A petition asking UEA to reinstate last year’s safety net policy for third year students is picking up speed after the university decided not to make changes to the existing degree classification system for the 21/22 academic year.
As it stands, if students receive a lower grade in their third year, their degree classification will be calculated on a 40/60 basis for second and third year respectively. If students receive a higher grade in their third year, this will form the entirety of their degree classification.
Students are reacting in anger as they feel their degrees are not isolated to their final year of studies, saying the previous two years of “normal education” they have missed due to covid are not being taken into account. The organisers of the petition feel they have been given a false sense of hope, saying: “the University has essentially lied about their intentions to assist us with study and failed to notify us in due course”.
The university previously implemented a safety net policy for students in their final years which aimed to compensate for the reduced experience they received as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Students have expressed their outrage in the comments section of the petition website. Josh Davies commented: “Uni life hasn’t really gone back to true normality yet, if a lecturer gets covid we have to do online lectures, not to mention 80% of my stuff this semester was online”. Another student said: “Please, I struggle so much [and this] was a small help for my anxiety, it’s all I had to hold on to”.
A university spokesperson said: “The University keeps all its policies under constant review and we’re continually monitoring the situation. We would like to reassure students that the University would not change a policy mid-year that would be to the detriment of students; any mid-year change changes would only be made for the benefit of students”.
The Students’ Union Undergraduate Education Officer is “doing all [he] can to lobby the University and push the Executive team to rectify the situation”. He sets out three main aspects he will be addressing: the contradictory policy information available, information on the UEA website changing without direct clarification, and the continued effect the pandemic has had on the studies and wellbeing of current final year students.