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Academic Safety Net FAQ (Singapore and Myanmar)

Published: 23rd July 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the Academic Safety Net.

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The Academic Safety Net recognises the considerable disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and protects your academic record from any negative changes during this challenging time.

Below you'll find a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to the Academic Safety Net.

If you have any questions, please contact Singapore Student Help.

When will Academic Safety Net be applied to my results?

If you are a transnational student, the Academic Safety Net will be automatically applied to your Trimester 1 results by the Monday 27th July 2020. We will advise you when this occurs.

If you request an academic transcript before Academic Safety Net has been applied to your results, we will provide you with a letter to accompany your transcript. You can request an updated transcript when Academic Safety Net has been applied.

What will grades look like once Academic Safety Net is applied?

The Academic Safety Net has been established to protect your Grade Point Average (GPA) from any negative changes to your academic record during this challenging time. For this reason, new special grades have been introduced:

  1. If you receive lower grades than usual, your GPA will not decrease
  2. Any passing grades achieved during this teaching period that have a negative impact on your GPA will be changed to a special grade and will not count towards your GPA. For example:
    • P (Pass) that negatively impacts your GPA will be converted to ASP - Pass Academic Safety Net
    • C (Credit) that negatively impacts your GPA will be converted to ASC - Credit Academic Safety Net
    • D (Distinction) that negatively impacts your GPA will be converted to ASD - Distinct Academic Safety Net

Things to note:

    • The changed grades do not apply if you receive similar or better grades than before
    • No changes will be made to the HD (High Distinction) grade
    • Not all passing grades will have a negative impact on your GPA. Grades which do not negatively impact your GPA will continue to be recorded as normal

3. If you receive similar or better grades than before, your GPA will stay the same or increase, and you will receive grades as per normal

What happens if I fail a unit?

If you happen to fail a unit in the teaching periods included in Academic Safety Net, the Fail (N) grade will not be recorded on your transcript or negatively affect your GPA.

Instead of a Fail grade, you will get an AS - Academic Safety Net grade. The AS grade will not count towards your GPA, protecting your GPA from any negative change.

The following fail grades will be converted to the AS - Academic Safety Net grade:

  • N (Fail and Fail due to withdrawal after teaching week 10)
  • DNS (Did not Submit)

Which teaching periods are included in Academic Safety Net?

  • Any teaching period which started in 2020 and has an end date before 1/4/2021 will be included in Academic Safety Net.
  • Any teaching period which started in 2019 and has an end date after 1/4/2020 will be included in Academic Safety Net.
  • Includes all standard and non-standard teaching periods.
  • Applies to teaching periods at both onshore and TNE locations

Things to note:

  • Teaching periods which start in 2020 and have an end date after 1/4/2021 are excluded from Academic Safety Net
  • Teaching periods which start in 2020 and have an end date before 1/4/2020 are excluded from Academic Safety Net

What will show on my academic transcript?

  • If you happen to fail a unit, the Academic Safety Net (AS) grade will show on your academic transcript and no numerical mark will be recorded.
  • Any passing grades achieved during this teaching period that have a negative impact on your GPA will be changed to a special grade on your academic transcript and the numerical mark will be recorded.
  • If you receive similar or better grades than before you will receive grades as per normal and the numerical mark will be recorded as per usual.

The Academic Transcript is a complete record of all your studies at Murdoch University. It records each course you have completed, and hence all units must be shown even if they have been impacted by the changed learning circumstances due to the pandemic.

As a complete record of your learning, the academic transcript may be used as proof of eligibility requirements with other institutions, government or Centrelink, for example.

What will show in the Student Portal?

Any passing grades achieved during this teaching period that have a negative impact on your GPA will be changed to a special grade and show the numerical grade achieved.

If you happen to fail a unit, the Fail grade will be changed to the special AS - Academic Safety Net grade and show the numerical grade achieved.

If you receive similar or better grades than before you will receive grades as per normal grading and the numerical mark achieved will show as per usual.

How will GPA be calculated under Academic Safety Net?

A Baseline GPA is determined by the combined or cumulative GPA from all teaching periods a student has undertaken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. For each teaching period, a student’s result will be compared unit by unit to their Baseline GPA.

  1. If you receive similar or better grades than before, your GPA will remain the same or increase and will be calculated as per normal GPA calculation rules.

For example, the Baseline GPA at the start of the current teaching period for student A is 1.82 The student achieves credit (C) in the current teaching period. Grade C is equivalent of GPA 2.00. In this case, 2 > 1.82, hence 2 will be included in the GPA calculation.

