Apr 6, 2020

UCD to Take Student Exam Concerns ‘Into Account’, But Skirts No Detriment

An email to UCD students promised the college would take circumstances ‘into account’, but did not reference a no-detriment policy.

Sárán FogartyAssistant News Editor

University College Dublin (UCD) has promised to take “into account” the circumstances of students who feel their exam performance has been compromised this summer, but has not adopted a no-detriment policy called for by thousands of students, the College Tribune has reported.

The college has extended this summer’s exam period by a week to spread out assessments, and says it will alter a number of assessments as students battle unprecedented circumstances ahead of their assessments.

In an email to students today, UCD Registrar and Deputy President Mark Rogers said: “I want to assure you that the challenging and stressful circumstances you are facing are being taken into account in relation to your assessments and examinations.”


“We have the necessary supports and protocols in place to ensure that anyone who feels that their performance in any assessment was negatively impacted, can have this taken into account”, Rogers said.

The email, according to the Tribune, did not reference a no-detriment policy – which would mean students with a passing grade would not have their final result impacted by this summer’s assessments – despite a petition calling for the move that’s gathered over 5,000 signatures.

In Trinity, Vice-Provost Jurgen Barkhoff has told students that College is taking “very seriously” calls for the implementation of a no-detriment policy in College’s summer assessments.

Last week, students began a “bombardment campaign” calling on Trinity to put in place the policy.

The campaign saw droves of students emailing Barkhoff, as well as Provost Patrick Prendergast and Senior Lecturer Kevin Mitchell, calling for the implementation of the policy.

Barkhoff replied to students who participated in the campaign with an email that greeted them by name.

“Thank you for getting in touch relating to your concerns about exams in the current hugely challenging circumstances”, he wrote, adding: “College officials will bring to the University Council next Wednesday a comprehensive package of measures to address your concerns.”

Amber Davy, one of two Trinity students involved in launching the campaign, told The University Times that the email was not “at all sufficient”.

“It’s not going to change the campaign at all”, she said, adding that “we’re very much going to be continuing as we were”.

Last week, The University Times revealed that the provost, vice-provost and senior lecturer have been given the power to make decisions on summer exams without having to consult College’s decision-making bodies.

College Board and University Council have agreed to delegate their functions to Prendergast, Barkhoff and Mitchell, who will be able to make decisions on matters relating to summer exams – a source of concern for many students – “without having to wait a month for Council or Board to meet”.

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