Although the University introduced WAM adjustments throughout both semesters last year, they noted in the September 2020 Academic Board report that it could not be extended beyond 2020.  While this decision may have seemed appropriate at the time, the dynamic nature of the COVID pandemic has meant that circumstances have changed substantively in the past eight months. 


The University’s decision to discontinue WAM adjustments in 2021 should not be an irrevocable rule. In order to effectively support our student community, the University must respond to the contingencies that the pandemic has imposed.


The concept of WAM plays a central role in students’ education and consequently affects their wellbeing. In many cases, students heavily correlate academic success, as quantified by the WAM, with access to future educational and career opportunities. 


Students are already facing extenuating circumstances due to the pandemic. They must now contend with the anxiety of failing to meet expectations as measured through the WAM, leading to worse mental health outcomes. It is unreasonable for them to be held to the same standards as pre-COVID times. As such, an equitable adjustment to WAM calculations for Semester 1 would make significant contributions to student wellbeing in the classroom setting.


We strongly believe that the University of Melbourne has an obligation to prioritise student welfare, especially at a time when many are still enduring the worst of COVID’s impacts.


To communicate the challenges faced by the student community, we have produced a public report for all students and staff. This has been sent to the University. Most importantly, we are launching a petition demanding that the University implement the WAM adjustment policy for Semester 1, 2021.


So sign our petition, share it with your friends, and let’s show the University that WAM is not more important than our well-being.


To read our full report on WAM Adjustments:

To sign our petition: