Students call for introduction of ‘safety net’ at University of Sheffield

Calls are growing for the University of Sheffield to follow other top-flight universities in providing an ‘alternative safety net’ so that students’ grades do not suffer from the impact of Covid 19.


A petition created by a student at the university is calling for similar changes to those seen at the University of York which would see second years and above have their grades reweighted on top of considering extenuating circumstances and reviewing marks against previous years’ grades.


Harriet Basile, a third year English and theatre student at the university, said: “My grades have drastically suffered since the beginning of the pandemic which I find personally a downright shame because I feel I’ve been putting more effort into my studies as I have been more motivated to succeed, to prove that despite the pandemic, I’m still a diligent person and want to succeed with my degree.


“The reason I want the University to consider reweighting the grades is because many students have suffered due to the difficulty of adapting to online learning and lack of support provided by their departments or teaching staff. To expect us to perform to the highest standard with the lack of facilities and resources available is practically impossible and unfair.”


The petition, which currently has over 700 signatures, says that final year student results will weigh twice as much as second year results, which is a reflection of pre-pandemic degree calculations. It claims that reweighting second years and final years’ is an effective way of ensuring the pandemic doesn’t affect students final classifications.


The University of Sheffield is currently using a system that would compare grades to previous years’ average. They state on their website ‘we will make adjustments where necessary so that you are not disadvantaged.’


The university have also announced a £3m covid support fund to help students who are struggling due to the impact of Covid 19.

The University has been approached for a comment.

The petition can be found here:

Written by Joel Hooke

Trainee journalist at the University of Sheffield. Twitter: @JoelHookeJourno

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