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Tennyson calls on universities to introduce no-detriment policies to mitigate coronavirus impact

Alliance Councillor Eóin Tennyson has called on universities and the Minister for the Economy to introduce ‘no-detriment’ policies to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on students in third level education.

Councillor Tennyson, a former Queen’s University student, said it was an anxious time for students, who had had their education severely disrupted by COVID-19.

“Our universities have gone to great lengths to make additional resources and support available. However, many are still struggling due to a lack of appropriate study environments and resources, additional caring responsibilities, reduced contact with lecturers, poor broadband, and mental and physical illness exacerbated by COVID-19,” he said.

“A no-detriment policy ensures that so long as a student passes a module, it will not have a negative impact on their grade point average. The principle being students cannot fall below their current overall mark.

“This basic safety net would provide much-needed peace of mind and ensure no student is academically disadvantaged by this pandemic. A number of universities across the UK have already taken this unprecedented but sensible step and I would urge Ulster University and Queen’s University to follow suit.

“I will also be writing to the Minister for the Economy Diane Dodds to ask she engage with universities on this issue.”