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3,000 sign UCLan students’ petition to protect grades in wake of coronavirus pandemic

Posted on - 5th April, 2020 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Campaigns, Health, Preston News, UCLan
Hannah Tyler and James Menzies
Hannah and James want UCLan to protect students’ grades

Almost 3,000 people have signed a petition urging the University of Central Lancashire to adopt a ‘no detriment’ policy for assessments in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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A no detriment policy would mean that students cannot achieve lower than the average grade they were attaining before classes moved online due to coronavirus.

The petition was started by UCLan students James Menzies and Hannah Tyler, who are third year students studying Policing and Criminal Investigation. They also work in a supermarket, meaning they are classed as key workers during the current pandemic.

James and Hannah started the petition after seeing that other universities were taking steps to ensure students wouldn’t be disadvantaged by the impacts of coronavirus.

James said: “We are a diverse community of students with differing backgrounds. Some students are international and have had to fly back home, some students are living and caring for high-risk family members, some students are part-time key workers but have had to increase their working hours to help the country in a time of need, some students have young siblings or children they now have to look after and some students have mental health issues that are heightened by staying indoors alone.

“The country is effectively on lockdown, with GCSE and A-Level exams completely cancelled and all that UCLan students have received is a five working day extension on all deadlines. We do not believe that this is enough.

UCLan's campus in Preston Pic: Tony Worrall
UCLan’s campus in Preston Pic: Tony Worrall

“Classes have moved online, which despite the hard work of the university and lecturers, means the same standard of teaching is just not possible.

“Due to the library being closed, the university has put great measures in place for those without an internet connection or a laptop. However, many students used the library because they do not have a quiet study place that allows them to perform to the best of their ability. Although many resources are available online, the closure of the library means some essential resources are just no longer available.”

Read more: The 150-year-old Friargate bookshop trying to keep the pages turning through the coronavirus pandemic

The petition states that assessments would still need to be submitted and passed for the no detriment policy to apply, and students would still be able to improve their grade through upcoming assessments.

James said: “This is a fair policy because it reflects whatever hard work students have previously put into their degree.

“We appreciate that many people are worse off than students because of COVID-19, but we think that it is important students still have a voice, especially when we are paying £9,250 a year.”

The petition has been put to the Vice-Chancellor of UCLan and James and Hannah are awaiting a response.

To sign the petition, visit change.org.

Read more: UCLan postpones summer 2020 graduation ceremonies

Will you be signing the petition? Let us know in the comments.

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