Ensure LJMU implement a fairer 'no detriment' marking system during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Universities up and down the country are ensuring their students are not put at an academic disadvantage as a result of the unprecedented times we face in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. The implementation of a 'no detriment' marking policy ensures that the years of hard work of final year students is not discounted as result of the challenge they face trying to complete their academic dissertations and other assessments from home under these extraordinary, unsettling circumstances. At a time where physical, mental and emotional health should be prioritised, students are now being placed under enormous pressure to continue with their studies in incredibly difficult situations. For many students, circumstances regarding their access to technology, their living situation, and both personal and family members health, ultimately means that their ability to undertake already difficult assessments and produce work to a high standard will be undoubtedly be negatively affected. In the UK, we are still to face the worst of what this virus will entail, and the expectation to function as a normal student during these times seems entirely unfair.  

We are asking that Liverpool John Moores University- like The University of Liverpool, The University of Exeter and The University of St Andrews, will solidify in policy that their student's results will not be adversely affected by implementing a 'safety net' system. This week, the Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Exeter wrote that: 

  1. "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."
  2. "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."
  3. 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." 

(Taken from Kate MacLachlans petition to The University of Manchester)

We feel that this way of marking students already placed under immense pressure will assure them that they will not be penalised unfairly as a result of being at a huge disadvantage to all other years before. We also feel that this will not deter students from working to their best ability, but will motivate students to continue working as best possible with the reassurance that their grades will not be adversely affected through no fault of their own.  

Given that other universities have already implemented these measures, we feel it is only fair that Liverpool John Moores University gives their students the confidence, security, and best chance of academic success going forward, by following this system also.