27 May: Spring exam diet update

Issued: Wed, 27 May 2020 09:28:47 BST

Dear all, 

The last exam of the Spring 2020 examination diet was held on Friday to Saturday, 22nd-23rd, of May. During the previous four weeks, there were 1019 exams and they were all completed remotely! We think that we should all take a moment just to think about the enormity of what we have achieved. 

Not only were there 40,711 exam instances (students times exams) successfully delivered in a format rarely used before in Glasgow and never on this scale, but we also had very few calls to the helpline because of problems (609 – less than one per exam). This is a far smaller number of queries than usually dealt with by invigilators or staff during our on campus exams. Early indications are that we also had very good engagement by students in the exams. All of the organisation and preparation for the exams took place over a matter of a few short weeks in March and April which is something that in other circumstances, the University would never have contemplated. 

This incredible achievement was only possible because of the dedication and sheer hard work of many hundreds of staff who not only managed this huge task but did it while dealing with all of the stress and pressure caused by the Pandemic. Saying thank you to everyone involved doesn’t seem sufficient for this astonishing achievement but we would like to try to do this anyway. We are very proud of, and extremely grateful to, everyone involved including the IT staff who made it happen technically, the academic and administrative staff in Schools, Colleges and Institutes who revised exam papers, manned telephone lines to deal with queries and have been marking and collating marks, the Senate Office staff who prepared the hugely important No Detriment policy in a fraction of the time normally needed for policy change, the Communications Team who helped to make sure everyone knew what was happening, Registry who worked hard to reschedule the exams and key dates, the Students' Representative Council who have been a tremendous resource for helping us with the plans, the student interns who manned the Helpline, several members of the World Changing Glasgow Transformation team who project-managed the move to online assessment, and finally, to our students who have taken possibly the most important exams they will ever take in the most difficult of circumstances and who have adjusted so well to this new way of working. 

We know there will be challenging times ahead as we prepare for an uncertain future because of the Pandemic but we thought it was important to reflect on what has already been achieved and to take confidence from that. We have shown that the staff and students of the University of Glasgow are more than equal to the challenge. 

Yours with extreme gratitude, 


Professor Moira Fischbacher-Smith 

Vice Principal for Learning and Teaching


Professor Jill Morrison 

Clerk of Senate