Mar 31, 2020

Students Urge Trinity to Adopt ‘No Detriment’ Policy for Summer Exams

A petition calls on Trinity to put in place a system that would mean students' grades can't drop as a result of their summer exams.

Donal MacNamee and Emer Moreau
Anna Moran for The University Times

Trinity students have launched a petition calling on Trinity to put in place a “no detriment” policy for this year’s assessments – meaning students who get over 40 will not have their overall mark for the year brought down by summer exams.

The petition, launched this morning, currently has more than 2,300 signatures.

The petition calls on Trinity to follow in the footsteps of UK universities such as the University of Exeter in the UK, urging College “to take into consideration the “extraordinary circumstances” under which students are working both in terms of academic difficulties as well as the immense stress and the toll of the pandemic on the mental health of students”.


The system, called “no detriment” by the University of Exeter, means students with a passing grade will finish with a final grade that’s either the same or higher than their average so far this year.

“This safety-net strategy would ensure that no student’s grades are affected in the long-term, would be a serious support to students during this incredibly difficult time, and would be in line with what many other universities are implementing”, the petition says.

Similar petitions have been created online calling for University College Cork (UCC) and Dublin City University to implement no-detriment policies for students.

The UCC petition, launched yesterday, has gathered almost 3,000 signatures.

Last month, The University Times reported that Trinity was considering six contingency options for this year’s summer exams, including the possibility that exams could take place in August.

An internal memorandum, delivered to University Council by Senior Lecturer Kevin Mitchell and seen by this newspaper, outlined the different options available to Trinity when it comes to this summer’s assessments.

Final exams could also be converted to written assessments, and the designated exam period could be extended.

The memorandum said that the “spread of coronavirus and the resultant public health measures being put in place threaten severe disruption to the continuity of our academic offerings”.

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