Create a stronger safety net for Cardiff University students affected by Covid-19

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No Detriment Policy Template Email

Bellow is a template email to send to the University Executive Board, whilst this particular issue has attention and momentum let’s all flood their inbox!

Please send to the following: 'grahamks@cardiff.ac.uk'; 'Holford@cardiff.ac.uk'; 'vco@cardiff.ac.uk'; 'pvc-education@cardiff.ac.uk'; ‘v-c@cardiff.ac.uk’

To whom it may concern,

 

My name is – and I am a student at Cardiff University. I am writing to you today to address the lack of a no-detriment policy. Following on from the class of 2020 graduating with a no-detriment scheme in place, I feel that it would be extremely unfair for this year’s cohort to not be awarded a fair mitigation policy. Not only were students' degrees affected for the same period of time last year, the effects of the pandemic have continued to impact our current academic year. Although the university may have prepared to face these challenges and is constantly reviewing its policies, no one could have anticipated the levels of disruption that the country has had to face in the past few weeks.

 

Since September 2020, it is reasonable that the vast majority of teaching has been moved online. The shift to virtual learning has required staff and students alike to adjust to the new strategies and has come with issues such as malfunctions, Wifi connectivity problems and considerable changes to the work environment. The shift from interpersonal to remote interactions has been shown to have considerable effects on the brain activity, affecting levels of performance (Jiang et al. 2012, Hirsch et al. 2017). Even though this is beyond anyone’s control, the value institutions have placed on in-person teaching in the past years contrasts with the new teaching strategies that have been implemented. Even so, students are expected to perform to the same standard as they would have prior to the pandemic. This is without mentioning the strain brought on by the emotional and mental implications that the majority of the population is facing during these unprecedented times. Not being able to go home to see loved ones, having family and friends affected by the virus or working on the frontline, as well as our own health possibly being put at risk are a few examples of the circumstances that many of us are currently experiencing. On top of this, with Cardiff being such an international institution, numerous students were offered minimal guidance and not enough support during the transition period of the country leaving the European Union. This has added additional pressure and stress to an already taxing year.

 

I recognize that the university does not want to jeopardise the value of its degrees, but I feel that it would only be fair to ensure that grades are not impacted by external factors beyond anyone’s control. A fair mitigation policy would mean that marking represent the high standards of the university, whilst ensuring that each student's individual disadvantage is taken into consideration. Awarding a non-detriment scheme does not equate to an admission of failure. On the contrary, it would recognise that the challenges faced as a consequence of this pandemic not only have significantly impacted the standards of teaching, but also the ability of students and staff to perform to their full potential. I understand that the university staff are working their hardest to adjust to the new circumstances, I also ask that while these adjustments are made, students are granted a fair mitigation policy ensuring their futures are protected. A petition that has gathered many signatures has also been circulating, here is the link for your reference http://chng.it/jYWfB9fHcf

 

I look forward to hearing from you with your considered response.

 

Yours sincerely,

Hannah Luscombe
3 months ago