When it comes to the decisions that affect your academic experience, NUSU is here to ensure the student voice is heard across the University. Over the years and based on your feedback, your NUSU Officers and Your Reps have secured University wide changes and influenced a number of big decisions.
You have improved access to the University if you are a disabled student
In 2016 NUSU'sPart-time Officers (PTOs) for Students with Disability 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.
You have 24 hour library access during term-time
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 NUSU building.
You can contact your Student Reps through the University's 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 and School 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 back in 2015 and since then NUSU has worked in partnership with University IT to develop and launch this new feature.
You can access more lecture recordings through ReCap
Due to a strong student voice, through the academic student representation system and the efforts of NUSU Education Officers, the University changed its policy regarding ReCap usage from 'opt-in' to 'opt-out'. This change in policy led to a large increase to the number of lectures that were recapped as they would automatically be recorded unless the staff member requests that they are not.
You have saved more than £7,000 on food and drink at University libraries
Since the start of the 2017/18 academic year, NUSU have been working hard to improve affordability on campus. As part of this focus, NUSU President, Ronnie Reid, negotiated new £3 meal deal and expansion of swipee rewards and Eat@ Newcastle giveaways. So far this meal deal has saved students over £7,000, with this figure forecasted to rise to over £10,000 by the end of the academic year.
You have extended opening hours at the Urban Sciences Building
When the new Urban Sciences Building opened, students did not have the out-of-hours access they felt was promised to them. NUSU acted quickly, working with key University staff, to extend out-of-hours access until 11pm on weekdays and 9-6pm on weekends.
You have a microwave in the NUSU Hub
For a number of years, students have been asking for microwaves in University study spaces. Taking the initiative, NUSU have installed a microwave in the 24 hour hub on the top floor of the Students' Union building.
You will have a more inclusive PEC form process
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 PEC forms rejected if they had to miss University to care for their dependent. Through the efforts of NUSU's Education, Welfare and Equality, and Student Parents, Guardians and Carers Officers, 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, NUSU helped successfully oppose a proposal that the University should introduce a 'Fit to Sit' policy. The introduction of this policy would have meant that any student who sat an exam would have automatically been deemed 'fit' to take it. Therefore the student would have been 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.
This year, we are also working to:
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. Rowan is about to take his proposal to the University, following a recent poll he ran for students.
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. For more information on how students can access study spaces out of hours, click here.
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 student 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.