King’s students follow other universities’ lead to start a petition urging for a no detriment policy for remaining assessments in light of the pandemic. The university has already declared that first year modules would be evaluated on a pass/fail basis.
On March 26, King’s students received an email from the Principal’s office, outlining programs, assessments and event changes issued due to the coronavirus. One policy to be implemented is the transformation of first-year modules from graded to a pass/fail basis. The email states that:
“Grades from this year’s assessments will not contribute towards your final degree classification. Progression to your second year will be on a pass/fail basis.”
More detailed information is further provided:
“Your assessments will still be marked, and you will still receive a grade for your work, which will appear alongside your other marks for this year on your transcript. (…)
“At the same time, we recognise that your performance may not meet expectations over this difficult period. All transcripts for current students will carry a note to indicate that some assessments were conducted under exceptional circumstances associated with the pandemic.”
While this policy brought relief to first-year students, those from upper years are still under pressure because of their grades. As of the moment, King’s has made a sufficient amount of changes to reduce or spread the workload. However, students still feel distressed by the grading component. Students of King’s College London state on their page that:
“Many students will be struggling to study due to lack of appropriate working environments and resources, as well as being negatively impacted by mental or physical illness during this terrifying time.”
Some universities, such as University of Exeter and University of Edinburgh have already announced the implementation of a “safety net policy”. According to it: “students would still have to participate in end of year assessments, but without the fear that this will negatively impact (their) grades”.
It also states that:
“As long as students obtain the pass mark of 40, their average will remain the same as, or higher than, the average already attained. If students achieve higher than their current average in further assessments, then they can still raise their final mark.”
Following the lead of the two universities mentioned, students from University of Warwick started a petition, asking for the implementation of such policy on home ground. KCL students also joined these efforts, starting their own petition, which can be found here.
Some students share that:
“I truly relate to this situation, and I’m sure most of my peers do as well. This feels like a very fair solution to everyone as we can all participate in exams like usual years without the fear of our grades risking our future even more than it already is considering the job market the 2020 class will be entering.”
At the time of writing, the petition has generated nearly 650 signatures.
For latest updates about COVID-19, please check your e-mails regularly and refer to the coronavirus page (https://www.kcl.ac.uk/coronavirus)