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No Detriment Campaign – Joint Students’ Union Presidents’ Statement

SU Presidents 2020/21

At Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union, we support students calling for additional mitigation to protect their grades in light of the new national lockdown, in the form of a “No Detriment Policy” or a suitable equivalent. We believe that it is unfair to expect students to produce the same quality of work as in a normal year when they find themselves in such abnormal circumstances.

Due to the national lockdown, many students will be unable to access necessary resources to complete their assessments, unable to study in their preferred work environment, unable to have face to face conversations with their lecturers and tutors, and may be suffering with additional implications of the Covid-19 pandemic, such as mental health struggles, financial difficulties, and increased caring responsibilities - this is not an exhaustive list of the ways in which students may be affected by the current situation. We respect that the Universities are unable to provide the expected quality and service of education in the midst of a pandemic and strict social distancing regulations, therefore we ask Universities to respect that students may be unable to produce the same quality of assessments.

We are campaigning, using your feedback, for the Universities to protect students’ grades with a “No Detriment Policy”, or a suitable equivalent.

University of Exeter Cornwall Campuses Update: Cara (President Exeter) and Jack Wilkins (UG Education Officer – Exeter) sent a letter to the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Education at Exeter, urgently calling for a No Detriment Policy, or a suitable equivalent, to be implemented in light of January’s national lockdown. The letter was formulated with feedback from Subject Chairs and the online Make A Change petition included. Please see below for a copy of the letter.

SU letter to DVC for Education at Exeter

Cara, Jack and Marz (PG Education Officer – Exeter) have now been invited to a meeting with the DVC Education, other senior education staff at the University of Exeter, and student representatives from the Streatham Campus, to discuss implementing a new mitigation policy to meet these demands from students.

In this meeting the University aligned itself with the Russell Group’s stance that individual “no detriment” or “safety net” policies are not necessary or appropriate this year, and explained fully the range of mitigation policies that have been put in place to protect students in the absence of “no detriment”, including scaling and self-certification mitigation. Cara, Jack and Marz argued for the need to rethink this blanket stance against “no detriment”, providing ideas for equivalent alternatives, as they will continue to do over the coming weeks. Keep making your voices heard: this is not the end! Students should expect communications from the University around mitigation soon.

University of Falmouth Update (from Lizzy, President Falmouth): Through the Falmouth Reps (shout out to SOFT Reps and their petition) and many other students expressing their concerns to me regarding their grades, I was able to voice these concerns directly to the Director of Learning and Teaching. We discussed a strategy to ensure students’ grades would not be unfairly disadvantaged by the impacts of Covid which, also discussed with the Head of Quality Assurance (who manages assessments) I was able to speak with Provost and Chief Operations Officer. We all agreed that, above all, students should receive no disadvantage to their grades.

All the best,

Charlotte Agnew (SU President Welfare & Inclusivity)
Amelia Banton (SU President Experience)
Cara Chittenden (SU President Exeter)
Lizzy Marshall (SU President Falmouth)

 

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