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Bristol Uni students left unable to submit dissertations as Blackboard goes down

While Bristol Uni says the problem is now fixed, some students are still struggling to access the site

Bristol University students were unable to access learning portal, Blackboard, yesterday amid a bug that affected students worldwide.

The trouble comes in the middle of deadline season with many university students submitting their dissertations by the end of the week.

At the University of Bristol, the problem was fixed yesterday evening. For some universities, the issue had been fixed earlier in the day.

A university-wide email was sent reassuring students that schools and faculties will be in touch. The Faculty of Arts informed their students that coursework submissions due yesterday are now extended to 11 am on the 27th April, and late penalties will not be applied.

While the majority of students do now have access to Blackboard, worryingly some students have told The Bristol Tab they still can’t access the website.

A second year veterinary student told The Bristol Tab: ‘It was very disruptive, it put me behind on my work by a day.”

It seemed as though the issue was isolated to accessing Blackboard on campus, with some students able to get around it.  One student said: “It was working through personal hotspot.”

In an email sent this morning to arts undergraduate students, senior lecturer, James Freeman wrote: “Blackboard Access has been restored for users on campus this morning. Refresh your web browser and contact IT Services if you have further difficulties.

“As outlined below, we will not impose penalties on assessments due yesterday if you submit by 11am tomorrow (27th April). After this point, penalties will accrue as normal.

“Likewise, we will hold open late submission points that were due to close yesterday until 11am tomorrow (27th April).

“You should be able to submit as planned today and for the rest of the week, but please follow the instructions on your Blackboard submission point if you have difficulty doing so or contact IT Services if you still have difficulties accessing any systems.

“As I mentioned yesterday, we believe this was a national problem with Blackboard systems, but I nevertheless want to apologise for any concern caused.”

Are you still struggling to access Blackboard? We want to speak to you, get in touch with us via @thebristoltab.

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