Here you can find up to date news about all the campaigns that your College Students’ Union is running and also what to look out for over the course of the year!
Your College Students’ Union Manifesto 2017/18
Allow students to pay by card in retail outlets
With the ever growing use of bank cards, be it with the use of pin or contactless it is wise to be a part of the movement of technology. Allowing our students to pay by these methods creates a safer environment where students are not having to carry cash around with them thus reducing the risk of students losing money.
Allow all work to be submitted online
Currently the Higher Education department is the only one in the College that uses online submission via Turnitin. This allows an effective screening for plagiarism, and is of environmental benefit. Rolling online submissions to our Further Education courses allows for there to be the reduction in both students and staff losing work, work not being saved and there to be typed up feedback meaning that there is a clear way of understanding of what the tutor is asking for.
Ensure all students have a teacher for all lessons – better sickness and absence cover
Students come to College to learn and achieve. They are able to do this via social interaction, engagement with the Students’ Union, but most importantly via contact time with their tutors and academic support staff. When there is a disruption in the provided education (e.g. a tutor is off sick and there is no suitable replacement or a staff member has left and no one appropriate is able to replace them) then the students education is jeopardised. As a result of a lack of contact time students are not able to be fulling informed on the subject/s leading to incomplete assignments, a possible delay in work being handed in, and a potential lack of progression.
Flexible ticketing for train travel
Students have to travel into College, for those who come via train can pay up to £24.50 each day for travel into College if they are to be here on time. Students on average come into College 2.5 days a week. This can total up to £73.50 a week. This is without discount as the 16- 25 RailCard is not valid on peak times. To be able to provide students with discounted/reduced price train fare we can not work alone, for it is not just our students who are impacted but students from around the Country.
Ensure all students are fully aware of student support services
Students come from all walks of life and with that they come with different needs: be that academic (e.g. structuring of work), learning needs (e.g. dyslexia support), emotional (e.g. counselling), financial (e.g. bursaries). Whilst we are in a position to provide this there needs to be a level of awareness around what services we are providing. Currently there is advertising at open days and enrolment, as well as support service sheets in the Student Information Centre. It should also be a time where academic staff should be able to inform students of what is available. For students to know and feel that there is support available, a continuous display of all the services offered need to have a visual presents for it to be effective.
Better buy- in for English and maths
Currently for 16- 19 year olds if they do not hold a GCSE English or Maths A* to C grade they have to undertake learning in one or both (depending on grades). It has been made compulsory for all such students to attend. For students this may seem more like a chore, considering they have just spent 4 years studying English and Maths. There may also be the bother that they have to study it alongside their “dominant” qualification, which may include coming in on a day that their “dominant” course does not run on. There needs to be a system where students feel that they are able to invest their time and effort into gaining the qualification
Improve provision for apprentices
Apprentices are an active alternative to BTECS, A Levels and City and Guilds type qualifications. It provides the learner with the ability to learn whilst in an environment that is structured. The downside to taking up an Apprentices is that there is no guarantee of a secured employment at the end. Currently there is limited support in terms of what Government benefits they can claim, this includes Housing benefits should they wish to live independently. If they still wish to live in a family unit there parents or legal guardians will lose their entitlement to Child Benefit as well as Tax Credits. In some of the feedback there needs to be more of a communication with the Apprentices both who work within in the College and outside. Also with our link to the National Society of Apprentices this is a good opportunity for us to develop a stronger link with them so a) they know that they have a voice within society, b) they are able to contribute to a wider engagement c) be able to influence decisions that the Students’ Union can take to NUS National Conference.
Improve support and champion for non-traditional roles in department sections.
(Male/female – Hair vs engineering) In certain departments there is a heavy dominance of one gender (e.g. Hairdressing and Building), occasionally we get Females on Male dominated courses and Males on Female dominated courses, for us it is about championing and encouraging those to help us showcase further representation within the departments.The Union always welcomes fresh student input so if you have new ideas or problems that you would like the Union to cover then please contact us below!