Facing pressure to act in recent weeks, prestigious British college Oxford University said students "affected" by George Floyd's death in the United States can apply for special consideration in their exams, the Evening Standard reported.
What are the details?
Vice chancellor and professor Louise Richardson told students about the decision in an open letter signed by the heads of Oxford's colleges, the paper said.
Richardson thanked students for informing her about "the traumatic effect of the brutality which killed George Floyd" — which sparked protests and rioting and statue vandalism in the United States — and added that the incident was "a manifestation of institutionalized racism," the Evening Standard added.
"Any student taking university assessments who feels their performance has been affected should submit a self-assessment mitigating circumstances form after their final examination or assessment," she wrote, the paper said.
In addition, the Evening Standard noted that Oxford's "heads of house" will alert tutors and welfare staff about the potential need for a workload cut and "urge colleagues to reach out" to those who apply for special consideration in exams.
Richardson also told the Oxford students' union that "many departments in social sciences have begun work on making their curriculum more inclusive and adding diverse voices to it" such as "integrating race and gender questions into topics" and "embedding teaching on colonialism and empire into courses," the paper said.
It's not an unfamiliar pattern for Oxford:
- Last year, the college's student council passed a motion to mandate the use of "silent jazz hands" instead of traditional clapping at council meetings in order to boost "inclusivity" and reduce "anxiety."
- In 2017, the school added 15 minutes to math and computer science exam times to give women a chance at higher grades.
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