With the coronavirus lockdown preventing students from accessing the books and documents necessary for their studies, third level institutions across Ireland should immediately introduce a 'No Detriment' policy.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte, who said Irish universities and colleges should adopt a similar approach to those in the UK, and "acknowledge the exceptional circumstances in which we find ourselves".
The No Detriment policy ensures that as long as a student passes his/her exams this year, this grade will not negatively impact his/her overall result. In other words, the average grade students have achieved to date will remain the same, and may be improved, but will not be reduced.
Dep Rabbitte has written to the Minister for Education, Joe McHugh, calling on him to instruct his Department to introduce the policy.
“I have been contacted by students from Galway who are extremely worried about their exams given the events of recent weeks," she said. "With all campuses closed, they have limited access to books and journals and the cost of finding these online is expensive. There have been limitations placed on the ability of students to study for exams."