What we know so far about the calls for no-detriment policies at both Sheffield unis

Both are yet to reintroduce the safety net

As online university teaching is set to continue for the foreseeable future, university students need academic support now, more than ever.

Across the UK, students are petitioning for universities to implement a “no detriment policy” or grade “safety net” to ensure their final grades are not affected by the disruption caused by coronavirus.

Calls came following PM Boris Johnson putting England into a third lockdown on Monday evening. With new restrictions in place, most students have been told by the government not to return to university but to stay at home and complete their studies remotely.

During the first national lockdown, the majority of universities brought in a form of safety net policy for their students, ensuring their grades would not be affected by the pandemic. Both Sheffield Hallam and The University of Sheffield were among these universities.

However, both are yet to reintroduce the policy for their students this semester.

We asked both universities to see what plans they had so far to help students during current circumstances.

Sheffield Hallam told us they are working with the Students’ Union to review future arrangements: “We understand that the ongoing impact of the pandemic on our students’ learning conditions is particularly challenging.

“We have recognised this by updating our assessment arrangements to reflect that the majority of teaching is taking place remotely. As well as every student having assess to a dedicated academic advisor, we have made greater provisions for deadline extensions and those experiencing particular difficulties can request to take assessments later in the academic year.

“Ahead of the new semester starting later this month, we have consulted with our Students’ Union and reviewed future arrangements so that they reflect the circumstances and support our students to achieve fair outcomes. We will be contacting all students ahead of the start of teaching to provide more details of this.”

The University of Sheffield told us they will be telling all students their plans early next week. But with the Russell Group unis saying a no detriment policy isn’t necessary, we’re not expecting much.

In the meantime, a petition has been set up for the Uni of Sheff. It already has more than 2,500 signatures. To sign it, click here.

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