YORK St John University has brought in an 'exam safety net' to ensure students are not disadvantaged by the Coronavirus outbreak.

A petition was launched last month by a student at the university who was calling for a mitigating system in order to bring ‘fairer results’ for third-year postgraduate students.

The idea is based on a similar approach to the University of Essex, whose deputy vice-chancellor said students mark would be the same or higher than their average-predicted grade on March 15.

In a statement, Prof Karen Bryan, York St John University vice chancellor, said: "After careful review and consultation on what will work best for York St John University students, we have introduced a safety net policy to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control. This approach recognises work and achievement to date whilst providing the opportunity for students to achieve and improve learning outcomes for their degree.

“Our learning, teaching and assessment activities are being adapted for delivery online after the Easter break in line with Office for Students guidance on quality and standards. Alternatives to practical assessments are being provided, deadlines are being extended, extensive library resources and student support services are available online.

"We recognise that there is an impact on our students’ mental health and not every student has access to technology or a suitable ‘study from home’ environment. Our policy addresses many of these issues, and we continue to support those who need our help on a case-by-case basis.”