UCL Union addresses Russell Group Statement about no detriment

Update from the Union following the emergency education meeting today

This afternoon the Student Union sabbatical officers released an update following their meeting with the University Emergency Education Committee today – offering reassurance and addressing the statement released by the Russell Group yesterday evening.

According to the Union, the meeting today went well and the EACP – the panel that created last year’s no detriment policy – has been formally reinstated. The SU officers assure us that they raised a number of concerns expressed and conveyed to them by our student body, though they caution that it is “still early days” in these discussions, implying it may be some time before a formal and final position is reached. This may be nail-biting, but we’re sure everyone would rather they took their time to come to a decision that suits and supports everyone.

According to the SU the “big concerns” that the Union and EACP are working within developing assessment adjustments are student wellbeing and welfare, and assurances that we will go into our assessments confidant in our ability to perform to the best of our abilities.

They have also acknowledged the statement issued by the Russell Group last night, which essentially banned the extension of a no detriment policy to the 2020/21 academic year on the grounds it would be unnecessary.  For the full statement, look here. This statement unsurprisingly caused an outcry from students up and down the country upon its release yesterday – if you are keen to challenge the statement in its entirety, rather than just in relation to UCL sign the petition here.

Fortunately, the Union have assured students that they raised the Russell Group statement at their meeting with UCL today and requested “urgent clarification from UCL as to what their stance is going to be”. The answer – “UCL is going to keep its autonomy when it comes to making a decision” and the Union will be alongside them every step of the way. This comes as a vastly reassuring announcement to all students for sure.

Though it is unclear what the extent or details of the next announcement relating to a no detriment policy will be, the Union have emphasised that despite the Russell Group stance, UCL has not ruled anything out.

You can find the full transcripts of Jim and Ayman’s statements below:

Just to give you a little further update on what’s been going on, as we mentioned in the letter yesterday Ed Comm (Education Committee) was happening today and we just came out of that meeting now, and the EACP has been formally reinstated.
The EACP is panel that created the no detriment policy last year, and we’re going to work on it this year as well. It includes SU memberships, so myself and Ayman are going to be in those rooms.
At Ed Comm we also resisted the initial proposals from UCL around a no detriment policy and we’re working together with UCL to design something that is appropriate and that works for you.
The big concerns that we have around how a no detriment policy will work include student wellbeing and welfare, assurances that you will have before you go into your assessments and the confidence that you will have that you can actually undertake your assessments to the best of your ability. There were a few other concerns as well and Ayman is going to speak on those in the post coming up soon…
Hey everyone, Ayman here, your Education Officer. So we’ve literally just come out of the emergency Education Committee meeting, as Jim mentioned it was a good meeting, number of factors at play here, we raised a number of concerns but it’s still early days and will keep you updated as and when we can.
I just want to talk about last night’s statement that was made by the Russell Group. This was quite alarming for some of our students particularly around the mixed messaging. The statement basically said that the Russell Group does not see Safety Nets and No Detriment policies as appropriate – or even necessary – for this academic year.
Today at the meeting I asked for urgent clarification from UCL as to what their stance is going to be. Number 1, the statement from the Russell Group is not binding, UCL is going to keep its autonomy when it comes to making a decision and us as Sabbatical Officers are going to be making that decision with UCL at every step of the way.
So you’ll be pleased to know that UCL have not at all ruled anything out as a result of the statement and we’ll be with UCL at the EACP at every step of the way making the decision, so please don’t worry about that statement and please try and enjoy your weekend.