Carenza Bramwell is a third year Creative and Professional Writing student and this years President/Editor-in-Chief.
Featured image by Maya-Bond Webster.
Following the announcement of yet another lockdown in the UK, meaning that universities are once again shut to all but those studying courses exempt by the government, students up and down the country are facing more disruption to their learning. A wide range of petitions have appeared from reducing tuition fees and rent in student properties.
It was brought to HUB Magazine’s attention that there was a petition for UWE to reintroduce the no-detriment policy from March 2020. Started by Joshua Downton-Lewis in a direct plea to Steve West, Vice Chancellor of UWE, it already has almost 4000 signatures, with a target of 5000.
“Dear Vice Chancellor Professor Steve West,
This is an open letter to the University of the West of England from it’s students intended to clearly lay out our concerns regarding the changes to teaching this academic year and to ask that the no detriment policy be reinstated to protect our futures.” begins the petition, before going onto list the reasons why students want the no-detriment policy.
“You have our futures in your hands.” is one of the final lines in the petition, which sites quality of teaching, technological issues and disrupted mental health as reasons to reintroduce the no-detriment policy. In March 2020, when the UK was placed into its first lockdown, a no-detriment policy was introduced with only a few weeks of teaching left and the assessment period. It meant that students would not be impacted by the pandemic and would not be able to do worse than they had in assessed work completed before March 2020.
With the majority of the 2020/2021 teaching year having taken place in the pandemic and a strong likelihood that it will continue for the foreseeable future, the no detriment policy is required to give students peace of mind when it comes to delivering their work for the year.
Steve West, in an article published by the Guardian on January 8th, has voiced his support of students being reimbursed for tuition for this year. “That would be a very powerful signal to students and society as a whole” he is quoted as saying in the article. He goes onto mention how UWE students have been impacted by the pandemic, pointing out the government and university sector need to work together to provide quality education to higher education students.
Action needs to be taken soon as UWE students are confused and angry about the announcement made last week about the policies introduced to replace the no-detriment policy. One student who spoke to HUB Magazine but wished to remain anonymous said “they have got rid of the no-detriment policy which protected our historical average based on a Pre-Pandemic Average. They have removed this, not told anyone, and are instead telling everyone that we have the same policies as before“.
The students of UWE require clarity about what is happening with their grades, having been impacted so severely. Below are key links for this petition.
To sign this petition, please use the following link- https://www.change.org/p/university-of-the-west-of-england-implement-a-no-detriment-policy-for-university-of-the-west-of-england?redirect=false
To read the Guardian article quoted, please use the following link- https://amp.theguardian.com/education/2021/jan/08/foot-the-bill-for-refunding-student-fees-downing-street-told?__twitter_impression=true&fbclid=IwAR1PhM1Lzj6kXecSEmCjCcomvPQbAIDQuh7uKLCTmYWxhnnwvbs_Pxw7EwE