Petition for NU to introduce ‘safety net’ for summer assessments has over 2800 signatures

Other unis have already introduced it

A petition has been started encouraging Newcastle Uni to introduce a “safety net” mitigation system for summer assessments. It now has over 2800 signatures.

The change would mean that grades so far would be protected. Students would progress or graduate based on the marks they have already obtained this year. Future work would only improve grades, not lower them.

This comes as an attempt to overcome the impact that coronavirus, along with the strikes, have had on progress.

The change can already be seen t0 have been implemented at other unis across the UK including Southampton, Edinburgh and Exeter.

You can sign the petition here.

One has also been made for Northumbria Uni students to sign. View it here.

We spoke to Abi Darby, the third year law student who started the petition. She told us that she hoped change that came from the petition would be beneficial to the well being of all students by giving them peace of mind and protecting their hard work.

She told us: “Over the past few weeks myself and many other third year students have expressed concern about the potential form that exams will take. Since receiving confirmation that they’ll be going ahead, we’ve had new concerns over the impact of the recent strike action and the Covid-19 pandemic on students and their ability to perform well in exams.

“After a friend showed me Northumbria’s petition for the safety net policy, I believed that it was something that could be easily implemented at Newcastle and would give students piece of mind as to their results.

“It’s important in a year where students have been through so much that they are not faced with the extra worry of doing exceptionally well in their exams, and the assurance that the mark they’ve so far attained is the lowest that their final grade can go not only reflects the hard work through the year so far, but the misfortunes of the end of the year through the strikes and the pandemic.”

Many students have left their reason for signing at the bottom of the petition.

One student made reference to an email students received earlier in the week containing a poem, they said: “A weekly poem is just not enough!”

Another comment suggested that more needs to be done by the university. It said: “Students cannot be expected to continue on as normal. Whether it is a take home exam or coursework, for many people the current situation will not allow them to achieve their full potential for so many different reasons. More needs to be done.”

Many other comments suggested that this is a very stressful time for students and that the university response hasn’t reflected that. One read: “Students cannot be expected to continue as usual, this is a stressful situation with all the unknown.

Another comment, presumably from a parent, simply reads: “All their hard work deserves to be recognised”.

This safety net system would protect the hard work of students to this point whilst still allowing for improvement should students feel they have the resources to do so.