Credit: Johnny Briggs via Unsplash

University will not introduce ‘No Detriment Policy’ for 2021

By Lucy Dunn

An announcement was made by the Clerk of the Senate on 14 January signaling the University has no plans to reintroduce the policy.

The University of Glasgow has announced that it will not be implementing the “No Detriment” policy for upcoming exams and assessments, despite campaign efforts, petitions and SRC backing.

Just last week, the SRC called upon the University to implement a version of the “No Detriment” policy that was introduced at the beginning of the first national lockdown for academic work submitted in 2021. Luisa Barclay, a senior honours politics student, had launched a petition that had garnered over 2.500 signatures, commenting that the commencing of a further “No Detriment” would make sure that student’s work can only be positively impacted in this semester’s examinations.

On Thursday, the University issued a statement to students explaining that an identical “No Detriment” policy could not be implemented, as academic assessment for this year has been “designed in the context of the pandemic”, with online teaching meaning that “there is no ‘non-pandemic’ period that can be used as a benchmark for your performance”. A two-year “No Detriment” policy may result in a minority of students having produced an insufficient amount of assessment material, making academic progression difficult. This statement was made with particular reference to first-year students. The University also commented that they felt a blanket “No Detriment” policy would not be as helpful as a more individualised approach: “We believe that we need a policy that is more responsive to individual circumstances.”

Currently, the University remains in discussion with the SRC, and have so far pledged to “ensure fairness”, “act in the student’s interest” and treat students consistently whilst simultaneously preserving “the high standard of our awards and therefore the value of your degree”. Focuses for any policy changes include dissertation and coursework extensions, the Good Cause claim procedure, exam deferrals, resits and progression to Honours.

Despite the lack of a 2021 “No Detriment” policy, Professor Jill Morrison, writer of the open letter to students and Clerk of Senate stated: “I want you to know that we are on your side and we want you to do as well as you possibly can.” 


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