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Student representatives continue to make headway with No Detriment Policy

The student voice has proved to be louder than ever this year with student representatives contributing to top-level discussions, including the ongoing campaign for a No Detriment Policy.

Cara Chittenden, SU President Exeter 2020/21

On Wednesday 13 January, Save Our Grades day occurred in which many students, alongside the campaign group Students For Academic Mitigation, created a media storm to make their concerns around the quality of their education and outcomes clear. This increased pressure on Exeter to provide more substantial mitigation for students.

On Thursday 14 January, an APACs meeting took place in which student representatives (including the President Exeter, UG Education Officer, PG Education Officer, and Politics Subject Chair) once again pushed the University of Exeter to provide more protection for student outcomes. The university explained how APACs (Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees) would have more powers to consider students' individual circumstances when awarding outcomes at the end of this academic year. Student representatives argued that this wasn’t enough. Some progress was made as the university brought forward a new possible policy, which allowed more generosity in awarding students a higher degree classification if they sit near a degree class boundary (e.g. if they’re at 67.5 they could be considered eligible for a First-Class degree).

On Friday 15 January, following the small but positive progress in this meeting, Cara agreed to co-sign an email from Tim Quine, DVC Education, to students, outlining the current agreed-upon policies for how their outcomes would be protected. This wasn’t necessarily the finalised set of policies, with acknowledgement in the e-mail that conversations would be ongoing.

Since the communications on Friday, Cara has received lots of feedback from students dissatisfied with the policies outlined. She is currently gathering this feedback to share with the university at the next opportunity. If you have feedback, please either pass it on to your Course Reps, Cara herself, or ROS (our anonymous feedback system).

On Tuesday 19 January, Cara co-signed a statement seeking support from UCU, one of the key staff unions at the university. It’s hoped that academic staff at Exeter can support students in their calls for a more substantial No Detriment Policy, increasing the pressure on the university to provide one.

Click here to find out more about our No Detriment campaign.


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