BOURNEMOUTH University have announced that they are to implement a ‘no detriment’ policy for student, providing them with two-week extensions to their studies.

A petition was started by Bournemouth University students and after receiving 2,500 signatures and hundreds of emails all addressed to Vice Chancellor of the university John Vinney, the new policy has been applied.

The university follows many around the country including Southampton, Exeter or Warwick in enforcing a ‘no detriment’ policy, which acts as a “safety net” to ensure students obtain at least their average grade so far in the year.

A spokesman from the university said: “The university has been working throughout this international crisis to ensure that our students and staff are supported and that students can continue with their studies and succeed despite the circumstances.

“We have been in contact with students regularly, listening to their concerns, and have been working from the beginning to ensure that there are measures in place to support and protect their learning and progression into careers, as much as we are able.

"Our no detriment approach maintains our assurances around quality, standards and consistency and will ensure that students can still work towards achieving their goals and getting the grades they deserve for the work they put in while not being disadvantaged by this or any other emergency scenario impacting upon them during their studies."

Learners have also had their studies interrupted by two lots of strikes this year, with many lectures chalked off due to walkouts in November and February.

University students are continuing their studies through virtual lessons, and those that have to do dissertation as part of their course will no longer have a physical hand-in of their work and will instead have to submit their papers online.

Alex Pontefract, who is studying masters in Creative Writing and Publishing, said: “The overall policy is quite fresh and as to what it specifically means, they haven't specified yet.

“The policy is a double-edged sword here for me because, even though I did well the first semester and my grades theoretically cannot go down, I also feel like I'm missing out on the in-person workshops where we would work with an experienced professor using specific industry-related software in person.

“I think we are being supported through what is something unprecedented but choosing this academic year to pursue a masters degree, paid for out of my own pocket, where the first semester was disrupted by industrial strike action and the second and third by Covid-19 is frustrating to say the least.”

Also, assessments that require students to be on campus from now until the end of August will not be conducted, with reviews being conducted on the criteria for these assessments.

The anonymous marking policy has been pauses to free up time for lecturers to support students through the lockdown.

However, students that have to complete oral examinations as part of their postgraduate courses will continue as normal, although these will be conducted via video calls.

Charlotte Kenward, a final year student studying Marketing Communications, said: “To be honest we really don’t know much about it yet, it was only just announced on Friday and they haven’t said much about the details of it.

“However, regardless of the finer details, it has definitely had a positive impact on me mentally, with working from home being quite hard for me, my future results will be more of a reflection on my past grades where I was able to work at my best within a university environment.

“So I think it just gives us as students more of a security and a more positive mind set through this time of uncertainty.”