Uni of Lincoln introduces safety net style policies for all students

They have made changes to regulations in order to support individual academic performance during the pandemic


The University of Lincoln has confirmed they will be offering a series of policies, which are not called safety nets but are very similar, which are being branded as “additional support” instead.

On the University of Lincoln’s Student Services page, they have set out their plans for supporting their students throughout the academic year.

The page reads: “We understand that studying during the pandemic has been challenging in different ways for our students.

“In response to this, we have developed several different mechanisms to help support you as you approach the first examination and major assessment period of the academic year. This support will be maintained throughout the 2020/21 academic year, and will be reviewed regularly in the light of any further guidance that may be developed by the government, the Office for Students (OfS) and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

“All of these different mitigations together extend the network of support to help you through this difficult time.”

Regulatory Changes

The university has made several changes to its regulations “in order to support individual academic performance during the pandemic.” Some of the regulations already provide reassurance that outcomes may be mitigated if they are impacted by the current circumstances.

The website reads: “The cap on the number of modules of reassessment that all students on taught programmes, both undergraduate and postgraduate can take has been lifted to enable students to re-sit all modules not passed on the first sit in the same year.”

Final Years

Undergraduate students who are entering their final year of study will “benefit from a safety net mark generated from their results during the previous year of studies (2019/20).”

The university has already calculated a Safety Net Mark for students’ Level 2 pre-Covid-19 assessment performance last year. “When the final examination board considers your individual transcript at the end of this academic year, we will have calculated two versions of the standard “Mean of Level 3 and Level 2 combined” algorithm and we will use the higher of your actual Level 2 performance and your Safety Net Mark version in this algorithm when producing your “best of three” approach to degree classification.

“For this academic year, this effectively results in a “best of four” calculations mechanism for your degree classification which mitigates against the impact of Covid on your studies.”

Second Years

“Undergraduate students in their second year of studies (or third year for a four year programme) can be reassured that our regulations use a “best of three” approach to degree algorithm calculation. Two of these calculations do not use year two (or three, for four year programmes) results, effectively “safety netting” performance should this year be impacted for any individual student.”

Freshers

“First year and foundation undergraduate students are reminded that their overall outcome is used for progression only, and does not contribute to their degree classification.”

Support is also available for all students from their personal tutor, programme, and module leaders, and session tutors. If students are unsure about something, you should contact a member of the relevant module team.

Credit: Hayden Pollard

Extensions

The University of Lincoln said: “If the pandemic or other personal difficulties such as a medical concern or difficult personal circumstances have had an adverse effect on your ability to complete assessment work on time, you are advised to apply for extensions through your School’s normal extensions process.

“It is very important that you do this as early as you can if you are struggling to complete your coursework on time. Please speak to your personal tutor who can help with the process. We have advised all Schools to be pragmatic and flexible with extension requests wherever possible, and we would always advise an extension as a first step for coursework support.”

Extenuating circumstances

The website reads: “We will continue to operate our extenuating circumstances policy in a flexible way. If you feel your performance in assessments has been impacted by your circumstances (including the impact of the pandemic) then please speak to your tutor or Student Support and apply online at the point of your assessment, this is particularly important for TCA’s where an extension is not possible.”

University of Lincoln students are allowed to return to campus due to personal circumstances. This may include if they don’t have access to a suitable study space or if they require mental health support.

More information about the policies can be found on the University of Lincoln’s website.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

‘I have my own space and freedom’: Lincoln students on why they are staying in the city

Lockdown 3.0: Here’s what you can access on campus at Lincoln

‘It seemed right’: Lincoln students on why they decided to stay at home for lockdown