COVID-19 Access to HE
Our regulators, QAA, have advised that there will be no provision for the issue of estimated assessment grades (calculated grades) this academic year (20/21). the award of your Access to HE Diploma will be made only on the work you complete during your course of study.
Our regulators QAA have advised the following:
This year the arrangements for the award of Access to HE Diplomas were designed to support students while studying during the pandemic. We recognise that for many students, the additional pressures of work, caring responsibilities or illness may make the study even more challenging and, in some cases, impossible at the present time. However, we have confidence that there are sufficient measures in place to ensure that these extenuating circumstances can be dealt with under the current arrangements to support students through their studies.
Last academic year, students were eligible for estimated grades if they were due to complete by 31 July 2020. In addition, it was our expectation that such students will have completed a minimum of 50% of planned assessed work by 20 March 2020. Estimated assessment grades were applied to all remaining assessments with a planned submission date after 20 March 2020. These arrangements were developed to ensure students who were due to complete their studies by 31 July 2020 received fair and robust grades, based on the circumstances that students faced in March 2020.
Not all students received estimated assessment grades last academic year. Students who were not due to complete their Diplomas by 31 July 2020 were not eligible for estimated assessment grades. Under certain circumstances, this also included some students who had not completed a minimum of 50% of planned assessed work by 20 March 2020.
At this stage in the year, there is not sufficient evidence to support the estimation of grades.
We want to ensure that you have every opportunity to continue your studies (acquire knowledge and apply that knowledge) so that you are prepared as far as it is possible to transition into higher education or other progression routes for higher study. We are confident that the current arrangements based on current circumstances will allow for this.
QAA advise that you should contact your course provider if you are concerned about any adaptations made to your course this year. You may be able to get access to additional support or tools to help you study.
Providers can adapt assessments and delivery, where necessary and appropriate, to:
- support teaching and learning, and assist in mitigating any possible effects of previous or future disruptions to teaching, learning and assessment relating to the pandemic
- make assessments as manageable and flexible as possible, for example, to address the impact of compliance with social distancing or other public health guidance
- safeguard against any future disruptions relating to the pandemic, such as local lockdowns or closure of facilities
QAA has advised, that if you feel that the work produced during a local or national lockdown does reflect your previous performance, please speak to you providers have arrangements in place to deal with such extenuating circumstances.
Our regulators, QAA, advise that Access to HE Diplomas have been designed to be responsive to changes in circumstances, for example, during a period of illness. If you are unable to study, please talk to your course provider about the best way to continue with your Diploma. This could include:
- making an application for extenuating circumstances
- applying for an extension to assessment submission dates
- a short pause* of less than four weeks - for example, if you are in self-isolation - this will not necessarily affect the planned end date of your course
- a formal break or suspension in learning.
If your course is not publicly funded, your course provider will be able to discuss other options that may be available to you.
You should contact your course provider to agree the appropriate steps are taken that will be based on both you and your course provider's circumstances.
* relates to publicly funded provision in England
Yes. Access to HE providers already have procedures in place to allow you to apply for an extension, should the current situation make studying difficult.
To discuss your specific circumstances, please speak directly to your course tutor who will also advise how to apply.
QAA advise, that if you have any concerns about your progression to university, please speak to your course provider and the universities you have applied to.
Our priority is to support students to meet the challenges to learning and delivery presented by COVID-19 and ensure that all Access to HE students are as well prepared as they can be for their transition to higher education and minimise lost learning as far as possible.
The current arrangements will ensure as far as possible, that quality, standards and student outcomes can be maintained.
QAA continue to update that FAQs and webpages here
Our regulators, QAA, advise the following;
To ensure that grades are fair, all awarding bodies and providers will ensure that effective arrangements for quality assurance will be applied. Your grades go through a process of internal moderation, external moderation and standardisation. These quality assurance processes will take into account any extenuating circumstances identified. A part of the moderation process, awarding bodies may adjust the assessment grades of some assessment upwards or downwards accordingly to ensure that no student is advantaged or disadvantaged.
For more information, please visit the QAA student site here
Please visit the website here
QAA continue to update their FAQs and website here
For the most recent update from QAA for learners. (9th April 21) please click here
For the most recent update from QAA for providers, (9th April 21) please click here