When it comes to the decisions that affect your learning experience, NUSU is here ensure the student voice is heard, whether that’s at the school, faculty or University level. Over the years and based on your feedback, your student representatives have secured a number of University wide changes and influenced a wide range of big decisions.
Securing 24/7 library access
As the result of NUSU lobbying over a number of years, the Robinson Library opened a 24 hour study space in 2012. In 2011, NUSU set the precedent for this level of provision by opening our own 24 hour computer cluster on the top floor of the Union Building.
Preventing the introduction of compulsory fingerprint scanning
In 2012, NUSU successfully lobbied the University to reject its plans to introduce biometric attendance monitoring in the form of twice weekly fingerprint scanning. NUSU held a referendum in which an overwhelming majority of students voted against the proposals. The strength of this vote forced the University to consider alternative forms of attendance monitoring.
Rejecting the ‘Fit to Sit’ policy for exams
In 2016, NUSU successfully opposed the University’s proposal to introduce a ‘Fit to Sit’ policy, which would have meant that any student who sat an exam would have automatically been deemed ‘fit’ to take it, therefore making them ineligible to submit a Personal Extenuating Circumstances form after the exam if they subsequently felt that their performance was negatively affected by a severe health or personal issue. NUSU published a comprehensive response to the consultation, which the University praised for making “a particularly cogent and detailed case against” ‘Fit to Sit’.
Changing the University’s policy on ReCap usage
Through the academic representation system and the efforts of our former Education Officer Chris Duddy, NUSU successfully pressured the University to change its policy regarding ReCap usage from an ‘opt-in’ to an ‘opt-out’ approach, thereby increasing the number of lectures which were automatically recorded and made available to students. Since then, NUSU has welcomed the University’s move to a stricter ‘opt-out where appropriate’ approach, which again increases the number of lectures which should be automatically recorded.
Introducing the ‘Course Rep’ app
In 2017, the ‘My School’ section of the University app was updated to include a ‘My Reps’ function, which allows students to easily identify and contact their Course Rep. The app also allows students to participate in opinion polls conducted by their Student-Staff Committee. Former NUSU Education Officer Matthew Price first suggested this functionality in 2015 and NUSU worked in partnership with University IT to develop and trial it.
Campus improvements for disabled students
In 2016, NUSU’s Part-time Officers (PTO) for Students with a Disability founded the Disability and Neurodiversity Society, ensuring dedicated representation of disabled students. NUSU’s PTOs are continuing to work with the University to improve communication between Estates and disabled students regarding accessibility issues and provision, and contributed to a report about the importance of ReCap provision for disabled students, which was presented to the University.
This year, we are working to:
Allow students the choice to word process their exams
Ronnie Reid, NUSU President for 2017/18, is pledging to ensure that the University commits to the principle of introducing the choice of word processing in exams. If you have a view on this issue, contact Ronnie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduce a week’s break after the January exam period
Rowan South, NUSU Education Officer for 2017/18, is pledging to explore the possibility of introducing a week's break after the January exam period.
This proposal would require the University's Easter holiday to be shortened from 4-5 weeks to 3-4 weeks. This would result in no overall loss of teaching or holiday time.
You can have your say on the issue by taking part in Rowan’s poll, here.
Extend opening hours of study spaces across campus
Rowan is also working to identify underutilised study spaces across campus and extend their opening hours. If there is a demand for longer study hours in your school or institute, let Rowan know at email@example.com