Glasgow University cancels first and second year exams due to COVID-19

There will be a small number of exceptions

The University of Glasgow has made the decision to cancel all first and second year exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Details of assessments in place of the exams will be determined by individual departments, according to a statement issued by the University. A “small number of exceptions” will be required to sit a formal exam of some kind.

“We know this is a very stressful time, and we’re here to support you,” a spokesperson for The University said on Facebook.

Stock image via SWNS

The full email reads: “The University has decided that the majority of Level 1 and Level 2 exams will not go ahead.

“This means that most first and second year students will not be examined in the forthcoming exam diet. There will be a very small number of exceptions typically in programmes with external professional accreditation.

“Students on the following programmes will be advised by their School of the details of the assessments that they will be required to undertake:

• Medicine MBChB

• Nursing BN

• Dentistry BDS

• Veterinary Medicine and Surgery BVMS

• Law LLB

• Accountancy and Finance BAcc

• Education MA, MEduc, BTechEd

• Interdisciplinary Studies, MAPE

It continues: “For first year students studying degrees at the University, who are not on the programmes listed above, you will be permitted to progress automatically to second year.

“This arrangement does not apply to students studying with pathway providers, including GIC, or on articulation routes where there are already progression arrangements in place.  The normal progression arrangements will still apply unless otherwise indicated by your current educational provider.  They will be communicating with you directly in due course as they make their own arrangements for responding to the Covid-19 situation and its impact on your assessment.

“For second year students who are expecting to progress to the next year of study (including entry to honours decisions), Schools will determine your progression based on the assessment taken to date and any outstanding coursework still due for submission.  Decisions will take into account your performance across levels one and two as appropriate and, in such a way as, to ensure that you are not disadvantaged.  Some of you may not meet the progression requirements on that basis either because of approved medical absence during the year or because your grade is below the progression threshold.  Where that is the case, you will be advised of the arrangements for assessment that might take place later in the academic session. That assessment will not take place during the April/May exam diet.  It may involve an alternative online assessment at a point later in the spring/summer but you will be advised in good time and with time to prepare.

Students who are on designated or ordinary degrees and are expecting to graduate this session, will be considered by the relevant College on a case by case basis. It may be necessary to create an alternative assessment for some of you in relation to a cancelled Level 1 or Level 2 examination and you will be advised about those arrangements.  This will not, however, entail an exam during the April/May exam diet.  It may involve an alternative online assessment at a point later in the spring/summer but you will be advised in good time and with time to prepare for any online assessment that is necessary.

“Visiting students who need to return course grades to their home institution may be required to undertake further assessment in relation to Level 1 or Level 2 courses. This may entail assessment during the spring exam diet. You will be advised about those arrangements, by your host School as soon as the details of these requirements have been finalised.

“Assessments will go ahead for all other students – 3rd and 4th year honours, integrated masters and taught postgraduate students – and you should expect to hear from Schools/Institutes in relation to the particular arrangements for your assessment as per our earlier communications.    In some cases, you will be expected to take an online exam whereas in others, you may be required to take an alternative form of assessment.  Schools and Institutes are working with Registry to clarify as soon as possible the specific form of assessment that will be undertaken.  The exam diet will still run from Monday, 27th April as planned, but the exam timetable will not be published on Friday 20th March as originally intended.  The exam timetable will instead be published on the Friday, 27th March.

“The University is aware of the challenges of undertaking assessment in such unpredictable and unusual conditions and we have been trying hard to balance all the considerations.  We have considered the possibility of delaying the assessments but that would mean final year students would be unable to graduate and this could affect employment prospects.  We are particularly aware that some students may encounter difficulties with technology.  Considerations around support and guidance for you are paramount in our planning. This includes putting in place online support during assessment to help you with submitting online, or undertaking exams online.  We will need you to notify us of any difficulties you experience during assessment, and we will take those into account.  We will not require students to submit evidence of good cause that relates to Coronavirus circumstances, just to declare them and we will give you instructions about how to do this.

“We have chosen to proceed with assessment at this time taking all these considerations and others into account, and in particular, taking the unpredictability of the coming months into account.  It is a decision we have weighed carefully.  We believe it is in the best interests of students and allows time later in the academic session to take fair decisions or reassessments should that be required.  Delay at this point may compound challenges later in the year.

“As we have said before, please await guidance from your School/Institute, continue to refer to the University’s main Covid-19 information and there is also a Coronavirus email address that you can use ([email protected]).  Please also keep in contact with the SRC who are also working hard to help support you and who are working closely with the University as we all respond to the emerging circumstances that the Coronavirus presents.”