Warwick introduces ‘safety net’ policy for summer exams following student’s petition

The petition gained 1000 signatures in ‘just four hours’


Following a student petition, Warwick University has introduced a ‘safety net’ policy for all intermediate and final year exams, as well as implementing an automatic two-week extension on all coursework currently in progress.

A spokesperson for the University said: “We now ensure that for this academic year (2019/20) you will not be adversely affected by the revised online arrangements and we will ensure that your final academic year average is the same as or higher than the average you have attained so far.”

The University added that “average marks for the year can still be raised by taking the summer assessments” and that “you do need to ensure that you take (or submit) your assessments as specified.”

The move followed a Change.org petition started by two Warwick finalists, calling for the University of Warwick to implement a “No Detriment Policy for Warwick Uni Exams.” The petition, as of the writing of this article, has over 1,000 signatures.

It states that: “We are calling on Warwick University to follow in the footsteps of other top UK universities, such as Exeter and Edinburgh, and implement a no-detriment policy for end of year exams. This past year of our university has been heavily impacted by strikes and now COVID-19, meaning that we have had severely limited access to teaching and resources.

“This petition is asking Warwick University to take into account these extraordinary and unprecedented conditions, with the introduction of a no-detriment policy. Many students will be struggling to study in an environment that will not allow them to demonstrate their full potential, as well as being negatively impacted by mental or physical illness during this terrifying time.

“This no-detriment policy would mean that students would still have to participate in end of year assessments, but without the fear that this will negatively impact the grades we have worked so hard towards during our time at university.

“This would mean that as long as students obtain the pass mark of 40 in further assessments, their average will remain the same as, or higher than, the average already attained. If students achieve higher than their current average in further assessments, then they can still raise their final mark.”

The petition was started by Warwick students Christie Bailey and Issy Snailham. Bailey responded to The Warwick Tab’s inquires about the petition’s objectives with the following statement: “A ‘no-detriment’ policy would mean that, as long as we achieve a pass mark, any other exams / assessments / assignments we submit this year cannot lower our average.

“However, if any students achieve higher than their current average in further assessments, then they still have the chance to increase their final mark.

“The inspiration behind the petition started from a discussion we had in our house group chat after Exeter University announced that they were implementing this ‘no-detriment’ policy for the remainder of their assessments. We all agreed it was such a good idea and, as final years, would remove the huge stress of possibility graduating from university with a lower mark than we feel we deserved.”

Bailey also told The Warwick Tab: “This policy really takes into account the negative impact of the extraordinary circumstances we are currently experiencing, while also giving people a chance to improve on their mark if they still feel like they are able to.

“We weren’t sure if the petition would be popular or not, so we were really surprised to gain 1000 signatures in just 4 hours! I think people are so supportive as it is an issue that really resonates with everyone right now. Stress levels are running high, and if this is a measure that the university can take to ensure the mental health of the student population is not comprised, then I really think they should.”

At the University of Edinburgh, a similar no-detriment policy means that in cases where the board of Examiners would usually rely on an ‘open book’ exam or assessment results when determining the final mark for a student’s course, the Board will “discount these marks from your degree classification if they are detrimental to your overall programme average.”

At the university of Exeter, a no-detriment policy was implemented to cover all assessments taking place after March the 15th, ensuring that as long as Exeter students obtain a passing mark of 40 in any assessments after this date, then their average will remain “the same as, or higher than, the average you have attained up to Sunday 15th March”. Furthermore, if students achieve higher than their current average in further assessments, then they can still raise their final mark.