❌ End Online Examinations at Lancaster University due to Covid-19‼

❌ End Online Examinations at Lancaster University due to Covid-19‼

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Lisa Banks started this petition to Steve Bradley, Lancaster University

Examinations should be scrapped at Lancaster University because some students do not have access to the required facilities for online examinations, such as a strong internet connection or even access to computer facilities. Normally this issue would be resolved by allowing students to access facilities on campus, but this is clearly not possible for most students in
this instance. Moreover, internet bandwidths may prove challenging with the internet ‘dropping out’ as students are taking, revising for or submitting examinations. Some companies have already claimed that they are reducing bandwidth due to a large increase in online activity. Students may lack a space to study when preparing for, or taking, exams remotely. Furthermore, many will lack access to textbooks and other key study materials. Many had to leave their accommodation very quickly, and without knowing how long they would have before being able to return.

Conditions at home may inhibit or benefit students, in a way that no way reflects their academic ability. For some students, home may present severe challenges to effective study and remote examinations. These can include looking after a vulnerable relative, having siblings in the same household, mental health issues, or even the danger of facing abuse. Chinese students especially may be affected due to China’s firewall, where lectures could be blocked and censored by the Chinese government. Students are already facing extremely challenging times, finishing the year in
unpredictable circumstances, with many already stressing about affording accommodation. Many feel uncertain about what this year holds for them, let alone their future. Thus, it seems impractical to expect students to perform well during this high-stress, worrisome time, especially given that many have also lost hours of face-to-face teaching due to strike action and Covid-19. On the flipside, students living with other students who are studying for the same exams face an obvious advantage. There does not appear to be a workable solution for ensuring that collaboration does not occur in a remote exam.


One potential solution may be to scrap examinations altogether and to give students their average for the year, as it is unreasonable to expect students to perform well in additional coursework or examinations in these circumstances. GCSE and A level exams have been cancelled, so it seems rather unfair and unjust that students are still required to take examinations at University level. Moreover, NUS has recently called on all universities to cancel summer exams as disabled, international and poorer students would be significantly disadvantaged due to time zones amongst other factors. For those students whose averages do not reflect their academic ability, a ‘safety net’ may be the best option. Alternatively, as NUS stated, University departments should ask students how they want to proceed to allow them to perform at their best, especially those final year students whose careers and graduate
jobs depend on a particular grade.

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