University of York introduce ‘safety net’ policy

‘The safety net is a way of guaranteeing in advance what the lowest your final academic-year average will be’

The University of York has introduced a safety net policy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, in line with other universities such as Exeter and Edinburgh which have introduced similar policies.

The intention of the safety net is to guarantee the lowest mark of a student’s final year in advance, providing that they pass.

An email sent to York students elaborated on how this will work.

York’s safety net will take into account what students have achieved in work submitted up to the 13th March 2020; the end of the Spring Semester. This score will be known as a student’s “safety net score.”

Students must have completed 60 credits prior to 13th March 2020 for only work submitted this year to count. Students who have completed less than 60 credits will have their final mark from the previous academic year included in the calculation of their safety net score.

The safety net will apply to undergraduate students who are in second year or above, including integrated masters students but excluding HYMS MBBS students.

The email sent to students stresses that “it is important to understand that this safety net score does not mean you can stop your  studies or opt out of summer assessments.”

The safety net can only be used by students who meet the requirements to progress to the next year, or in the case of final years, to be awarded their degree. Students must pass their modules, or average 40 per cent over the year in order to qualify for the safety net. Integrated masters students will only have to meet the requirements to progress to the next year of the Bachelor’s degree.

Students whose degrees are externally accredited, or overseen by Professional Standards Bodies, may not be eligible to use a safety net score, though the university remains in discussions with these bodies.

Scores will still be calculated as normal after the summer assessments and students will be given the higher mark out of their safety net score and their end of year score.

A grade estimator is available here, for students wishing to view an approximation of their safety net score.