Updated: Apr 27, 2020


An update from Joanna:

'Yesterday evening we met with the Registrar, Prof Mark Rogers, the Dean of Students Prof Jason Last, the Dean of Undergraduate Studies Prof Marie Clarke and the Dean of Graduate Studies, Prof Barbara Dooley. 

We talked about the impact of the current situation and the shift to online learning both in terms of the academic issues that students are experiencing (accessing materials, receiving updates and replies from lecturers, accessing learning supports remotely), and in terms of the base-line of stress experienced by all students in this current pandemic environment. This is something that is impacting on every single student, and some students have additional circumstances and issues going on which are further impacting on their ability to study. We have felt that so far, the steps taken by the University have been insufficient, or not communicated in a clear enough way, to reassure students. This is why students and the SU have been calling for a no detriment policy approach to be brought in, to minimise the adverse effect that this period will be having on student's achievements.


The members of management that we spoke to acknowledged these concerns and they expressed that students needed further clarity and additional measures to be put in place to address their concerns. They proposed the establishment of a management and student working group to address these issues in partnership as soon as possible. We are having our first meeting at 3pm today.

The group will be examining all of the issues that we have been raising on your behalf, and in particular the groups role will be:

To provide guidance on how assessment and grading needs to adapt to reflect the changed learning contexts of students 

To examine the Extenuating Circumstances policy and how it can be used most effectively by students

To examine how previous results and achievements of students will inform decision making regarding grading and provide guidance to School Examination Boards in relation to this. 

We have two takeaways for students, following this meeting. 

Firstly, a massive thank you to every single student who is involved in this campaign, who has emailed or texted the SU and emailed the Registrar and who have made this issue a top priority on our agendas. Ye legends! Keep it up, keep telling us your opinions and your concerns and we will deliver them to this group and discuss an outcome that will best address these concerns. 

Secondly, to reiterate the message from our previous update, if you have concerns right now to do with contacting your lecturers, or anything is impeding your ability to study and complete assessments this term, please don’t wait and reach out for support now. Module Coordinators, Student Advisors, the Chaplaincy, Health and Counselling, and the SU sabbatical team - we’re here, working full time and more to help you get through this semester as smoothly as possible.'

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