ARU students will leave with degrees ‘they deserve’

Anglia Ruskin University says it is “committed” to ensuring students will complete their courses and leave with a degree “they deserve”.

No exams, including finals, will be sat this year. Instead examinations have been replaced with “alternative assessments”.

The promise comes as the National Union of Students (NUS) calls on universities to cancel or postpone this summer’s exams in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The NUS has said that disabled, international and poorer students would be significantly disadvantaged if institutions go through with plans to hold online exams and assessments next term.

Claire Sosienski-Smith, NUS vice president (higher education), said: “In the current climate, student welfare must come first. It is vital that there are no compulsory exams this year.”

However, she added that students also face difficulties with online and distance learning.

She added: “Many students are unable to engage with their learning fully, due to a variety of factors, including lack of equipment to support distance learning, caring commitments, stress, anxiety and precarious housing.

“We know that disabled students are being hugely impacted by the pandemic, facing the loss of both university-provided and NHS support, a lack of reasonable adjustments to access online teaching, as well as struggles with accommodation.

“We’re therefore calling for practice which is motivated by student welfare and student choice, giving students control over their education, ensuring progression and completion when they desire it.”

A spokesman for ARU said: “We are committed to making sure all students will be able to complete their courses and earn the awards they deserve during this difficult period.

“Working closely with our students’ union to support students, we have moved all assessment online, and replaced examinations with alternative assessments. This means that no exams will be sat in person during this academic year.

“In addition to this, we have given students an extension of 10 days for the submission of all coursework due before the end of trimester two, we have extended the online assessment period compared to the original exam dates, we have launched a laptop support bursary and a COVID-19 hardship fund, and we have amended our mitigation policy and process to help any students experiencing particular difficulties.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]