Tim Quine states it is “not possible to implement the individual safety-net of the No-Detriment Policy”
DVC Education Tim Quine maintains that despite there being no No-Detriment Policy, the University is still able to “protect learning and academic outcomes.”
In an email sent on 19 November Quine explained a No-Detriment policy was “not possible” this year because they “Cannot create a benchmark now for the whole year based on last year’s performance alone, or based on qualifications obtained outside Exeter (1st years and postgraduates with no University of Exeter record of achievement), because that would risk undermining our academic standards and the value of our degrees.”
The email continued “Although the pandemic continues to disrupt our lives, the conditions at the start of the 2020/21 academic year are different from those in Spring 2020 in which we were faced with the immediate emergency of the pandemic’s escalation and the imposition of a sudden and unprecedented lockdown.”
Students were initially informed in October that the University would not be adopting the No-Detriment Policy this academic year.
Although the pandemic continues to disrupt our lives, the conditions at the start of the 2020/21 academic year are different from those in Spring 2020DVC Education Tim Quine
A University spokesperson previously told Exeposé “The University has carried out extensive planning and preparations ahead of this academic year to ensure our teaching and learning provision, as well as examination and assessment systems, are both suitable and robust to meet the demands of the current context, and to enable us to fairly and accurately assess students’ academic attainment.”
An Open Letter has been written by University of Exeter students in response to the initial email informing students of the discontinuation of the No-Detriment Policy.
The letter states “Our mental and physical wellbeing has never been under so much collective pressure; we are learning to adapt to online learning, but it just is not the same as learning in person, and the additional external stresses of daily life mean our academic studies are not best reflections of our ability.
“We therefore request an urgent review of the no detriment policy to exams and coursework.”
Tim Quine, in the November 19 update, stated the University is however taking measures to protect grades at both the cohort level alongside the individual level.
“Through our robust processes for scrutinising assessment marks and determining stage and final academic outcomes through exam boards, we are able to ensure that these adjustments to programme delivery have been effective and that the distribution of marks that you achieve is consistent with the pattern of marks awarded in previous years”
The University is however taking measures to protect grades at both the cohort level alongside the individual level
Students were also assured “assessment design and marking criteria have been adapted to align to the blended model and the conditions in which you are studying.”
“Therefore, all assessed work undertaken will be marked in the context of the current circumstances.”
The University has also committed to the continuation of the self-certification mitigation policy. Students can apply for deferrals of exams and assessments or request extensions on coursework deadlines “without being required to provide supporting evidence.”
“This gives you flexibility to adapt should your personal circumstances at a given moment require it, whether for health, caring, technological or other reasons.”