What Goldsmiths has been doing

Goldsmiths has responded to the changing Covid-19 situation, putting in place appropriate measures at the right time.

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Goldsmiths is open for learning in line with guidance for higher education, with a range of Covid-19 safeguards in place to prevent the spread of the virus, protect and support our students, staff and the local community and shield the NHS.

Learning and assessment

Since the start of the pandemic in spring 2020, Goldsmiths has worked to create ‘no detriment’ or a ‘safety net’ for students’ learning through this difficult time. This has developed over the past year and reacted to changes in government guidelines.

Spring 2020

In the spring 2020 term, we put in place exceptional regulations and amendments to existing policies that were in place at the start of the 2019-20 academic year. These changed our Extenuating Circumstances Policy (used if something unforeseen affects a student’s work). We also amended degree calculations.

Preparation for 2020-21 academic year

Over summer 2020, every degree programme was reviewed, and amended programme specifications were published. Changes included amending the delivery of scheduled teaching sessions and the format of summative assessments. Programme changes were approved by the College, including in partnership with external professional, statutory or regulating bodies where applicable.

This, along with some further changes to our regulations and policies, meant we were ready to support all students to continue to engage with their studies and complete required assessments, taking the pandemic's ongoing circumstances into account.

Further changes in 2021

We have kept all our changes and actions under review as the pandemic has continued.

The national lockdown restrictions England imposed on 5 January 2021 created a different situation once again. These affected different students in different ways, depending on their own circumstances and their programme of study.

We made further changes in our approach to Extenuating Circumstances to allow all requests to extend deadlines by up to 10 working days, made due to the impact of the pandemic, to be permitted.

We issued a set of new approaches to calculating final degree classifications to ensure that students’ achievements continue to be measured fairly through these processes. We have also amended the regulation concerning repeat attempts at failed assessments taken for the first time during the current academic year (2020/21).

We believe that in taking these careful steps, we have provided all students with the full range of measures possible to take account of the situation and enable them to successfully complete their studies.

Operating principles

Throughout the pandemic the College is following four operating principles:

Maximum resilience

This means that they will be suitable for whatever phase of social distancing/lockdown we find ourselves during the academic year.

This resilience will enable us to adapt to last-minute changes as quickly and effectively as possible. This will ensure we can support our students to the best of our abilities whatever changes occur next year.

Quality and standards

We will prioritise the quality and standards of the education that we provide, ensuring a focus on delivery of education that is of our usual high quality.

Any adaptations to the curriculum we deliver and the way in which we deliver these will have been subject to careful scrutiny through our usual internal and external standards.

This will ensure that our students are receiving the same quality and standard of education even where it differs from how we would previously have provided learning and teaching.

Parity for students

This means that whatever social distancing/lockdown situation a student finds themselves in they should be able to access our education in some form, whether online, in person or a combination.

Health and safety

For everything we do we will ensure that the health and safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount.