Policy change on mitigating circumstances

Image Description: A picture of the Radcliffe Camera

The University has changed its policy regarding mitigating circumstances for assessments meaning students no longer have to apply through their college or department. 

In an update emailed to students and on the exams and assessments webpage the University have said that students can submit a mitigating circumstances notice to examiners (MCE) “directly in Student Self Service” as well as through a college or department. Previously students could only go through their college or department to submit a mitigating circumstances notice.

Students are still encouraged to seek advice from their college or department, and to consult university guidance carefully before submitting their application through Student Self Service. It is also still possible for students to submit an MCE through college to be raised on their behalf, if they wish to do so.

The University’s update comes as students get ready to sit exams in a year affected by the pandemic. This will be the second year in a row that finalists have had their exams altered due to coronavirus restrictions. The University has previously faced criticism over its approach to finals, with students arguing that not enough has been done to ensure fair results in light of the pandemic. The strategy they have chosen is also different to the policies they enacted for last year’s finalists. The University has reassured students that its approach is line with that of Russell Group universities. 

The change in policy is part of the University’s Assessment Support Package, which aims to help ensure fair grades for all students. The University is highlighting its efforts to try and ensure that the pandemic does not negatively affect students’ grades. Students have argued previously that the University has not done enough to offset the negative effects of the pandemic on their study, and especially during exam season. 

For more guidance on exam policy and mitigating circumstances visit the exams and assessments webpage.


Image Credit: Chen Chen