We've been working hard on students' behalf to share your voice and opinions in the spaces that can make a difference. We've documented below the steps we, as officers, have taken on the issues that matter most to you in this hard time:
University Managed Halls of Residencies:
Following our consultation with the University and discussions with Glos Rent Strike the Uni has announced will be offering rent reductions.
They will be offering a 45% discount on the final instalment of halls fees due in April. This equates to a 6 week or 15% reduction on the total annual cost of accommodation at the University. This applies to all students in a full year contract in University managed halls, irrespective of whether you have or have not been in residence. This reduction will be applied automatically for all eligible students.
We will be reviewing the situtation and review student feedback to this response and act accordingly.
- Your officers have been involved in University discussions about provisions and the opportunity for rent reductions for UoG students in halls. A final decision on this is due to be made on Monday 11th January.
- We have had open discussions with the UoG Rent Strike group, providing the opportunity for them to share student concerns and demands with us.
From the SU's request, UoG has agreed to write to all University approved landlords to encourage them to consider what adjustments they can make due to the circumstances surrounding pandemic restrictions. This will happen later this week. We therefore encourage students in private rented accommodation to contact your landlords directly to discuss this with them.
We are concerned over the risks a rent strike might pose to private renters- just because you cancel the direct debit doesn't mean you're no longer liable to pay your rent and your landlord may well take steps to retrieve the payment from you in other ways. It can also be seen as an "agressive" action so please keep in mind how it will be percieved and might impact on your ability to have constructive conversation with your landlord about what support they can offer you at this difficult time.
We have, however, taken the following steps to support Private renters:
- Joined SU represenatives from across the country in signing an open letter to the Education Secretary asking to increase general funding for private renters. You can read it here.
- Luc (SU President) met with Alex Chalk on Friday 15th January to talk through student concerns and dicsuss Governement support options
No Detriment Policy:
Following our discussions with the University they have implemented a new no detriment policy for the current 20-21 academic year.
A number of measures are already in place, which are being supplemented in 2020-21 to ensure that you are appropriately and fairly assessed and graded this year:
- Maintaining your learning outcomes as they were when you started your course, while recognising the environment you are now in for your learning, and providing assessments that are an academically valid and robust measure of achievement.
- Making adjustments based on the known impacts of the pandemic on your learning and assessment. For practical courses, this especially considers constraints on your ability to undertake project work.
- Introducing an additional moderation stage which compares mean average module marks this year with prior years, adjusting where appropriate.
- Providing a suite of extension options, from short two-week extensions established especially for pandemic-related issues, all the way to full course interruption if needed in the most significant cases.
We encourage you to read the full No Detriment Policy 2020-21 here (hosted on MyGlos Help).
You provided fedback about needing more clarity for the changes for Humanities students. This feedback allowed SU Education Officer Imaani to lobby the Univerity and take steps to help. As a result:
a. Humanities students should now have recieved further info from their head of school AND
b. The FAQs around the new no detriment policy will be update with more info to give students more clarity on how the policy will affect them
- SU Education Officer Imaani Mitchell has been involved in University discussions on whether to and/ or how to devise and implement a no-detriment policy.
- We are ensuring student voices are being heard by those in positions of power and influence.
- We have developed templates for letters you can use for your landlords, peititions you can join and opprutunities to directly feedback your concerns to us. You can find that all here.
- We also encourage anyone struggling finanically to reach out to UoG's Money Advice or the Citizen's Advice Bureau.
- We are going to ask UoG to request their University approved landlords consider financial implications when asking for rent from students during these unprecendented times.
- Continue to develop information and letter templates for students to use who are struggling financially.
- Develop our comms and social media to support those suffering with mental health and lonliness during these times.
- Support the NUS in calls to government for fee reductions of University Degress