It is a much-loved annual tradition that marks a key time in the life of a university student.

Since the 1960s students at the University of Sussex have taken part in the Dissertation Dash, cheered on by their peers.

But now the prominence of the internet could mark the end of the event in which students race to make a 4pm deadline to hand in their coursework.

Fancy dress The route, between Library Square and Falmer House, is traditionally lined with students and staff.

Over the years – as marked in The Argus – some students have opted for fancy dress while others have been slightly more daring, choosing to run only in what nature gave them.

Now the practice could end because there will no longer be a single collection point for dissertations and because of the rise of e-submissions.

A spokesman for the university said: “This year, with the new structure of the academic year, the submission deadline falls at the start of the exam period, so taking up space in Falmer House would reduce capacity for examinations.

“And in future years, with e-submission on its way, no physical hand-in of work would even exist.”

Staff say that having a single point for coursework to be handed in at is expensive because it involves too much space and too many workers both before and after the dissertation deadline.

Limited space

Sharon Jones, the academic registrar, said: “With the numbers of students now at Sussex, we are not even certain that the space used in Mandela Hall could accommodate the requirements.

“It also takes staff away from supporting students, and means that the collection of scripts is less efficient and takes longer to reach academic staff for marking.

“We are happy to put helpful steps in place to facilitate an event taking place.

“In practice, the vast majority of students have already handed in their work before the Dissertation Dash itself takes place.

“We believe that, with good planning now, we can hold an event that will preserve both the spirit and the nature of the dash.”

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