GSA endorses UMSU and UMSU International’s 2021 WAM adjustment policy campaign

Message from the GSA President

Friday 4 June 2021

 

GSA is calling on the University of Melbourne to continue their Weighted Average Mark (WAM) policy of 2020, so that students who have been disadvantaged by Covid-19 can continue to engage in their studies without their WAM being adversely impacted. We are proud to continue to collaborate with UMSU and UMSU International on this campaign and continue to advocate on this issue. We have endorsed UMSU’s open letter which recommends the WAM adjustment policy be continued in 2021.

We believe the University should implement a policy that allows coursework students to make an informed decision for themselves as to how and if this policy should apply to them. GSA continues to advocate that students should be able to opt out and that this should be clearly communicated. During the implementation phase of this policy, it is important that students are consulted to ensure that the policy and the transcripts issued accurately reflect the learning outcomes. It is crucial that students be provided with options that support their ongoing engagement with their studies throughout study periods when their ability to achieve academic excellence has been affected.

In 2020, GSA successfully advocated to the University on temporarily amending its WAM policy. Under the 2020 changes to WAM, only grades higher than a student’s average were included in their WAM calculation. Continued changes to WAM policy in 2021 would provide relief for students concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on their grades. Going forward, we believe the University must provide accessible support services for students experiencing adverse circumstances. Through all these changes, the University must still commit to delivering quality higher education.

GSA is also proud to introduce our newly elected Education (Coursework) Officer, Brendan Laws. Through this role, Brendan will engage with graduate students on coursework issues and will work with the GSA President to ensure that their concerns are heard. Brendan can be contacted at: coursework@gsa.unimelb.edu.au

The GSA Policy & Advocacy Team’s manager Dr Natasha Abrahams will be undertaking a range of consultation activities to ensure that all graduates are supported once again during these uncertain times. We are committed to continue to listen to students’ experiences and advocate to the University on how to best support students through this challenging time. The Policy & Advocacy Team can be contacted at: policy_advocacy@gsa.unimelb.edu.au

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Graduate Student Association