Exam delays over Shavuot clash

For some Jewish students, lockdown has caused additional problems


The coronavirus lockdown has posed extra problems for some university students who want to avoid having to sit an exam over Shavuot next week.

University Jewish Chaplaincy intervened on behalf of two students at one institution who wanted to rearrange to take their exam on a different day.

Sophie Dunoff, chief executive of UJC, said: “Universities have had to move exams online because of the lockdown and work in ways they have never had to before.

“Normally, this particular university would facilitate Jewish students who wanted to avoid a clash with Shavuot — the students would be invigilated so they could not see the paper while others sat it and could take it on a different day.

“But this year the university said there was nothing they could do. They have not been able to do anything for students observing Ramadan.”

As a result, the students have had to delay sitting the exam until August, when retakes are held.

“But that disadvantages them because retake marks are likely to be capped — and if they fail, they won’t get a chance to sit the exam again.”

In contrast, universities such as City and King’s in London had been “excellent” in accommodating the needs of religious Jewish students, Ms Dunoff said.

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