The university has introduced a new policy for grade calculation in light of the current coronavirus situation.
The policy, known as a no-detriment policy, was implemented this week and means that as long as students meet the required pass mark for assessments, their overall grade will be no lower than it was before the university closed.
In an internal memo given via MyGlos, the university said this:
“In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we have introduced a No Detriment Policy to help students whose studies have been impacted.
This means that, while you must still pass all credits, your overall grade classification cannot go down, but may go up, as a result of assessments being affected by the current situation, for the remainder of this academic year.” [all emphasis original]
The main change to grading is that only students’ best credits will feature in calculations. For example, final-year undergraduate students will be given their final marks based on their best 60 CATS from level 6 and best 90 CATS from level 5.
Students will still have to take re-assessments for modules failed on the first attempt; for re-assessments that are failed, the standard rules for retaking will still apply.
The university has said that they assume the coronavirus situation will last for the rest of the academic year, but that if it does not, they will review the policy “in due course”. A full explanation of how the policy works can be found on MyGlos.
Other universities that have either implemented this policy or are campaigning for it include Warwick, Exeter, Edinburgh, Southampton, Cardiff, Sheffield, Leeds and Kings College London.
A petition asking the university to implement a no-detriment policy was posted to Change.org earlier in the week and had received over 600 signatures at the time of writing.
“This is a worrying time for us all and a lot has changed,” Cesca Eddershaw, who created the petition, said. “We are all having to adapt to a new way of living and trying to juggle our own physical and mental well-being with looking after those we love and just trying to process new information 24/7.
“Many of you have already signed circulating petitions regarding changes to the marking systems at UoG amid the Covid-19 crisis, however this petition is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT as it addresses the need to implement a ‘no detriment policy’ for the remainder of the term [emphasis original].”
One student who signed the petition was Sam Bartlett, a third-year Journalism student.
“To be honest, the uni isn’t doing anywhere near enough to help us with the stresses of the current situation,” he said. “While of course they’re trying their best, it’s becoming clear that the steps being taken aren’t enough.”
The no-detriment policy is one of several changes the university has made to assessment in response to the pandemic. They have also given alternative assessment briefs where these have been needed, and 14-day extensions for students in need of extra time (for example, due to self-isolation or care/key worker responsibilities).
Additionally, for students requesting longer (EC2) extensions, evidence such as a doctor’s note will not be needed as before.
All of the university’s campuses closed in March following government instruction, with teaching and student services moving online; halls of residence and launderettes have remained open for students living on site.
In his Easter holiday message given on Friday, vice chancellor Stephen Marston said the university was trying to move “as quickly as possible to respond to the rapidly changing demands created by the pandemic”. He said the situation had caused “worry, disruption and concern” for students, their families and friends, and thanked students for “the support [they] have shown for each other and for our staff”.