Students can apply for a higher grade over George Floyd trauma, Uni of Sheffield says

The move follows a campaign from Oxford students

The University of Sheffield has said that students can apply for “mitigating circumstances” if they feel that trauma from the death of George Floyd has impacted their grade.

It means that some students will be able to have a paper ignored if it’s out of line with the standard of their other work, and borderline candidates could be moved up a grade following a successful application.

Other universities have taken the same step, including Oxford, UCL, Cardiff, Newcastle, and Warwick, after a campaign argued some black students had been left “traumatised” by the video of George Floyd’s death and should be granted mitigating circumstances in their exams.

The news comes amid calls for sweeping changes to the curriculum to decolonise learning and teach black history at both schools and universities.

Oxford’s VC, Prof Louise Richardson, said that the uni is “determined to support our black students in every way possible,” and added that any student who feels affected should submit a form.

Sheffield University’s website says an extenuating circumstance is usually an “exceptional, short-term event outside of a student’s control” which has a negative impact on preparing for or sitting for an assessment.

“It is the responsibility of students to notify tutors and supervisors if there are any extenuating circumstances that might have a bearing on examination/assessment performance. You should complete and submit an Extenuating Circumstances Form. You do not need to obtain supporting evidence.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Sheffield student starts petition to remove ‘racist’ Winston Churchill from banknotes

• In pictures: Thousands come together for Sheffield Black Lives Matter protest

The uni of Sheffield’s Career Service is recruiting for Hong Kong’s Police Force

Featured image credit: Todo Hzk labelled for reuse under this Creative Commons License