Newcastle Uni gives students ‘no detriment’ policy to tackle impact of marking boycott

The uni has assured students that all assessments will still be marked but may be delayed

Newcastle University has announced the implementation of a “no detriment” approach following the recent UCU marking and assessment boycott (MAB).

The “no detriment” approach will mean that students whose assessments are impacted by the MAB are able to progress to the next stage of their degree or graduate with reassurance that their grades will not be seriously affected by the industrial action.

The approach will use, where possible, a temporary calculation of students’ weighted averages for the year, based on marks available up until the the date of the Exam Board for each degree.

In an email sent to all students this morning, the uni assured however that all work submitted will still be marked, even if delayed because of the boycott.

Students with missing marks as a result of the MAB will be given a temporary mark at the Exam Board, using actual marks and other available information such as PECs, student support plans and personal circumstances, to make a decision on progression to the next year of your programme or to make an award.

Those with missing marks will have them entered when they are made available, with the possibility of average marks being recalculated. For final year students, classified degrees will be awarded where possible using marks available, with the possibility of a higher classification of degree being awarded once all marks are returned.

Those graduating may also receive a transcript stating the final stage decision as an “interim unclassified award” rather than a classified degree, which is to be replaced once marks are available to show the corrected or higher classification, at which point the degree certificate will be issued.

Students will be invited to graduation ceremonies as normal, but certificates will not be issued until all marks are available and the actual classification has been determined by a Board of Examiners.

Many degree programmes are not expected to be affected by the MAB and so will not be included in the “no detriment” approach.

The university says it will be “monitoring” the impact as the assessment period progresses and will be able to provide further advice and support “in due course”.

However, it added that the boycott is due to last until September 30th 2023, coinciding with assessment and resit periods unless a resolution can be reached sooner. Students are encouraged to prepare as normal and submit assessments on time.

Arrangements are set to be put in place to answer questions students have once assessment marks are released. Access to support for students frustrated with the uncertainty of this situation was provided and students are encouraged to reach out if this is having an impact on health and wellbeing.