In days gone by, that wait was ended by the postman. Today, students are more likely to get their result via text message or e-mail. This should, in theory, be more reliable than the post. However, a system error this week saw final-year students at Edinburgh University receive an e-mail saying their graduation had been cancelled, because they had effectively failed their exams. If it wasn’t so serious, it would be hilarious. Other than a death in the family, it would be difficult to deliver worse news to a student right now.
If the university – or any such body – wants to communicate sensitive news electronically, it requires a robust system which makes this kind of error impossible. This mistake should never have happened, and must never happen again.