Last academic year, most universities introduced a no-detriment policy for students because of the impact of Coronavirus.
However this year, a number of institutions have outlined that they won’t be enforcing a policy of no-detriment.
The Russell Group said that it believes that the policies aren’t “appropriate” or “necessary”.
The current, updated list of universities that have introduced a no-detriment policy only shows five institutions that are providing a safety net for students.
Second-year student Chloe Lauren studies Criminology and Sociology at Kingston University and said that support has been “hot and cold”.
“It all depends on the lecturer or staff member. I think having the opportunity to retake is amazing but also providing more support is completely necessary.
“I know some universities have been better than others but nobody should be allowed to fall through the cracks due to COVID and the limitations it has presented.”
Studying in the middle of a global pandemic is no easy feat, and one group that has been hugely affected are 2020 graduates.
Issy Aldrige is 2020 graduate from BIMM Institute Brighton and she said the pressures faced by current students have not differed from those who received a safety net for their grades last year: “University students have now endured nearly one-years’ worth of disrupted learning as a result of COVID-19 yet have been left largely to fend for themselves during already challenging times.
“If anything, these pressures have only worsened, and their education disrupted further.”
During the impact of Coronavirus, different universities have offered different levels of support but Alridge believed that enough hasn’t been done to support students’ welfare: “Receiving an email that is simply titled ‘We’re here for you’ is not a substitute for effective and meaningful support
“Students have lost their jobs, been separated from families, dealt with increasing mental health issues, and some, lost loved ones, yet the current narrative is suggesting that students don’t need further help.
“Call me crazy, but that sentence alone should be enough to warrant extra support for university students.”
Looking to the future, Aldrige said she hopes for the no-detriment policy to be re-introduced, especially for third-year students: “Having the safety net of a no-detriment policy last year was incredibly valuable for my mental health and wellbeing.
“It allowed me to focus on the work in the present, rather than worrying that what was turned in may not match my usual standard.
“Encouraging more open discussions surrounding mental health and well-being between students, tutors and academic faculty would also massively benefit those students who are struggling the most.
“Considerations must be made for current students in the same way that they were in the first wave of the pandemic.
“If not, a massive proportion of the future work-force will be left in what could have been, a completely avoidable situation.”
For more on this, watch our interview with Jake Myers from Students for Academic Mitigation below.
More about university students: How student nurses were impacted by COVID-19