Policies about the University

Current Policies

Against academic penalties for non academic-related debts
Decision taken at: Unknown 2006

University Regulations allow the withholding of progression, graduation and imposition of other academic sanctions for debts that are non-academic in nature. Access to education should not be used as a sanction for debts that are not directly related to the provision of education.

Our Policy:
The Union resolved to seek to negotiate with the University to change the University Regulations so as to remove the power to impose academic sanctions for non-academic debts; and work with the University to find alternative and more proportionate methods of debt recovery for students with non-academic debts.

Status: This is current Union policy (Union Council, April 2017). Next Review at: Spring 2020. Progress: University Recovered Student Debt Policy

University governance and democratisation
Decision taken at: Unknown, 2006 (original). Union Council, 3rd April 2017 (updated)

In August 2015, postgraduate taught tuition fees were set outside of the formal University committee structure. The proposal for fees should be brought to University Senate and then University Council for consultation. However, due to the timing of the fee setting, this process was not followed and therefore there was not sufficient meaningful consultation with the Students' Union and students.

The selection and interview process for the new Vice Chancellor in 2015/16 included student representation from Council and Senate student and officer members.

Our Policy:
The Union resolves to ensure that student representation is at the heart of all University appointments to senior management positions and that the Students' Union is aware in advance of University management, Senate and Council decisions and that they are made with genuine student consultation.

Status: This is current Union policy (Union Council, April 2017). Next Review at: Spring 2020. Progress: ' University of Sussex appoints Adam Tickell as Vice-Chancellor'   

Sussex Not  For Sale
Decision taken at: Union meeting, 2008 

The cap on University tuition fees was raised to £9250 for UK and EU students in 2018, with the University of Sussex charging the full amount. There is no cap on tuition fees for non-EU international students. Maintenance grants were scrapped in 2016.
Our Policy:
The Union resolved to campaign for free education and living grants, funded by taxing the rich and corporations.  

      Status: This is current Union policy (Union Council, February 2020). Next Review at: February 2023

     Equal Gender Representation
Decision taken at: Referenda, Spring 2018

All staff and students should be equally represented within the university. The Union should take strides to ensure all genders are represented in jobs, courses, and volunteering across the University.


Women are underrepresented in senior positions at the University. The Union and University should be transparent about pay statistics to ensure that there is no gender pay gap. The University should consider a gender based quota and continue to provide unconscious bias training in recruitment. On University groups tackling issues such as mental health, equality and diversity and sexual violence the membership are overwhelmingly women despite men making up the majority of the University leadership team. The Union believes that all genders should be equally involved in the emotionally intensive work needed to make Sussex University more accessible and safe for its students. Students should be able to see themselves represented in the University staff, both within the schools and within the central University management.


Equal representation is needed in addressing the major issues affecting current and future generations such as climate change, economics, education and more. The Union therefore believes that all genders should be represented across the student body in the entire range of subjects offered at Sussex, and that no current or prospective student should be discouraged or put off studying an area of interest because of their gender.

Our Policy


Ensure equal representation in jobs, course cohort and volunteering in the University and Union.

Policy objectives

  • Jobs:

    • Publish gendered based pay stats to create more transparency in the University and Union as part of a plan to lobby the University and Union to eliminate the gender pay gap.

    • Lobby the University to work towards a gender balance on University committees including representation of trans and non-binary people.

    • Organise an event around Equal Pay Day (10th November) to create awareness.

    • Courses:

      • Encourage schools to ensure open days feature a diverse range of students and alumni speaking, acknowledging that there is a representation of all genders in subjects such as science, caring professions and teaching.

      • Support student schemes working to diversify the student body in certain subjects such as STEM subjects.

      • Volunteering:

        • Targeted advertising to promote better representation, specifically in Sports, Campaigns and the Buddy Scheme.

        • Support and promote #ThisSussexGirlCan Week to encourage more women and non-binary people to get involved in sport on campus, and work to encourage the participation of trans and non-binary people in sport.

Status: This is current Union policy (Spring 2018). Next Review at: Spring 2021