"No Detriment" Policy for Dundalk Institute of Technology

"No Detriment" Policy for Dundalk Institute of Technology

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DkIT SU started this petition to Dundalk Institute of Technology

(This excerpt is adapted from the petition made to UCC. Please sign their 'No Detriment' policy here)

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent measures taken by the government have affected each student at DkIT. The institute closure has been disruptive to students' study habits, in particular those that are dependent on institute facilities such as the library or labs to complete specialised work.

Since the institute closed its doors on March 12th , a large amount of our students are now deprived of a suitable working environment, WiFi, laptops, computer software  and even office equipment.

While we recognise that this is a challenging, unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation, we also believe that our students need more support and a guarantee that this pandemic will have no implications on their academic performance and award.

A large amount of students are not able to fully engage with online learning due to factors largely outside of their control, for example: lack of electronic devices such as laptop or tablet, no access to Wi-Fi and no childcare available.

Some students are exposed to unsuitable living conditions, without proper access to a safe place to do their assessment, or exposed to and caring for sick family members.

With online examinations approaching, many students do not have access to the resources they require to achieve the grade they deserve, or to maintain their current grade. 

Students will now be required to complete assessment in an environment that is not possible to achieving their true potential.

In addition, many students will not have adequately prepared due to this disruption in their studies. It goes without saying that many of our students are now at a serious disadvantage, and are unlikely to achieve their potential grades without proper institute support.

We, here at DkITSU alongside our students are calling on the institute to implement a "no detriment" system, in a similar manner to those being deployed across the water, in universities of the United Kingdom, for example Exeter, Southhampton, and Edinburgh. 

At 9.40AM on the 25th of March 2020 the University of Exeter announced that student assessment would be mitigated through a "safety net" policy. The Deputy Vice Chancellor wrote that:

"So long as students would qualify to progress/graduate based on their marks obtained this year ... then the university will ensure that students' final academic year average is the same as, or higher than, the average they have attained up to Sunday 15th March."

"If students achieve higher marks in assessments submitted and examinations undertaken after Sunday 15th March then they will be able to raise your mark for the year."

In summary, "as long as you qualify to pass the year, completing the summer assessments can only help not hinder you because we will not let the extraordinary circumstances in which you are completing these assessments leave you with a mark below your current overall mark."

We would urge DkIT to strongly consider the impact that these unprecedented measures have on students, both in terms of their academic performance but also the toll it is taking on their mental health during this difficult time. Implementing such a mitigation strategy would ensure that "no student is disadvantaged" and that each student is given an opportunity to live up to their potential and get the reward they deserve.

Glenn, Chacho and Taidgh


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