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Arguments for and against a COVID-19 statement on degree transcripts

Date: May 1 - 2020

Should universities include transcript statements explicitly recognising that degrees were awarded during the COVID-19 pandemic? Would degrees be valued differently as a result? Should such statements be provided for all students across all providers?

Our new publication - Should Providers include a COVID-19 Statement on Degree Transcripts: Arguments for and against - looks at these key questions, the arguments on both sides, and includes reflective statements to enable providers to guide or evaluate their own approaches.

Not all providers have reached a final view on this complicated issue, although some have taken firm stands on either side of the argument.

There are unknowable and unresolved questions around how such statements might be perceived. For instance, while a statement on the transcript may indicate to potential employers or higher education providers that a student's grading could be an underestimate of how they might have performed under 'normal' circumstances, it might also imply to stakeholders that the results are unreliable. It could signal that the grades or classifications are over-generous because of 'no detriment' measures being applied.

These are necessary considerations to help higher education providers decide on an approach that will ensure students are treated fairly, that degrees are not undervalued, and that students' considerable achievements during an extremely difficult time are also recognised.

You can find this and other supporting resources on our COVID-19 resource pages.