Exam mitigation announced for 2020/21

No detriment policies have been revealed for this academic year, aiming to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on academic results.

The University of Bath announced that exams could be deferred and deadline extensions given without evidence, while the time to submit an ‘individual mitigating circumstances request’ (IMC) has been extended.

Measures will not be applied to students universally as they were last semester, but will require individual students to apply for the support, with further details to come from each University department.

Today’s announcement explains that a blanket approach was not deemed necessary this year, as teaching and assessment have been “designed to respond to the impact of Covid-19 and its challenges through the Bath Blend, digital examinations (using Inspera software), and flexibility.”

The University’s ‘Bath Blend’, which includes in-person teaching and remote learning, has been delivered differently by each faculty. Students in the School of Management voiced anger at the delivery of the approach earlier in the semester.

Students are relieved by the announcement, with a second year sociology student telling Bath Time that “I’m so pleased because everything exam related has been unclear this semester, I feel like a weight has been lifted”.

The news follows other universities entirely removing no detriment policies for this term, such as the University of Exeter. An Exeter spokesperson told Exeposé this was because “the University has carried out extensive planning and preparations ahead of this academic year to ensure our teaching and learning provision are both suitable and robust.”

Bath’s policies relative to other universities appear to be of great importance to students, with one final year Economics undergraduate telling Bath Time, “My main concern is that Bath treats us fairly compared to other universities. If universities elsewhere are being more generous with their students when it comes to safety nets etc., as Bath graduates we’re going to struggle to compete with them in the graduate jobs market.”

Others are generally pleased with today’s announcement: “To be honest I don’t think there’s anything to complain about here. I wasn’t expecting a safety net, and from September we’ve known how teaching and exams will be delivered this year. The adjustment to extensions is pretty generous as it is, and the University has to draw a line somewhere.” – Final Year Psychology student.

Annie Willingham, SU Bath’s Education Officer, said:

“We really welcome the University introducing no-detriment measures for 2020/21. We have been in direct communication over the last few weeks with the University over these measures, speaking to students about what they felt they needed in order to be adequately supported during these times. We recognise that there is still work to be done as there are more measures which could be taken to support students and will be releasing an SU Officer statement soon on what our next steps are.”

We have approached the University of Bath for comment.

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