The university was forced to issue an apology after servers repeatedly crashed over the weekend, rendering Sussex Direct, Study Direct and the University Webmail inaccessible. The technical problems continued into the week, with Study Direct crashing again on Monday night.

Emergency diagnostic work took place as the IT services team attempted to restore normality, but students were left without access to reading and course materials, causing an uproar among those working on meeting mid-term deadlines.

A second year student said “It’s bloody ridiculous, I’ve got a coursework deadline this week and couldn’t do anything”, and many took to social meeting to voice their frustration

The University, after discussion with schools and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, extended submission deadlines, acknowledging that “the recent issues with the availability of Sussex Direct and Study Direct may have impacted upon students’ ability to access study materials required to complete assessments” in an email sent to students.

All submissions that were due on 24, 25, 26 and 27 October, will now be due on 31 October. Submission times will be the same as on the original deadline date.

However, another 2nd year student voiced his annoyance at both the timing of the crash and the slow response of the university, adding “It was stressful not knowing if they would extend deadlines or not.”

The IT Services responded to a number of enquiries on social media about the source of the issue, tweeting “an unusual problem – looks like a fault with the antivirus software that runs on the web servers.”

Students still managed to see the funny side, with references to The IT Crowd popular among Twitter users.

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Featured image: The University of Sussex

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Glenn Houlihan

Deputy Editor

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