Students worried as NZ universities take different approaches to grades amid Covid-19 disruption

University students are worried about their grades because of Covid-19, with universities taking different approaches to how they deal with the learning fallout.

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Some have decided to boost grades while others haven’t, making some graduates worry they’ll be at a disadvantage on the job market. Source: 1 NEWS

Some have opted to boost grades and make allowances, while others haven't. Each university is taking a different approach. 

Auckland and Otago universities told 1 NEWS they will automatically scale up marks for students. Waikato, Massey, Canterbury and Lincoln will apply impaired performance criteria comparing students' marks with previous grades and adjusting upwards if needed.

Meanwhile, AUT and Victoria universities said they will review grades and make changes as necessary.

All universities have cancelled the usual semester one exams, moving them online instead or using alternative assessment methods.

Victoria is the only university that has cancelled face to face exams for the rest of the year.

But Victoria University students are still worried they'll be disadvantaged.

Grace Carr is a student at Victoria. She’s asked for course extensions to help her get ahead.

“It's very stressful because you apply for the extension, you have that anxiety - like, will I get it, will I not, is my reason good enough?

“It makes me feel a bit hopeless that these other people are getting this advantage.”

Taylah Shuker of Victoria University Students Association says a lot of students are concerned.

“For students to not be on the same level playing field as other universities is really disappointing.” 

The Government has said unlike NCEA, universities act independently by setting their own policies on exams and grading.

Universities New Zealand chief executive Chris Whelan told 1 NEWS "the varied approaches reflect the differing student bodies and courses and all institutions are taking a student-centric approach".