UEA students petition against confusing safety net

You can sign it here

A petition has been created which calls for the current safety net policy “to be moved to protect the grades achieved by UEA students…to the middle of March.” The petitioners believe the current policy fails to safeguard the efforts of those who “worked extremely hard in the first semester.”

UEA’s current policy means that a student’s degree classification “can only be improved” by completing further assessments. As the safety net ensures a student can not achieve “lower than the average they attained in the previous counting year of study.” The decision to not include third year assessments within this safety net differs from other universities such as Exeter or Sheffield.

In the original announcement email, UEA explained that their “academic year and assessment structure is distinctive”, as there are less summative assessments during the start of the academic year and the university does not have an official winter exam period. This structural difference led to them deciding to exclude first semester assessments within the safety net as “many students” still have the majority of their assessments ahead.

One student supporting the petition explained their position. They said: “It will protect against the slippage of the year 3 average in semester 3” but it does not reward those “who have tried very hard” this year in the face of adversity, rather they “are being punished.”

Instead they believe UEA’s decision to not include semester one within the safety net is to “protect against the impacts of the strikes in semester 1”. They concluded: “I would like students to be aware that if they are proud of what they achieved so far their final year, signing the petition will protect their hard work.”

On the other hand, a student against the petition said the current system “is the fairest option.” They said it counters the impacts of the industrial actions by using a grade from an “uninterrupted” academic year, and it ensures the system is less complicated for the university.

They said: “I think the petition is pointless, because you can’t pick and chose which parts of your degree are weighted more heavily.

“This is a protective measure for students who have felt unfairly disadvantaged this year…if you got good grades this year, they won’t go to waste.”

If you want to know more about the petition, or sign it yourself, just click here.