On Saturday 5th May, Woroni reported that the ANU’s former COVID-19 flexible grading system, in which students could opt-in to change grades to ‘Course Requirements Satisfied’ (CRS) or ‘Course Requirements Not Satisfied’ (CRN), will not be extended into 2021 because, according to an ANU spokesperson, the University did not have the same “special dispensation” to continue with these grading options. However, the relevant regulatory body, Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has told Woroni that it “has not imposed any restrictions on ANU in regard to grading, nor would it be able to”.
When approached by Woroni regarding the University’s decision to discontinue its flexible grading option until all COVID-19-induced disruptions cease, an ANU spokesperson responded that the University received special dispensation by the relevant regulatory body [TEQSA] to use CRS and CRN grading options for 2020, but “has not received similar special dispensation” to use these grading options in 2021. To “not receive” special dispensation, implies the University applied for, or requested for its CRS and CRN grading options to continue into Semester 1 2021, but were denied the right to do so.
According to TEQSA, it is only permitted to pursue “regulatory action” against the ANU, if it established that the University is not adhering to the Higher Education Framework (HES Framework). This is because concerns of ANU’s academic assessment and discernment are outside of TEQSA’s scope of responsibility, and are the duty of the University itself, so long as the ANU observes the “proper approval” procedures.
When approached for comment in regards to this revelation, an ANU spokesperson responded that the University’s Academic Board “decided to not continue to offer the opt in” CRS and CRN grades that were offered to ANU students in 2020 for 2021 onwards. The spokesperson continued that this is in accordance with the HES Framework that says, “grades awarded reflect the level of student attainment”. At the time of this decision making, this was decided on in agreement with the ANU’s student representatives in the Academic Board.
As it currently stands, Monash University remains to be the only Go8 University that has made flexible grade adjustments available in 2021.
TEQSA advised that students concerned with the ANU’s decision to discontinue CRS and CRN grading options should take it up directly with the University, via its proper internal channels.