"No Detriment" policy for Trinity College Dublin
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COVID-19 has impacted every student in TCD, both through measures taken by the government as well as by the College. Since the closure of TCD, many students are unable to study effectively due to lack of access to facilities such as libraries or laboratories. Many students are no longer in a suitable studying environment, especially those who do not have access to Wifi or personal laptops and students who are in unstable or unsafe households. Students now and in the coming weeks may have to be carers for vulnerable family members during this pandemic, or become ill themselves.
With the introduction of online assessment, many of our students are now at a disadvantage and cannot realistically achieve the grades they would have under normal circumstances. With the welfare of students in mind, we, the students of Trinity College Dublin, call on the college to implement a "no detriment" safety-net for their students regarding summer assessment. This would be similar to policies introduced in UK universities by Exeter, Southampton, and Edinburgh.
On the 25th of March 2020, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter announced their "no detriment" policy to students, applying to all deadlines after the closure of the University:
"So long as you would qualify to progress/graduate based on your marks obtained this year (including those in the summer assessment period), then we will ensure that your final academic year average is the same as, or higher than, the average you have attained up to Sunday 15th March [the closure of the University].
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 urge TCD to take into consideration the "extraordinary circumstances" under which students are working both in terms of academic difficulties as well as the immense stress and the toll of the pandemic on the mental health of students. This safety-net strategy would ensure that no student's grades are affected in the long-term, would be a serious support to students during this incredibly difficult time, and would be in line with what many other universities are implementing.
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