing. It is up to you. If the student passes the Exam then they have reached the standard. How many lectures they attended is up to them. The punishment for not attending could be failure because there is let's say 60% of Exam questions that are based on the lecturers course notes. If the pass mark is 50% then, if you are good and go to all the classes but are no Einstien, you will pass with a C. If you are brainy but a bit lazy and attend some lecturers and can think outside the box you will probably get a C Clever people that work hard with full attendance should get an A. So Attendance regulates itself. There is no need for extra punishment. For lab courses you mark the lab write up at the end of the lab so if the student is not present there is no write up and no marks which would mean that if you made a habit of skipping labs you would end up repeating labs. Boiling all this down it means that low attendance causes you to repeat courses which speaking from experience is punishment enough.

  • 3
    Some people don't need to attend any class to get an A in the exam. Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 8:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .