How to monitor university student attendance

Times Higher reports on the introduction of bar code readers to take registers at Derby University.

Despite its problems, anything that can automate basic administration must be welcomed. Filling in registers of 100 students manually each week is the equivalent of doing the dishes by hand, when you could use a lovely Bosch dishwasher instead.   

Lecturers already undertake crippling amounts of non-academic / 'house-keeping' work. Each year more hurdles are put in the way which prevents them from doing what they are paid to do – i.e researching, writing and teaching. From a human resources perspective (or, indeed, any perspective) filling in registers manually is a total waste of time and money. 

The government now requires that academics have to take registers to keep tabs on those pesky overseas students (the assumption is that overseas students are all secretly plotting ways to stay in the country, rather than writing assignments).

I don't agree that lecturers should be asked to carry out what amounts to UK border control checks. If I have to do this, at least allow me to wear a nice blue uniform, with a hat and have some shiny metal handcuffs. But as it's now the law, let's at least do it vaguely efficiently.

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