‘It’s ridiculous’: Lancs students start petition for ‘no-disadvantage’ exams policy

‘It would be unfair to not take this chaos into account’

A petition has been launched on Change.org in order for Lancaster University to implement a “no-disadvantage” policy, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has caused many universities to move Summer Term contact hours online, which is being argued as detrimental to students’ grades. In order to combat this, many petitions have been launched online for all universities to follow the example set by the University of Manchester and the University of Exeter, in which they have implemented the “no-disadvantage” policy.

This policy would ensure that students cannot be graded any lower than their current average-to-date; which means that if students sit an exam and achieve lower than their current average, this will be bumped up in line with their aggregate percentage.

Many Lancaster students have signed this petition, and The Tab Lancaster reached out to some of those who had in order to find out why they signed their support of the petition.

One third-year Geography student said: “I’ve signed the petition, because as a final year I think it would be unfair to not take this chaos into account. People aren’t going to work as well with so much shit going on around them, only seems right to me”

A first-year English Literature student, 19, said: “I was so ill, I couldn’t leave my bed and haven’t been able to work on them until today. I’m a part-time carer when I live at home, so my parents still get their full disability benefits in the midst of all this; if I manage to get home, I’ll be looking after them and the house during the day. This means I won’t have time to keep up with my course to the same degree as I would be doing on campus. It’s been super stressful and my department is expecting three assignments due in the next week, and that’ll be up to 40% of my course. It’s mad and I’d just like it to not fuck up my current grade.”

A second year Politics student, told us: “To be honest, I’m very aware of the amount of teaching that students as a whole have lost at our university over the past two terms. Both Michaelmas and Lent terms were disrupted due to strike action, and however justified that was it still disrupted our learning. Now we have an uncontrollable set of circumstances, and many students have huge responsibilities when they’re at home, regardless of whether they have to sit take-home exams! It’s ridiculous that uni haven’t already put this policy in place, because we definitely won’t all perform how we would if we still had our contact hours before exam time.”

Lancaster University Press Office spokesperson said: “All students will be updated ASAP about arrangements for exams.”

In just two days the petition has gained over 1,300 signatures on Change.org. at the time of writing.