1300 sign UoM students petition demading ‘no detriment’ policy for summer exams

A no detriment policy would ensure that students grades would be kept at at least the average they achieved before the university closed

A petition for the University of Manchester to adopt a no detriment policy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis has already reached 1300 signatures.

A no detriment policy would ensure that students grades would be kept at at least the average they achieved before the closure of university buildings. This would be similar to a policy adopted by Exeter and St Andrews.

Kate MacLachlan, the creator of the petition wrote

“The coronavirus has affected every student at The University of Manchester. Even before the university closed on March 17th 2020 students were having to take the decision on whether to prioritise their university work, or their health and the health of others by deciding whether to enter university buildings for lectures, library books etc. However, since the university’s closure of non-essential campus buildings, many students are now left without library books, a suitable place to work, seminars, practical sessions, WiFi and computer facilities.

“Some students’ decisions regarding what to do in this difficult time, such as whether to live alone in Manchester instead of with family, will be heavily influenced by the university work they still need to prioritise. Many students will now be made to complete work in an environment that will not enable them to convey their true abilities, and many students’ work will be hindered by illness of themselves or those around them. Similarly, many students’ mental health is likely to be affected during this difficult time.”

“I am asking The University of Manchester to consider using a mitigation system similar to that being used by the University of Exeter in order to bring about fairer results for second and third year undergraduate students. At 9.40AM the University of Exeter announced that student assessment would be mitigated through a “safety net” policy.”

A “no detriment” or “safety net” system like Exeter’s would prevent students from achieving worse than their average grade prior to the closure of the university.

In addition, an open letter has been sent to the school of social sciences, quickly acquiring ten pages of signatures. Its writers “firmly believe” that a safety net policy must be applied to the marking of assessments following Sunday 15th March.

Kate, creator of the Change.org petition tells us “My decision to start the petition was actually completely separate to theirs but obviously it’s great that others are working towards the same goal!”

When asked if she expected the explosive growth she said “I wasn’t sure before I started it, but once I posted it I could see that it was growing quickly enough that it would reach 1000 signatures by today. I was hopeful that it would, as I know all students at the University have been affected by the coronavirus in some way or another, and I know a lot of students personally and in group chats who have been highly stressed by the situation.”

Sign the petition here