Durham introduces new ‘no detriment’ policy for summer exams

An email has confirmed implementation of the policy

Durham University has confirmed that they will be introducing a “no detriment” policy for this year, meaning that students’ grades cannot decrease below their current average.

The policy has been introduced due to the uncertainty and disadvantage caused to students by the global pandemic, which they fear will affect their results.

However Durham stands by its decision to go ahead with online summer exams to enable students to move on to the next stage of their studies or graduate.

In the recent weeks, students have been calling for Durham to follow a similar process to that of Exeter University where a safety-net policy was implemented where regardless of the outcome of summer exams no student could get bellow the average grade they’ve achieved thus far.

A petition written to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor asking for the cancellation of all examinations for Durham students had reached 1,242 signatures while a petition calling for a ‘safety-net policy’ in Durham has reached 3,553 signatures.

The email released to students confirming the ‘no detriment’ policy outlines how while exams should still be considered as standard assessments, the outcome of exams sat during the Covid-19 affected period will not have a detrimental effect on the classification of your degree.

It is said that for finalists, if their performance in exams is lower than their standard previous performance then it will not have a negative affect on your classification. And for returning students if their future work is at a higher percentage than their summer exam results, their overall performance will not be affected by this summer’s exams. So basically, your summer exam results can only raise your classification, not lower it.

Durham University has not yet finalised the details of the policy, but the no detriment aspect is confirmed. In addition to this the marking practices within departments are being amended accordingly to take into account the challenging conditions we are currently in. Further still, if you are directly affected by Coronavirus, the university will be offering replacement online assessments.

The email circulated earlier today

Exams should still only take the same as what it would’ve been under timed conditions but each exam will have a 48 hour window to complete to help eliminate some of the disadvantages students may face. And those who may not have access to a computer at home can reach out to [email protected] for support.