Updates: These are the unis who have introduced no detriment policies for lockdown 3.0

If your uni’s not on this list…I’m sorry


With students told to stay away from uni for at least another month, calls are growing for institutions to bring in no detriment policies. Students, stuck at home, won’t have access to libraries, in-person teaching, and are hugely impacted by the disruption.

Whilst the vast majority of universities introduced the policies last year – which mean students won’t suffer academically as a result of exams and essays completed while things are topsy turvy – things have been more patchwork this term, and the campaign for a nationwide no detriment policy is gaining steam.

One by one, unis are beginning to stick their heads up and say whether they’ll be bringing in a policy for lockdown 3.0. Here are the unis that have made the move so far.

We’ll be updating this list as universities announce their policies for this term. If you hear anything from your uni, please email [email protected] to let us know.

Update – 3pm, Friday 8th January

Russell Group says no detriment policies are not ‘necessary’ this year

The Russell Group – a self-selecting group of 24 of the country’s biggest unis – has come out and said it doesn’t think no detriment policies are necessary or appropriate this year.

Tell that to York.

Bristol rejects student demands for a safety net policy

Unlike fellow Russell Group member York, Bristol has delighted its students by sticking to the line and rejecting calls for a no detriment policy.

Bristol Uni management say they are “confident” in their existing measures. but will be consulting with student groups about possible further measures.

UEA introduces a no detriment policy

UEA students can be delighted not to be a Russell Group uni, as their uni has decided to introduce a formal safety net policy.

In an email from Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Emma Sutton sent to all students, the university laid out the policy. It includes “reduced assessment burden”, “flexible and accessible use of extenuating circumstances”, “review of assessment tasks and schedules”, the “use of a safety net to support degree classification and performance in this academic year” and “retention of the use of academic discretion by the Boards of Examiners”.

SOAS has introduced a safety net for its students

SOAS confirmed students will “continue to benefit from the No Detriment Policy which we first put in place for Covid in 2019-20 academic year, and adjustments we have made to the marking criteria, specifically to take account of current Covid circumstances.”

Update – 3pm, Thursday 7th January

Greenwich will be introducing a safety net for its students

Greenwich’s Vice Chancellor has committed to a no detriment policy, with full details to come in the next fortnight.

“Greenwich’s aim is to help every student graduate and graduate with the best possible grade,” said Jane Harrington in a message to students.

Petitions at Bristol, Glasgow, and King’s all pass 2,000 signatures

Petitions started by students at Glasgow, King’s College London, and Bristol calling for safety net policies have all passed 2,000 signatures, as pressure mounts on universities.

Update – 6pm, Wednesday 6th January

York becomes the first Russell Group uni to offer a safety net this term

Despite Southampton’s claim that all Russell Group unis would stand firm and not give students a no detriment policy, York has just announced it will in fact be bringing a policy in.

In an email to students, York’s Students’ Union confirmed the university will be bringing in “a new set of measures to help protect your grades and help mitigate the challenges of the new lockdown, in addition to the challenges last term.”

UCL says it is reviewing the situation

Another Russell Group uni, UCL is “revising and reviewing” its no detriment policy.

“With the new term beginning and thoughts turning to exams and other assessments, research projects and dissertations, I am writing to let you know that we are revisiting and reviewing our no detriment policy,” Vice Provost Antony Smith wrote in an email to students.

“We want to reward properly your hard work in the circumstances of the pandemic and ensure that a UCL degree continues to be regarded as amongst the best in the world.”

Update – 3pm, Wednesday 6th January

Leeds Beckett is the first uni in the country to introduce a safety net policy this year

Leeds Beckett has become the first uni in the country to introduce a safety net policy for this round of lockdown. The policy will be a repeat of the uni’s policy from last year.

In an email sent to all students, Vice Chancellor Peter Slee wrote: “We also want to confirm that from today, we are reintroducing the changes to the University Academic Regulations that we approved during the first wave of the pandemic.

“This ‘safety net’ means, in summary, that undergraduate students will progress or achieve an award, based on your best 60 credits (with equivalents for taught postgraduates) and that ‘Category A’ extenuation will automatically apply to all students without the need for you to apply for mitigation.”

Southampton has shot down the idea for its students

Meanwhile, when asked whether it’d be doing a no detriment policy this year, Southampton directed The Tab to an FAQ page on its website which read: “We, like other Russell Group universities, do not plan to operate a ‘No Detriment’ policy for this academic year.”

Bodes well. However, the university is expected to update students on assessments in an email tomorrow.

Bristol, Lancaster, Liverpool are among the unis looking into it

Perhaps as surprised as the rest of us were by Boris’s announcement, a number of universities say they’re looking into no detriment policies for this term.

At Bristol, where one student said the situation is “worse than summer”, the university is “discussing” a policy.

Liverpool will be writing to students next week with “more detailed information about how assessments will run under the current circumstances”, while Lancaster says: “We are reviewing our policies and practices in light of government changes.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

This student has created a campaign for a nationwide no detriment policy

Soton confirms it will not be offering the no detriment policy this year

Leeds Beckett becomes first UK uni to introduce safety net policy