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Dear students,  

We are aware that there has been understandable anxiety about how the current restrictions and the move to online assessment will affect your degree.  This update explains the steps we’ve taken to ensure you can graduate and progress as planned despite the strain and disruption caused by Covid-19.   

Our approach combines the rigour required for your degree to have lasting value, with a compassion that recognises the stress and challenges you face.    

We have listened to the concerns and suggestions of student across courses and cohorts, drawing too from themes which have emerged on Unitu and through Students’ Union representation. We also considered constraints on specific taught programmes and the requirements of the universities’ regulator, sector bodies and the professional bodies that accredit most of our programmes.  We recognise, too, that research degree students face additional challenges and we are in touch separately about these. 

Some universities have introduced “no detriment” or “safety net” policies and you have asked us to consider this for St George’s.  We have designed an approach that we believe is the most effective and equitable way of providing safeguards to our students in these difficult times, while also meeting the requirements of external regulators and protecting the standard of the St George’s degree.   

Our approach is built around a set of core principles and acknowledges that one size does not fit all programmes – so in some instances, the principles have been applied in a different way.  Programme teams are providing you with the information about your particular assessments. 

The six key elements of our approach are: 

  • Removing some assessments and replacing on-campus exams with coursework or alternative online assessments wherever possible (including online vivas for research degrees) 

  • Removing rigid time constraints for remaining online exams wherever possible 

  • Deferral of some key practical assessments for which alternative assessment is not appropriate 

  • Extension of registration periods where necessary for research or placements 

  • Controlling for Covid-19 effects on assessment by analysing marks and considering, in consultation with External Examiners at Exam Boards: 

    • whether a whole cohort of marks needs to be adjusted up or down when compared to previous years 

    • whether a higher classification is appropriate for students within the borderline zone specified in our regulations 

  • Revised mitigating circumstances policy that recognises the impact of Covid-19 on your ability to prepare for and undertake assessments. 

To provide you with further detail, we have published a full overview of our approach to assessments during the Covid-19 pandemic on the University's website. The new information also aims to address recommendations made by the Students’ Union, petitions and concerns some of you have raised on Unitu.   

Best wishes,  

Professor Jane Saffell 

Deputy Principal (Education)  
St George’s, University of London  

Your opportunity to participate in a Q&A 

VP Education & Welfare Beth Ward from the Students’ Union and Student Engagement Officer Jeff Saddington-Wiltshire from the University are arranging Q & A session to address any questions you may have about arrangements during Covid-19 disruption.  

They plan to use Unitu to identify the important questions you would like to ask, so look out for a post on Monday 20th April that students across all programmes can respond to with their proposals. Questions will be selected for the Q & A based on the number of upvotes they have, the urgency of the query, and their relevance and appropriateness.  

If you have not activated your Unitu account yet you can do that here.   

 

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