Words by your Academic Executive, Laura Flowers
COVID 19 has affected us all in so many ways, and sadly there hasn’t been a way to safeguard all your grades in a way that has benefited everybody.
The No-Detriment Policy last year was great for so many, however there are students who missed out on it due to their accrediting bodies, which was the worst. Although DSU and the University tried to ensure that these larger bodies agreed to these changes, many would not agree.
This year the University was not able to propose a repeat No-Detriment Policy and instead, like many other universities, has decided to implement a Safety Net Policy instead. We understand that this doesn’t elevate a lot of your stress, so we have raised your concerns to the University and have received responses back.
You told us that you felt marks should be more lenient to reflect the year we are in, especially for those who are on practical courses which mean they are not able to create the same standard of work. The University told us:
‘In general, all work will be marked taking into account the circumstances under which it was produced. To mark more leniently would mean that the standards of the student’s outcomes could not be guaranteed against other cohorts. While standards can’t be lowered, therefore, expectations of what is possible can be adapted and lecturers will do so, also taking into account adaptations to assessments that have already been made.’
You also told us that you feel that retakes should be available for all students who feel like they did not do their best, not just for those who failed. Whilst in discussion, I repeatedly brought up this point, however the University told us:
‘We understand the strength of feeling. However, there is a clear difference between a pass mark and a fail mark. If a student feels that they have not been able to perform their best on an exam or assessment, they can ask for a deferral in the normal way.’
We also raised your viewpoints surrounding mental health and grade boundaries, as well as some specific course concerns.
You can find the University’s full responses here.