The University has confirmed that it will not adopt a “no harm” policy when evaluating student work this year.
Following the University’s closure in the Easter trimester last year after going into the red phase of its coronavirus response, it has adopted a safety net for all final undergraduate students so that they do not receive a lower class mark than they did in their 2019 exams.
It was also announced that not all first and second year students would receive classes for their exam results, but instead would receive feedback.
A spokesperson for the University said University that a similar safety net would not be put in place this year because “last year’s results were based on summative evaluations from the previous year and, given that they are not available for 2020, it it would be inappropriate to replace this system ”.
The statement continued, “Other assessment methods have been specially designed for this academic year to ensure their robustness in the light of the pandemic. Students should be reassured that their academic performance will be assessed fairly and that any disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic will be taken into account. “
The spokesperson revealed that more details on a package of exam-related measures will be released later in the Lenten period, which will follow “a consultation with faculties, departments and student representatives, to protect student achievements against the impacts of the pandemic and the quality and integrity of a Cambridge degree.
The move comes as Russell Group universities on Thursday (01/07) released a statement announcing that they would not provide safety nets for their exams this year due to “scarcity of data from pre-pandemic benchmarking available to many students “, and by” a duty to all students to protect academic standards and maintain the integrity of our degrees “.
So far, York University has broken ranks with other Russell Group universities by announcing a safety net for its students.
Elsewhere, petitions from Russell Group universities calling for a safety net have gained traction, with a petition from University of Bristol students collecting nearly 4,000 signatures (as of 10/01).
Rent Strike Cambridge (RSC) also added a “no prejudice” policy to its demands this Thursday (07/01), with an open letter on the matter expected by tomorrow night (11/01). RSC further demanded tonight (10/01) that the University “allow all non-finalists to move on to their next year of study”.
We’ve updated our requests to include no-harm policies and rental discounts for everyone staying in Cambridge this quarter. We will be launching an open letter soon! https://t.co/BuElyllOSf
– Rent Strike Cambridge (@RentStrikeCam) January 7, 2021
A spokesperson for RSC said University: “It is absolutely essential that the University offers students without prejudice policies this year. Students should not be expected to produce the same quality of work as they would under normal circumstances. Failure to implement this policy would surely be a major oversight when it comes to student mental health.
University has contacted the Cambridge Students’ Union for comment.
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