Royal Holloway confirms a no detriment policy for assessments in 2021

The majority of written exams will take place online.

Royal Holloway has confirmed a no detriment policy for 2021. This is a similar policy to last year, to prevent students from being academically disadvantaged.

Currently, the majority of written exams in Term three will be online.

Last week, Royal Holloway’s principal sent an email to everyone addressing this year’s summer exam has been “planned and modelled carefully so your hard work this year will be properly valued”. In the case of last year, where the “best of 90” policy was in place, this year slightly differs.

In short, this year’s no detriment policy will be based on the 20/21 Fairness and Assurance policy designed to safeguard student performance and to keep the value of the degree for future employment.

The Fairness and Assurance policy and student intranet carefully explain what it means for finalist and non-finalist students, their degree and how grades will be calculated.

Last week, members of the School Education Leadership and the SU jointly held an online meeting for students to discuss the mitigations further. They explained mitigations have been built in by all universities hence the best 90 was not suitable for this year. If the policies were too broad, there would be a risk of grade inflation.

Last year was about emergency response. This year, however, there is more time to plan and organise things. All individual modules will be reviewed systematically against historic pattern – where possible at least three years of pre-pandemic performance. Where they identify the results and performance is lower than the established pattern, the university will give the Departmental Assessment Boards increased powers to change and raise marks for the group.

Essentially, if you do significantly worse than usual, there will be scaling of marks. It’s worth noting that no marks will be scaled down. The moderation and scaling is there to benefit your marks where possible.

The assurance of the second-year average feeding into the final average will be on the basis on their best 90 credits. This is still in place for all non-finalists in their second and third year. Unless you score a higher average in just your third year, the best 90 credits will be excluded.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students will be allowed uncapped resists if they fail or do not complete an assessment. Students will be allowed to request for Extensions and Extenuating Circumstances. The policies have been relaxed and revised to be more generous.

Students in their foundation and first year will not have the policies mentioned above. However, they will be able to apply for extensions.