During these difficult times, it’s more important than ever that we maintain an open dialogue between students and staff in our St George’s community. To help with this, we plan to introduce student-staff discussion sessions online and we will be experimenting with the first one this Thursday 23 April (St George’s Day!).
The question time will be chaired by Beth Ward, SU Vice President for Education and Welfare, who is leading on the design of the session with Jeff Saddington-Wiltshire, Student Engagement Officer. Our plan is that it will include me and other staff members, including from across allied health, undergraduate science, medicine and postgraduate programmes (with the final composition to fit with the questions posed), plus the students asking questions.
We held a Teams Q&A discussion session before Easter with members of the SU Student Parents and Carers Empowered (SPACE) group, ably chaired by the President. This was widely felt to have provided a positive and supportive space for discussion, so we are hopeful this format can provide a similar environment for this event.
The logistics are more difficult for a university-wide discussion, so Jeff and Beth are using Unitu to identify the questions you would most like to have answered. (If you have not activated your Unitu account yet you can do that here.) The site for posting or voting for a question is here – please do this before 12pm today.
I notice many of you have already made suggestions in response to the post Jeff and Beth activated yesterday. Further information on how to join the session will be published on Unitu on Thursday morning, subject to technical confirmation.
We very much hope this experimental first session goes smoothly – though as this is the first of what we hope will be a series, please bear with us as we learn and improve. Similarly, we will try to answer as many of your questions as we can. Where we don’t have an immediate answer, raising issues is valuable as it provides us with a clear steer of the issues which matter to you, our students.
I hope you’ll join us in what I hope will be a constructive, regular forum for interaction between students and staff.
Professor Jane Saffell
Deputy Principal (Education)
St George’s, University of London
Reminder: assessments at St George’s during the Covid-19 pandemic
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.
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 students have raised on Unitu.