Exeter Uni confirms the ‘no-disadvantage guarantee’ for this academic year


Earlier today, the University of Exeter sent an email to all students detailing the approaches they will be taking to ensure that this year’s cohort will not be disadvantaged by the impact of Covid-19.

Following the past week’s appeals from the student population to have a no-detriment policy put into place, which the university denied they could do due to lack of applicable data, Tim Quine, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor today emailed the “no-disadvantage guarantee” that will be in place instead.

Tim Quine says the uni is “committed to enabling you to succeed,” as well as preserving the value of a degree from the University of Exeter. He wrote, “our commitment to you is that overall marks this year will be fair, compared with those achieved by previous year groups including those not impacted by the pandemic and that, because we are protecting the integrity of your degree by maintaining our high academic standards, you will be well-placed to compete in the employment market… This is your no-disadvantage guarantee.”

The Students’ Guild and Students’ Union in collaboration with student representatives have developed three safety net policies:

  1. For whole cohorts, the exam boards for each department will compare the distribution of marks of each year with previous years in order to appropriately adjust marks. In groups that underachieve, the deviation between expected and achieved marks will be calculated in order to adhere to expectations. This has always been a policy and so is not new this year.
  2. On an individual level, Tim Quine recognises that certain students will need more support to “achieve their full potential.” He writes that Exeter uni will support the students using a variety of measures which create an individual safety-net. These include: the ability to apply for mitigation or a deferral without requiring evidence, as well as the option for the exam boards to make adjustments to marks that do not reflect the usual standard of work by a student.
  3. For Finalist and post-graduate students entering the job market, an additional safety-net will be in place to protect the classification of their degree. Quine said: “committing to expanding our definition of the ‘borderline zone’ and ensure that all students who are close to a degree class border are considered in detail.” The exam boards will be able to give a student a higher classification where half of the weighted credits are in the higher class.

To clear up any confusion caused by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s email, Students for Academic Mitigation have broken down the policies in place.

Here is a broken down explanation of the email regarding the academic policies in place….

Posted by Students for Academic Mitigation on Friday, 15 January 2021

In response to this news, students are arguing that these measures are mostly usually in place, and therefore this will not be enough to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you have any comments or queries, please contact the Students’ Guild or Students’ Union

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