Queensland University of Technology is facing student backlash after changing the class registration system to preferencing.
QUT Vice-President and University Registrar Leanne Harvey said that the change was a direct response to previous student feedback.
“In 2023, QUT commissioned an independent student research study focussed on class registration with participants ranging from first to final year students.
“This research highlighted several key improvements students wanted during their class registration experience that were not achievable with the current technology.”
To be fair, the old system, first in best dressed, did cop a lot of flak for being unfair and unorganised. With many students comparing registration day to the Hunger Games, it was less of a sprint race and more of ‘may the odds be ever in your favour’.
Students with unreliable internet were screwed.
Students with inflexible work hours were screwed.
Students who were unlucky enough to be one of the hundreds let into the portal slightly late to see the ever-red ‘class full’ message were screwed.
The server often crashed, leaving students with panic attacks, bad classes, and urges to rant on Stalkerspace.
It wasn’t accessible, it wasn’t fair, and, most importantly, it wasn’t good. But, at the same time, is this new system any better?
Basically, Allocate+ is either our new best friend or biggest enemy. Long story short, you can choose your ‘preferences’ for class times from January 8 to 21, and you will receive your timetable on January 29. If you are not happy with your timetable, you have until the end of Week 3 to waitlist or swap classes.
According to Harvey, after the preferencing period closes, Allocate+ “uses advanced mathematical algorithms that look at giving the best ‘clash free’ option for every QUT student’s full study needs, based on the preferences that they indicate, and then students also have the opportunity once they receive their timetable to go in and request a class change should they need to.”
The University of Queensland has been using this preferential system since 2020. And, according to students there, the vibes are off with this system.
Magnus Cross, an engineering student at UQ, said he preferred the mad rush of the old system compared to the lack of control with Allocate+.
“There is no careful planning, there is no saving yourself from your mistakes, there is no safety from horrific timetables beyond human comprehension. I’ve seen them: 3 tutorials and 2 pracs placed across 5 days, a marked attendance tute at 8am, with a four hour wait before the next class. Now, there is no control. Now, you’re entirely at the mercy of some algorithm. It’s like the uni admins thought it would be more fun to make class registration a mystery box challenge instead of… just regular class registration.”
Now, there’s no telling that it’ll be the same at QUT. But they’re not off to a strong start.
Preferencing has only been open for a few days, and already, many have posted about how hard it is to understand the registration website and timetable planner.
One student posted to Stalkerspace, saying “Has anyone else tried to use the new timetable planner (MyTimetable/Allocate+) and find it super confusing and difficult to navigate?? especially compared to our last one.”
Her peers replied with their own musings about the system, saying, “mine’s straight up not working lol they’ve overcomplicated it”, “It is literally the worst thing I’ve ever seen”, and “for a technology uni the user interface on everything is pretty bad.”
Other Stalkerspace posts include thoughts like, “this new class rego system actually makes me want to pull my hair out”, “Class registration? More like not very enjoyable experience”, “Yeah I think I miss the hitting and screaming that was the old class registration… Because what actually is this?!” and, most aptly, “Fuck the new class registration.”
As Magnus put it – “QUT: Stealing the worst ideas of UQ since 1989.”