  1. If you receive lower grades than usual, your GPA will not decrease. Any passing grades achieved during this teaching period that have a negative impact on your GPA will be changed to a special grade and excluded from the GPA calculation.

For example, the Baseline GPA at the start of the current teaching period for student A is 1.82 and the student achieves pass (P) in the current teaching period. Grade P is equivalent of GPA 1.00. In this case, 1 < 1.82, hence 1 will be excluded from the GPA calculation. The Pass (P) grade will be changed to ASP – Pass Academic Safety Net

  1. If you happen to fail a unit, the Fail grade will be changed to the special AS - Academic Safety Net grade and excluded from the GPA calculation.

For example, the Baseline GPA at the start of the current teaching period for student A is 1.82 and the student receives a fail (N) in the current teaching period. Grade N is equivalent of GPA 0.00. In this case, 0 < 1.82, hence will be excluded from the GPA calculation. The Fail (N) grade will be changed to AS –Academic Safety Net

How will GPA be calculated if this is my 1st year of study?

Students enrolled for the first time in 2020 will not have a pre-existing GPA for comparison. The GPA will be calculated based on the units that are completed, excluding fail grades.

For example, if you are in your 1st year of study and you receive a passing grade, the grade will be recorded as per normal i.e. Pass (P), Credit (C), Distinction (D), High Distinction (HD), and will be included in your GPA calculation.

If you are in your first year of study and happen to fail a unit, the grade will be changed to the special AS- Academic Safety Net grade and will be excluded from the GPA calculation.

If I get an AS grade, do I still have to repeat the unit?

Yes, the AS grade identifies that the unit was impacted by the challenging circumstances; we will continue to monitor your progress even though we will not record the fail grade for the teaching period; you do have to repeat the unit if this is a required unit for your course.

Have I still incurred the financial liability for the unit if I get an AS grade?

Yes, you have still incurred the financial liability (fees/debt) for the unit if you get an AS grade.

Will my fees be refunded for the unit if I get an AS grade?

No, your fees (or HELP liability for domestic students) will not be refunded for the unit if you get an AS grade.

What will happen to academic progression?

Even though we will not record the fail grade for the teaching period, academic progression reviews will continue to apply to the AS grade; with appropriate interventions for students and an awareness of disruption to learning and wellbeing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Are there any exceptions to Academic Safety Net?

There is an exception for some practical units that are required for professional accreditation. Fail grades for these units will stay in place. If this applies to you, please speak to your Academic Chair who can advise you accordingly. 

Will I be eligible for a supplementary exam/assessment?

Yes, supplementary examinations and assessments will continue as per University’s Assessment Policy. Academic Safety Net will apply to the grade recorded for the supplementary assessment or exam.

How do I know if I am eligible for Academic Safety Net?

If you are a Murdoch University student enrolled in a teaching period included in the Academic Safety Net (see Which teaching periods are included in Academic Safety Net?) you are eligible for Academic Safety Net. Academic Safety Net is applied to coursework units only.

Academic Safety Net also applies to students enrolled trough

  • Open Universities Australia (OUA) programs
  • FutureLearn programs

Academic Safety Net applies to domestic, international and transnational students.

I am an Honours student, does Academic Safety Net apply to me?

Yes, Academic Safety Net applies only to the coursework component of the Honours program. Assessment and grading of the non-coursework component will not change. For non-coursework components, please get in touch with your respective Academic Chair or Supervisor who can advise you accordingly.

Can I opt out of Academic Safety Net?

No, Academic Safety Net will be automatically applied to all student results for the teaching periods included under the Academic Safety Net. The Academic Safety Net has been established to protect your Grade Point Average (GPA) from any negative changes to your academic record during this challenging time.

There is an exception for some practical units that are required for professional accreditation. Fail grades for these units will continue to be recorded.

Will Academic Safety Net grades affect course transfers?

Course transfers would continue to run as per the normal process. If the course you wish to transfer to has special entry requirements, you will still need to meet those requirements. If you have any questions about course transfers, please email Singapore.studenthelp@murdoch.edu.au.

Impact of retrospective withdrawal on application of Academic Safety Net

If you retrospectively withdraw from a teaching period prior to COVID-19, then your course GPA will be recalculated. This means application of Academic Safety Net grades and course GPA might change.

Impact of late results on application of Academic Safety Net

If you receive late results for a teaching period prior to COVID-19, then your course GPA will be recalculated. This means application of Academic Safety Net grades and course GPA might change.