With students having been advised to stay home and not yet to return to university, many young people are concerned about the impact that the pandemic will have on their results, particularly due to the lack of face-to-face teaching and the anxieties caused by the uncertainties of when they will be able to return to their studies in the normal way.
Welsh Conservative Senedd Candidate, Amanda Jenner, has called on Aberystwyth University to put in place a ‘No Detriment Policy’. The University put in place such a policy last year which helped to recognise the impact which the pandemic had on students.
Writing to the Elizabeth Treasure, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Amanda said:
“I fully appreciate that you have difficult judgments and decisions to make in order to ensure the safety of staff and students, that education continues and that students are assessed fairly according to their ability and given the opportunity to meet their potential. Balancing this against the financial position of the University is, I am sure, no easy task. However, one way to bring some reassurance to your students would be to again introduce a ‘No Detriment Policy’ as you did last year, and apply it to this year’s students’ sitting exams and assessments. Having spoken to a number of students over the last few days, I believe this would help mitigate some of the anxieties which your students are going through.”
“You are, I am sure, aware of the current petition on this issue, and it may be that you are already in the process of putting this policy in place. If that is the case, then thank you. I appreciate that drawing up policies can take time and you need to get the detail right. If you are in the process of doing this, then to put minds at ease, it may be worth putting out a communication to students to say that details are being worked on, and that there will be a policy in place to recognise the possible impact of the pandemic on students’ grades.”
“If, however, you do not believe it is right to introduce this policy, then your students deserve to be given the reasons for this and there needs to be transparency in this regard.”
Commenting on her letter, Amanda added:
“A policy of ‘no-detriment’ would relieve some of the pressure that students are feeling.The impact of reduced face-to-face teaching needs to be taken into account, not to mention the anxieties caused by so much uncertainty.”
“I really hope that the University takes this into account and at the very least, communicates its plans to students at the earliest opportunity.”
Sam Hall, a third year Aberystwyth student studying History and International Politics, has said:
“As a final year student, COVID-19 and it’s associated disruptions have hit my degree at the worst possible time, during the final two years that count towards my final certification. It’s a shame to see Aberystwyth drag their feet on this issue especially given how much students contribute financially towards the university and the town at large.”
“We’ve backed them by not deferring a year- will they now return the favour?”