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Officer update - Weekly Meeting with Jayne Aldridge and Graeme Pedlingham

Published on 8th February 2021 at 17:16.

Last week, your officers met with Jayne Aldridge, Director of Student Experience, and Graeme Pedlingham, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor for Education, who are members of the University management team. The following issues were discussed:

  • Students on campus - at today's Student Experience Forum, several students gave testimonies regarding their experience on campus. The campus experience is very different to what anyone expected, and this is particularly marked by an increased security presence. There have been reports of security entering accommodation with no apparent cause and students feel as though they are living in a hostile environment. Student experience has also been impacted by a marked reduction in income for most individuals, and the general expense of campus living costs are causing a lot of financial stress. The officers raised this in relation to the current rent reduction policy, which has been a fantastic win for the students who campaigned for it. However, we need a rent reduction policy that all students on campus can access, not just those who are able to live elsewhere. The officers enquired about the equalities impact of this, and have suggested that the university should provide a proper equalities assessment of the policy decision.
  • Hardship funds - the university is pointing students towards the hardship fund, which has been expanded due to ongoing student campaigning. Today the government announced that students will receive a support payment and we will know more details about this in the coming weeks.
  • Exceptional circumstances - after ongoing issues with the process and pressure from the SU, the university is launching a full review of their exceptional circumstances process. The SU will be part of this review.
  • No-detriment policy - the university are continuing to emphasise the potential for a policy to be brought in later in the year, a commitment they have now made several times. Next week, a draft of the current policy will be discussed and more clarity will follow.