Anglesey student died after exam fail email, inquest told

Mared Foulkes was incorrectly told she had failed her pharmacy exam, an inquest hears.

10/28/2021 6:16:00 PM

Student, 21, was found dead after wrongly being told she had failed an exam and could not progress to her third year, inquest told

Mared Foulkes was incorrectly told she had failed her pharmacy exam, an inquest hears.

The body of Mared Foulkes was found at Britannia BridgeA 21-year-old student was found dead after wrongly being told she had failed an exam and could not progress to her third year, an inquest has heard.Mared Foulkes from Menai Bridge, Anglesey, was studying pharmacy at Cardiff University and had already passed a re-sit of the assessment.

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But her results email on 8 July 2020 did not include the re-sit mark. Her mother Iona said the lack of support from the university was "awful".Her body was found at Britannia Bridge.At the inquest in Caernarfon on Thursday, Mrs Foulkes said the lack of help from the university led directly to her daughter's death.

She described her as someone who "loved her family and friends", and was focused on developing her career.The university's head of pharmacy said that lessons needed to be learned and changes would be made to the way exam results were ratified and given to students. headtopics.com

Ms Foulkes had been working in a pharmacy in Caernarfon in between her studies. Staff there described her as "lovely, polite and hard-working".She continued her studies and mainly worked from home during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020. She also had to deal with the death of her grandmother in May 2020.

Image source,Image caption,Mared Foulkes was studying at Cardiff University when she diedGiving evidence to the inquest, her mother said: "Mared didn't say anything about her results on the day they arrived."It was only afterwards that we looked at her phone and saw that she'd texted a friend to say 'I did crap'.

"That evening, Mared said she was going to Tesco to get some things and asked if I needed anything. Then she closed the fridge door, got the car keys and left."She said students needed support and her daughter's actions were "a direct result of the university on that day".

"Mared had a message saying she'd failed, then later we were told she hadn't failed."To be informed that you can't progress, with no contact from the university, would have been awful for anyone, let alone a 21-year-old student."She'd have been horrified that the university she loved, the course she loved, would state that. All her dreams and aspirations were finished with that sentence." headtopics.com

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Prof Mark Gumbleton, head of the school of pharmacy at Cardiff University, said Ms Foulkes had taken a practical test on 26 March as part of a module called formulation sciences.She failed, but went on to re-take it on 24 April, when she passed, but her email in July did not take this re-test into account.

Prof Gumbleton said this was standard practice, but added: "Lessons are always to be learned."We acted within the regulations, but we need to move towards a simpler system of ratifying grades."The challenge is to avoid a situation where we create confusion. I believe the university is looking at this and changes are going to take place."

Read more: BBC News (UK) »

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Totally devastating!! My heart goes out to her family, may this be a lesson to all schools and universities! 💔 So sad and distressing to hear this. University staff really must improve pastoral support- in my experience it’s negligible. Toral lack of care and support for students in exam difficulty covid has hit students harder thn most being kept in rooms like animals. Teaching as nt bein 100% in favour of these students online courses with many issues. inadequate and appalling services from many unis I ad to reach out many times for my sons health & wellbeing. RIP❤️

There remains a poor culture within universities, and lack of support for those struggling with their mental health. There needs to be a complete culture shift as I’m sure they’ll think that they haven’t done anything wrong. Heart goes out to the family 💔 Awful. Life is precious 🥲 So sad , should never be allowed to happen ..

Such a sad story. My heartfelt commiserations go out to the family. It’s not easy studying and that is the last news a student would want to hear. Though, I believe nothing is ever surface level, is there more to this story? Can we do more to help support students struggling? Oh gosh no.. 😢 that’s unacceptable.

It is our system. Too much emphasis on academic results rather than individual strengths. Exam is nothing compared with your valuable life… Very sad

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BBC The first comment on this thread ought to have been from yourselves, with links to support groups such as PAPYRUS_tweets samaritans MindCharity theCALMzone Be kind and be respectful. Very sad 😢

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