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Edinburgh to introduce no-detriment style policy for students impacted by marking boycott

Once any missing marks are available, students’ results can only improve on their provisional grade


The University of Edinburgh has confirmed to The Tab Edinburgh that provisional grades will be awarded to students amidst the ongoing marking and assessment boycott, in an effort to mitigate the stress and disruption caused to the university community.

These grades will serve as a minimum guarantee, with the assurance that students’ final results can only improve once their work is finally marked.

This decision follows Newcastle University’s announcement on Monday to introduce a “no detriment” policy, so students whose assessments are impacted by the boycott are able to progress with reassurance that their grades will not be seriously affected by the industrial action.

Edinburgh University has emphasised that this is not a no-detriment policy, however, it bears undeniable similarities. Specifically, any students receiving a “provisional” grade due to incomplete marking will only experience a grade increase once all their work has been evaluated and returned.

Professor Colm Harmon, Vice Principal Students, acknowledged the stress that the boycott has placed on students.

“We are acutely aware that the disruption caused by the marking and assessment boycott is placing a high level of stress on our community,” he said in a recent statement to the Edinburgh Tab. He added that the university is finalising specific plans regarding the impact of the boycott, with the promise of reaching out to students with further information within the coming week.

Professor Harmon confirmed that despite the tumult, most students are expected to receive marks degree or progression for their degree as usual. However, for those impacted by the boycott, the university may only be able to define a provisional award at this time.

In the commitment to fairness and transparency, the university assured that all marks will be accounted for. Once any missing marks become available, students’ grades will see an improvement from their provisional status. This means that the provisional grades can serve as a safety net for students, ensuring that their final grades won’t fall below the provisional award assigned due to the boycott.

“This measure is in place to account for the impact caused by the industrial action,” explained Professor Harmon. This step will prevent the current situation from further undermining university students’ achievements and future prospects.

While the announcement of the provisional grades provides a semblance of relief, it has also highlighted the stark reality of the crisis that the University is currently undergoing. The move is to be met with mixed reactions: some students will be relieved that their academic progression won’t be stalled, while others frustrations continue to grow due to the lack of action from Edinburgh University in working with the University and Colleges Union (UCU) to find a resolution to the strikes.