NTU announce changes to assessment following petition for ‘no-detriment’ policy

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) have revealed how students will be assessed differently thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today (January 8), NTU announced they would not be providing a safety-net grade for final years.

Last year NTU introduced a safety-net grade following a campaign led by students.

This meant final years would not receive a degree result lower than the grade they received in all pre-Covid assessments.

This year a similar campaign was launched by George Cowell, a final year journalism student at NTU, with the aim of providing another no detriment policy.

He said: “Our whole university experience has been impacted.

“Many students’ home environments may be unsuitable to study or complete exams in, such as noise and being confined to a single room, which will not allow them to work to their full potential.

“It is about time Nottingham Trent University did something to protect the welfare of their student body.

“A safety net would alleviate so much pressure and allow us all to focus on what is actually important in our education: learning and bettering ourselves.”

At the time of publication the petition had almost 4,000 signatures.

Instead of a safety-net grade the university will be restoring the special measures surrounding NECs (notification of extenuating circumstances) and reviewing assessment schedules.

NTU said: “This year we can’t offer a safety net grade, as no assessments that contribute to this year’s learning have been completed without some impact from COVID-19.

“We have lots of other ways to ensure fairness and no detriment in your assessments.

“So, don’t be concerned that students did have these safety net grades last year because we hardly ever used them as all the other things that we did worked.”

Sam Harris, a final year Politics and International Relations student at NTU, believes the lack of a safety-net grade will have a detrimental effect on students’ mental health.

He told us: “Many students are going to feel completely let down by the university.

“I know lots of students who will not be able to cope with the sheer number of assignments & essays expected of them.

“If the university cares about the mental health of students they will act immediately to reduce workload, offer safety nets to students and extend all deadlines.”

The 21-year-old added: “This is an unacceptable course of action that will leave many students in impossible positions, many feeling that they will not be able to pass this year.”

You can find out more about this year’s assessments here.

By Faith Pring

Featured image: Olimpia Zagnat.

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