Students criticise UoB 'no detriment' policy as 'unclear' and 'unfairly applied'

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By Maddy Russell, News Editor

The contingency plans for summer assessments have been criticised for lacking clarity and being unequally applied across schools.

Bristol University students have expressed frustration over contingency plans for this year’s summer assessments, following an email from the University’s senior management this afternoon.

This comes following a report by Epigram that final year students have called for academic leniency following teaching disruption from a combination of UCU strike action and Covid-19.

In a University-wide email Pro Vice-Chancellor of Education, Professor Tansy Jessop, told students: ‘We want to reassure you that your final academic outcomes will not be disadvantaged by engaging with these assessments taking place under these contingency arrangements, i.e. you will suffer no detriment.’

Some students, however, have expressed confusion over what this policy of ‘no detriment’ would look like.  With many unclear on how it would impact their dissertations, or from what point within the year the policy would come into place.

Speaking to Epigram a third year student said: ‘It is very unfair that the University has been so unclear on this after we have waited for an answer during a stressful period.’

"It is very unfair that the University has been so unclear on this after we have waited for an answer during a stressful period."

Other students have also accused the contingency polices of being unfairly applied across schools, as some students are felt to have been given more leniency than others.

Law students will be able to pick their best three unit to determine their final year mark, whilst Chemistry students have been told their exams will be harder due to being open book 

One student commented: ‘ From what I have gathered from friends studying different subjects, there is a huge discrepancy between the plans being made to enable final year students to graduate.

‘We have all been told that departments need to make sure our degrees are not devalued, but this is clearly not happening when there is no parity between the departments.

"There is a huge discrepancy between the plans being made to enable final year students to graduate."

‘Some departments are being extremely inflexible, and not realising that some people will not be able to study while this pandemic continues, while others seem to have taken this fully into account and are offering flexibility.

'It does not appear fair to me that students are being treated so differently by their departments, and completely undermines Bristol’s stance on devaluing degrees, when there is no fairness within the university itself.’

In a statement in response to the criticisms, Professor Tansy Jessop, said: ‘We appreciate these are stressful times for everyone and have carefully considered the concerns raised by students around assessments.

' We’ve emailed them today to confirm that we are committed to ensuring that students’ academic outcomes will not be disadvantaged by taking assessments in the current circumstances i.e. they will suffer no detriment.

‘They will still have the opportunity to improve on their existing grades, while also being prepared for next year’s study or for their next steps if they’re graduating. We hope this approach will alleviate some of the stress and anxiety many of our students are experiencing during these uncertain times.’

Featured Image: Epigram / Cameron Scheijde


Do you think the changes to your summer assesments are unfair or unclear? Let us know

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