Vice Provost Anthony Smith addresses the UCL 2021 No Detriment policy

The Vice-Provost has thanked students for their patience on behalf of the UCL Education Committee

In light of UCL’s no detriment announcement (that a range of mitigation measures will be put in place to protect and support students through their assessments and examinations in the academic year 2020/21) the Vice Provost has emphasised how the student voice and a desire to maintain academic standards were central to the development of the policy.

Anthony Smith has said that it was student feedback via study and support networks that helped the university work with the Students’ Union “to develop 2020-1 COVID-19 mitigation measures to support [students] before, during and after assessment”.

He acknowledged that students have expressed concern to the university, that they will not be able to perform to the best of their ability in the circumstances engendered by the pandemic. Consequently, he has stated that “the measures [UCL] are putting in place are designed so that you can demonstrate your full academic potential”, and that these will “complement the adjustments that UCL departments have already made to every aspect of your education in response to the coronavirus pandemic”.

The Vice-Provost reiterates that all the teaching and assessments this year have been designed to accommodate remote learning, “in unusual and very often not ideal circumstances”. He emphasises that nevertheless that staff will conduct their marking understanding the challenges that students have faced this year and in full awareness of the disadvantages, such as limited access to libraries and resources that students have had to contend with which undeniably have and will continue to affect their work.

He also references the “physical and mental impacts of the pandemic” that continue to affect students in “a myriad of different ways”, which is “why [the Education Committee] have sought to make sure that you can access targeted support that recognises your individual situation”. Please don’t hesitate to contact university support services or their programme UCLcares if you feel you might need a helping hand through this term.

Finally, Anthony Smith concludes that maintaining academic standards has been a “high priority” throughout the development process of these adjustments, and that the Education Committee constantly “sought to strike the right balance between supporting [students] properly over the coming months and our responsibility to protect the long term value of your UCL qualification, such that it remains respected by employers and universities worldwide”.

Individual departments will contact you soon to give more details on how the mitigation measures will affect you specifically.

Until then, if you feel in need of a bit of extra support beyond the “balance” of Anthony Smith’s message and the measures announced today, there are options open to you at UCL Mental Health and Wellbeing support.

You can read the Vice-Provost’s full message here.