Thousands of students petition UCC to adopt 'fair' approach to exams during pandemic

Thousands of students petition UCC to adopt 'fair' approach to exams during pandemic
University College Cork

Students of University College Cork (UCC) are calling for a fair approach to upcoming final examinations which are due to be sat online.

UCC students are continuing to study from home as measures taken by the Government led to the further closure of universities across the country. 

Concerns were raised about upcoming exams and the restrictions put in place have affected study, in particular for those who are dependent on university facilities.

An online petition calling for UCC to implement a 'no detriment system', similar to that being deployed in universities in the UK, has received over 3,000 signatures.

The no detriment approach would mean that students who sit upcoming online exams would not be left with a grade below what their overall grade stood at before sitting the final exam.

As long as students qualify to pass the academic year based on marks obtained to date, then students’ average at the end of the academic year would remain the same, or higher, based on what is achieved in the final exams.

Students are urging the university to consider the impact that the closure of university facilities on students, particularly those who have poor internet connection, unsuitable home environments for study, and those who may be sick or caring for sick family members during the current crisis.

The petition highlights the stress and anxiety that the exams are causing students, especially those in final year who may have up to 50% of their overall grade dependent on these exams.

It calls for UCC to adopt a similar no detriment approach, already taken by universities in Manchester, Edinburgh, Southampton, and Exeter in the UK, which would ensure that no student is at a disadvantage regarding examinations.

The petition read: “We would urge UCC to consider the impact that these unprecedented measures have on students, both in terms of their academic performance but also the toll it is taking on their mental health during this difficult time.”

A UCC spokesperson said: “UCC has been strongly focused on ensuring its students are regularly informed and supported. To assist our students, provisions have been put in place to ensure flexibility for online exams.

“The university will issue guidelines shortly to explain how our students will not be academically disadvantaged through a number of options regarding assessment at this time. 

"UCC will continue to work in partnership with its student union to ensure its students are supported during this period.”

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