Ensure parity with all UK universities - make special measures during pandemic universal

Ensure parity with all UK universities - make special measures during pandemic universal

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Molly Rose Carpenter started this petition to UK Parliament

We are calling on the government to implement a universal ‘no detriment policy’ to universities across the country to ensure parity and fairness. 

Covid-19 has greatly affected every student in the UK. Universities have suspended face-to-face teaching and has moved to an online approach, meaning many students are not receiving the adequate standards of teaching and many courses have had to cancel essential practical sessions.
With university buildings closed, students can not access library books or other essential learning facilities. Yes these services may for some universities be accessible online, but with university buildings closed, not all students are in the privileged situation to be able to access these services from their homes. Furthermore, many students mental health will be negatively impacted during this pandemic, many will have to work in unsuitable environments that will not allow them to work to their full potential, some are even key workers in helping fight the war against Covid-19 ,and many will be hindered by Covid-19 directly affecting them or their loved ones.

Thus far, Universities have done their utmost in keeping us up to date with the current events and adjusting assessments to allow them do be done from home, however they have not done enough to support its students, with many being given greatly modified assessments, despite the lack of adequate teaching, assessment briefing or support. We appreciate that many universities have taken steps to address our concerns but we believe that if assessments are to go ahead as planned, the current arrangements need to be changed.

Students at the University of Portsmouth have shared their anxieties surrounding the situation, with commenters on the current petition for a no detriment policy stating:


"The University tries all the best to provide everything online but unfortunately it is not enough. All my friends from the Universitiy are having anxiety, including me. I was hospitalised a few days ago due to shortness of breath. During my time in the hospital, there were only the deadlines and assignments in my mind.... As a third year student, all I want is to graduate successfully"


"Extension of deadlines just prolongs the stress"


"a no detriment policy would undoubtedly help many students mental health at this extremely challenging and worrisome time"


"Unfortunately the university support they offer isn't enough for people, like me, who have one high risk parent and the other a key worker along with anxiety and depression. I'm the sole carer for my dad who's high risk and that leaves me with very little time to actually complete university work to my usual standard. A no detriment policy would allow me to complete my work without fear of a pandemic and individual and unfortunate circumstances ruining the work I've been putting in for three years. Myself and others like me need a no detriment policy to prevent this global crisis from destroying our hard earned grades. An ECF isn't enough and nor is their "comprehensive and supportive package to provide a fair assessment for all our students"."


"There needs to be parity with all other Higher Education establishments."


As a result, we are asking Universities across the UK to introduce a mitigation system similar to the one introduced by Exeter and many other Universities in order to bring fairer results for undergraduates and postgraduate students.

At 9.40 AM on 25/03/2020, the University of Exeter announced that student assessment would be mitigated through a "safety net" policy. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor wrote that:

"Given the exceptional circumstances in which you are sitting these examinations and other assessments, we have decided to introduce a ‘safety net’ policy.

"This ‘no-detriment’ approach is as follows: 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. Details about how your average to 15th March will be calculated will be provided in the FAQs on our website by the end of Friday 27th March.

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

Considering the exceptional and unexpected circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, this type of mitigating system will help to create more equal results for students being assessed across the country.

This is because it allows students to achieve a grade which reflects their work under ordinary circumstances, whilst providing an incentive to do well in summer assessments and still giving students who did not achieve their desired grades last term a chance to improve.

This year has been rife with difficulties and it is not fair for assessment changes to be communicated via emails and online services, so close to deadlines.

A safety net would alleviate so much pressure and allow us all to focus on what is actually important in our education; learning and bettering ourselves.

Please sign & share so we can enact change and achieve a fair outcome for everyone!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!