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University of The Arts London: Implement a 'No Detriment Policy' For All Assessments.

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The (COVID-19) coronavirus outbreak announced by the World Health Organisation as of the 12th of March 2020, has had an immense negative impact on every single student at University of The Arts London. 

The Government introduced stringent new measures to tackle the outbreak on the 23rd of March 2020, leaving students without access to essential equipment, materials and facilities, all of which are vital to the production, completion and success of our practical and academic work. 

Students across UAL are living in entirely different circumstances financially, environmentally and socially, which puts into dispute how fair assessment of the work produced during this global pandemic can be made. Many students do not have a suitable setup or access to necessary resources to be able to achieve their deserved grade. Students will now be made to complete work in an environment that will not enable them to convey their true abilities, and many students' work will be hindered by illness of themselves or those around them. Additionally, many students' mental health is likely to be heavily affected during this difficult time. 

We, the students of UAL, are asking University of The Arts London to consider using a mitigation system similar to that being used by the universities of Exeter, Edinburgh, Southampton, Durham and Nottingham Trent, in order to bring about fairer results for undergraduate students.

On 2nd of April 2020 Nottingham Trent University announced a revised 'No Detriment' policy. The Vice Chancellor Edward Pecks wrote that:

"If you submit, and pass, your summer assignments and assessments you will not receive a classification lower than the one you would have achieved based solely on the work you completed up to the end of March." Additionally stating that "we believe this to be a comprehensive and fair package which will ensure no detriment to our students taking their summer assessments in these difficult times."

On the 25th of March 2020 the University of Exeter announced that student assessment would be mitigated through a "safety net" policy. The Deputy Vice Chancellor Tim Quine wrote that:

"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."
"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."
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, the students of UAL believe that the implication of this type of mitigating system will aid in the goal of awarding fair end of academic year results for students being assessed at the University. These measures allow students to achieve a grade which reflects their capabilities in normal circumstances, whilst still providing an incentive to do well in summer assessments and give students who did not achieve their desired grades in previous terms a chance to improve. It also allows those who become ill or lose a loved one to have time to prioritise their well being and health at this scary time.

This action aligns with other leading Universities across the UK; Edinburgh, Exeter, Durham, Nottingham Trent, Southampton have already announced no detriment policies. This clearly displays a policy which is acceptable for a leading university, and for high quality degree level courses. Many other students are calling out for changes to be implemented including; Cardiff University, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, Northumbria University, Loughborough University, Newcastle University, University of York, Queen's University Belfast, University College London, and Warwick University.

University of The Arts London must accept this global pandemic effects all students, barring them from achieving the final year grade they rightfully deserve.

[Please see below evidence for other Universities taking action on this matter.]

[1] https://thetab.com/uk/exeter/2020/03/25/exeter-uni-implements-no-detriment-policy-for-summer-assessments-47331

[2] https://thetab.com/uk/soton/2020/03/26/sotons-no-detriment-policy-means-your-grades-cant-go-below-your-current-average-83828

[3] https://thetab.com/uk/edinburgh/2020/03/26/breaking-no-remaining-exams-assessments-can-negatively-impact-your-course-grades-for-this-semester-65113 

[4] https://thetab.com/uk/nottingham/2020/04/01/uon-have-announced-a-no-academic-disadvantage-policy-to-all-final-year-students-47220

[5] https://thetab.com/uk/durham/2020/04/01/durham-introduces-new-no-detriment-policy-for-summer-exams-48070



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