Goldsmiths University allows students to apply for assignment extensions if they’ve suffered racial trauma | UK News

Goldsmiths University allows students to apply for assignment extensions if they’ve suffered racial trauma | UK News

Students at Goldsmiths University can now apply for an extension to assignment deadlines if they believe they have experienced racial trauma.

The university has changed its deferral policy after a proposal from the students’ union, updating the extenuating circumstances they can cite when applying for extensions for exams or essays.

The new policy will incorporate racial trauma, which means black students and those from ethnically diverse communities can apply for an extension or deferral on an assignment on that basis.

Sara Bafo, Goldsmith Students’ Union’s president, tweeted: “The university has agreed to our proposal to incorporate ‘racial trauma’ as a reason to defer essays and exams for black and PoC [person of colour] students, it will be done through self-certification (moving away from providing so-called evidence).”

Those applying for an extension will not have to provide evidence of what this racial trauma means, instead it will be done through a self-certification process and will be assessed by the university.

Goldsmiths, which is part of the University of London, has more students who say they are from ethnically diverse communities than those identifying as white.

According to Universities UK’s 2020 equality, diversity and inclusion report, 48% of students at Goldsmiths are from ethnically diverse backgrounds, compared to 47% who are white.

This is also a much higher proportion of students identifying as ethnically diverse than the national average at UK universities, which is 25%.

This includes 25% who identify as Asian and 10% who stated they are black.

Other categories in Goldsmiths’ deferral policy include medical conditions, trauma, bereavement, court attendance, and caring responsibilities.

Professor Frances Corner, warden of Goldsmiths, University of London, said: “This change relates to our extenuating circumstances policy which enables students to ask us to take into account serious life events when assessing their progress with their studies.

“Self-certification for this kind of support is common at universities and students are entitled to proper support when the need arises.

“A student must submit a detailed statement which is carefully considered by academic departments who then decide an appropriate response.

“Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, with the College committed to providing the best possible support to each of our students.”

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