Re-introduction of the safety net for 20/21 academic year at Leeds Beckett University.

Re-introduction of the safety net for 20/21 academic year at Leeds Beckett University.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Ellie Woodcock started this petition to Leeds Beckett University

Dear Leeds Beckett University, 
 
I'm writing to ask for the re-introduction of the safety net that was given to all students in the 19/20 academic year, as well as this I am asking for the continuation of category A mitigation being available for all students during the 20/21 academic year. 
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented time for us all, including the first, second and now the third lock down that has recently been imposed. This has meant that at least three months of the current academic year has been completely online learning not taking into consideration how much of the delivered content has been online without lockdowns but due to restrictions and rules. As a result of these restrictions, many students have had constant stress due to financial and mental struggles due to job loss and many other continuing issues. The mental health within students have seen its highest decline to its all-time low as a recent NUS survey as stated that more than 50% of students have reported a significant decline in the mental health since the pandemic began. We feel the pressure from University, the government and future employers to produce the same high standard of work that is unattainable given the circumstances we are faced with daily. 
 
While we greatly appreciate the massive effort of all members of staff including course leader's student services and other student services and other staff and how they have adapted to online teaching to deliver content and adjusting to these new measures, we still find ourselves struggling immensely. We believe that the reintroduction of the safety net for the 19/20 academic year that was previously approved by the academic board and posted by deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Phil Cardew on the 20th of April 2020, being that your overall grade for the 19/20 academic year was calculated only using your best marks in 60 credits (50% of the total credits) as well as the continuation of category A mitigation to all students as the COVID-19 measures are still present would be the best way to alleviate the stresses and difficulties that students are facing at Leeds Beckett University. 
 
This safety net would level the playing field for all Leeds Beckett students, including students from different, more diverse backgrounds, enabling protection for all students against potential underperformance due to the circumstances of this academic year. This would help to support every student as we have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Struggling to adapt to online learning, a vast amount of students have also struggled with a lack of support within their courses. Students on a whole have also received little guidance and support from the government as we have been used as a scapegoat on multiple occasions and we are still expected to continue producing the same high quality of academic work whilst GCSE and A-level exams have been cancelled completely. 
 
After communicating with other students and course representatives at Leeds Beckett, it has become clear that students this year have experienced a variety of difficulties that will have also been seen across the rest of the courses: 
Specifically in computer forensics and security and other computing courses there have been difficulties with accessing the software that is needed to complete set tasks as these systems and software have gone down on multiple ocassions and the christmas period. This, when combined with tutors reducing vital computer lab-based contact hours and general communication has rendered some students unable to work and complete assessments to their usual standards. 
Other courses such as architecture have experienced unfair financial difficulties through the software used as the university only provided students with a one-month free trial of these software's. This has created an uneven playing field for these students as some may be unable to pay these fees to complete work and assessments to a high standard if they are also unable to commute to campus to use the software's for free. 
Moreover, students in broadcast media technology and biomedical science have experienced very little contact with module leaders on changes to how they are going to be assessed and have been left in the dark on whether they are able to access the facilities and experiences vital for these courses and future careers such as media studios, the use of media equipment, laboratory time and familiarisation with equipment. This has put academic pressure on these students as they have had to learn about and be assessed on equipment they have not been taught to use. 
I personally, as a third-year sport and exercise science student can understand and sympathise with these struggles and how it can affect and individual as I have faced my own personal struggles: I have only been able to see my mum on two occasions this year and only recently been able to see my dad for the first time this year. Through the mental health struggles of not being able to see my own family, being on my own and not seeing close friends, I have still been expected to and still tried my best to continue with my university work and final year project to the same standard that it would be if circumstances were normal- safe to say I have found this immensely difficult. 
 
These examples of experiences of the difficulties and academic pressure during the pandemic that students at Leeds Beckett University are facing is the reason that we are so strongly urging and pushing for the reintroduction of the safety net that was given in the 19/20 academic year and the continuation of category A mitigation for all students. To diminish the worries and to level the playing field and that all students at Leeds Beckett University receive a fair result for their degree during such an extraordinary year. 
 
We look forward to hearing from the team at Leeds Beckett University as to how you will support students for the rest of the 20/21 academic year. 
 
Yours Sincerely, 
 
Students at Leeds Beckett University 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!