Oxford University’s safety net policy for finalists was published last night online and then taken down in a University blunder, The Oxford Blue can confirm.

The Oxford Blue published an article detailing the policy on Friday evening after it was inadvertently posted and contacted the University. The University then deleted the policy from their website at 10pm on Friday.

The University told The Blue: “A summary of the policy was inadvertently published on the University website for a short time on Friday 17 April. We apologise for any confusion this may have caused.”

The full safety net policy will be published at the following URL at 9am on Monday 20 April: http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/regulations/safety-net.

The safety net, as leaked last night, is as follows:

  • If the student had already completed more than 50 per cent of their assessed work up to the end of Hilary term 2020, assessments in Trinity term will only count towards their degree classification if it improves the overall result
  • Where less than 50 per cent of assessed work has been completed to the end of Hilary term 2020, subjects will make other adjustments where they benefit the student, such as increased weighting of earlier work or discounting of lowest marks (in these instances, the exact formulation will be chosen by specific subjects)

The safety net will apply to subjects where remote assessments take place in Trinity term (either open-book exams or longer pieces of assessed work). So long as students pass the assessment, the policy will apply.

Oxford University said:

“The University will publish its safety net policy at 9am on Monday 20 April. The policy will aim to reduce the risk of students continuing or completing their degrees during Trinity Term from being disadvantaged by coronavirus, or circumstances surrounding the outbreak that are beyond their control. The policy applies to subjects where remote assessments take place in Trinity term (either open-book exams or longer pieces of assessed work).

“It is designed to ensure students can be assessed in a rigorous way while taking into account Oxford’s diverse assessment arrangements, students’ various living circumstances, and the general impact of the pandemic.

“As we continue to respond to the developing pandemic situation our priority remains ensuring the University functions as smoothly as possible and that the vast majority of students can finish the academic year to their highest ability, and be proud of their achievements regardless of the circumstances.”

The Oxford Blue understands that details about how the policy will be applied to individual courses will follow shortly thereafter.

Lois Heslop

Lois Heslop is the co-founder of The Oxford Blue and was Editor-in-Chief for HT20 and TT20. She is in her second year studying Physics at Lady Margaret Hall, and hails from South London. Her other interests include classical music and opera, and she is currently a choral scholar.