Petition calls for a safety net to be re-introduced to Newcastle University students

“Students are being compromised from every angle”

Harry Hay, a student at Newcastle University, has started a petition calling for a safety net to be reintroduced for students this year.

Students across the country were offered a safety net for the last academic year, due to disruptions caused by the strikes and Covid-19. This meant students were unable to finish the year with a grade less than what they achieved in semester one, as long as they passed every module.

This year, this has not been offered to students, despite many feeling that online teaching is inadequate in comparison with in-person learning. The petition has been started to urge students to demand they have support put in place.

Harry told The Newcastle Tab that he believes that the class of 2020/21 should not be held to the same standards as previous years as the playing field is far from level.

He said: “With online lectures, limited online teaching hours, mass levels of isolation, stress and mental health issues, difficulty sourcing primary data for dissertation projects, the possibility of industrial action, uncertainty surrounding students returning home for Christmas, a delayed start to the academic year and full tuition fees, students are being compromised from every angle.

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic shows no sign of letting up and, whilst GCSEs and A-Levels are cancelled in Wales, face-to-face teaching has resumed in England and National 5 exams are cancelled in Scotland, university students still face mass uncertainty and disadvantages regarding our final grades and ability to complete assessment for the academic year 2020/21.

“Whilst it is understandable, given the unprecedented situation, that face-to-face teaching has effectively been halted, students should not be held to the same standards as those carrying out exams and dissertations in normal times.

“By doing this, the university is assuming all students have a suitable environment and resources to learn and work from their accommodation or homes as they would usually. This simply isn’t the case for everybody.

“I have seen a lot of people who would really benefit from extra support and more open dialogue with the university about how we can be compensated.”

You can find the petition here.

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