You have cheaper University accommodation
For 2019/20 your President and Welfare & Equality Officer negotiated a rent reduction of 3.6% for all non en-suite University owned accommodation with the exception of Marris House, which will be reduced by 2.3%. In addition from 1 September 2020, Castle Leazes non en-suite accommodation will reduce by a further 5.12%.
You have 24 hour library access during term-time
As the result of our lobbying over a number of years, the Robinson Library opened a 24 hour study space in 2012. In 2011, we set the precedent for this level of provision by opening our own 24 hour computer cluster on the top floor of our building.
You can access more lecture recordings through ReCap
In December 2015, the University changed its ReCap policy from ‘opt-in’ to ‘opt-out’. This change led to a large increase to the number of your lectures that were recapped as it meant that lectures would now be automatically recorded unless the staff member requests that they are not.
You will now have 30 minute break times in the Library
Previously at University libraries, you were given 15 minutes to return to your desk before your personal items were removed. However, after we gathered and presented a wide range of student opinion, including a Student Council motion, the University Library and IT teams agreed to trial a 30 minute break time period during the busy summer exam period. This trial was so popular it has continued ever since.
You can contact your Student Reps through the University’s app
In 2017, the ‘My School’ section of the University’s app was updated to include the ‘My Reps’ function. This function allows you to easily identify and contact your Course and School Rep and participate in opinion polls conducted by your Student-Staff Committee (SSC). Our former NUSU Education Officer, Matthew Price, first proposed this function back in 2015 and since then our Officers and Staff have worked in partnership with University IT to develop this feature.
You have saved over £7,000 on food and drink at University libraries
As part of our focus to improve affordability on Campus, last year’s President, Ronnie Reid, negotiated a new £3 meal deal and expansion of wipe rewards and Eat@ Newcastle giveaways. By the end of the 2017/18 academic year, this meal deal saved students over £7,000.
You have extended opening hours at the Urban Sciences Building
When the new Urban Sciences Building opened, you did not have the out-of-hours access you felt was promised to you and when you came to us, we acted quickly, working with key Academic Reps and University staff, to extend out-of-hours access until 11pm on weekdays and 9-6pm on weekends.
You are now recognised on the PEC policy if you are a Student Carer
Up until the 2017/18 academic year there had been no specific considerations for parents/carers in the PEC policy. This meant that students with caring responsibilities could have Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PEC) forms rejected if they had to miss University to care for their dependent. Through the efforts of our Education, Welfare & Equality, and Student Parents, Guardians & Carers Officers, and with the support of the University, the PEC Policy will be revised to include considerations for students with caring responsibilities.
You are not automatically deemed fit to take an exam if you sit it
In 2016, we helped successfully oppose a proposal that the University should introduce a ‘Fit to Sit’ policy. The introduction of this policy would have meant that if you sat an exam you would have automatically been deemed ‘fit’ to take it and subsequently you would have been ineligible to submit a Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PEC) form after the exam if you felt that your performance was negatively affected by a severe health or personal issue.
You will have free bus travel to St Mary’s College
In Summer 2017/18, we secured funding of up to £34,000 so that you can access the 36 and 63 Stagecoach buses for free between Fenham Hall Drive and St Mary’s College if you show your student card.
You have improved access to the University if you are a disabled student
In 2016, your NUSU Part-time Officers (PTOs) for students with disabilities founded the Disability and Neurodiversity Society, ensuring dedicated representation of disabled students. PTOs are continuing to work in partnership with the University to improve communication between Estates and disabled students regarding accessibility issues and provision.
For more information about what your NUSU officers have been up to this year, head to the officers’ pages and check out their updates. In addition to the NUSU officers, your Academic Reps have been busy creating change within your Schools or Institutes. Find your School or Institute below and see what your reps have changed for you.
If you have a suggestion for improvements in the Union, the University or the local Community then make sure you submit your idea through ‘You Want It, We Got It’. We will then get investigating to see if we can help you make your Big Idea into a Big Win!
Your Reps' Big Academic Wins
At NUSU we work in partnership with the University to ensure that you have a fully functioning Academic Rep system in place that will help achieve the changes that you want to see in your Course and School. Click on your School to find some of the wins they have achieved for you.