There is a creeping culture of academic disregard on several of our campuses when it comes to the intellectual demands made on students in the academy. Not too long ago there was a report at the University of Fort Hare that some students were demanding that they be compensated with marks and be allowed to pass given the destructive impact of the union strike on the teaching calendar. This notion that marks can be handed out in the absence of any academic assessment is not new at all. Those who lived through the student activism of the 1980s would remember a common refrain: “Pass one, pass all.”

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