Image: Warwick Media Library

Warwick students petition for ‘no-detriment’ assessment policy amid COVID-19 outbreak

Students at the University of Warwick have started a petition in favour of a ‘no-detriment’ policy for upcoming assessments due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The petition has appeared after the University of Edinburgh and the University of Exeter adopted the policy, which means that students’ grades will not be negatively impacted by any assessments taken during the coronavirus pandemic providing a pass grade is achieved.

The University of Exeter informed its students through an email from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Tim Quine, which stated that these “exceptional circumstances” necessitate a “‘safety net policy”.

In addition to the ‘no-detriment’ policy, the email also details further aid to students including changes to summer examinations, deferrals and mitigations.

The University of Edinburgh’s Vice-Principal Students, Professor Colm Harmon, emailed students to inform them that “final exams (or other forms of final, summative assessment) will impact on your grades on a non-detrimental basis” in light of the pandemic’s disruption.

The petition calls for the University of Warwick to “follow in the footsteps of other top UK universities, such as Exeter and Edinburgh, and implement a no-detriment policy for end of year exams”.

“This past year of our university education has been heavily impacted by strikes and now COVID-19, meaning that we have had severely limited access to teaching and resources.

“This petition is asking Warwick University to take into account these extraordinary and unprecedented conditions, with the introduction of a no-detriment policy.

This petition is asking Warwick University to take into account these extraordinary and unprecedented conditions, with the introduction of a no-detriment policy

“Many students will be struggling to study in an environment that will not allow them to demonstrate their full potential, as well as being negatively impacted by mental or physical illness during this terrifying time.”

The petition also details how the policy may work, suggesting that “students would still have to participate in end of year assessments” but that “as long as students obtain the pass mark of 40 in further assessments, their average will remain the same as, or higher than, the average already attained”.

It also states: “If students achieve higher than their current average in further assessments, then they can still raise their final mark.”

Christie Bailey, a third-year student who created the petition, told The Boar: “The inspiration behind the petition started from a discussion we had in our house group chat after Exeter University announced that they were implementing this ‘no-detriment’ policy for the remainder of their assessments.

“We all agreed it was such a good idea and, as final years, would remove the huge stress of possibility graduating from university with a lower mark than we feel we deserved.

“This policy really takes into account the negative impact of the extraordinary circumstances we are currently experiencing, while also giving people a chance to improve on their mark if they still feel like they are able to.

“Stress levels are running high, and if this is a measure that the University can take to ensure the mental health of the student population is not compromised, then I really think they should.”

The petition has over 1,300 signatures so far, after opening on Friday morning.

The University of Warwick has been contacted for comment.

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