Here you will find important statements that have been made by Roehampton Students' Union.
Should you need to contact us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8392 3221.
University Cuts - RSU Statement
Friday 8th July, 2022
Over the past few weeks, the University of Roehampton has consulting those affected by proposed changes across five academic departments. Details of the university’s plans can be found here: cp-faqs (roehampton.ac.uk). During the formal process, there was no official consultation with students. A series of information sessions for students who stood to be affected by the proposed changes in their department took place in the weeks following the announcement of the university’s plans.
To consider the broad view of students across all departments, Roehampton Students’ Union invited students to share their thoughts on how the cuts would affect them through our Speak Week campaign. We received hundreds of responses and explored these with students at a General Meeting held on Tuesday 21 June. A further meeting was held the following week to continue listening to students, and the variety of ways the changes would impact them now, and in the future.
All higher education institutions make changes from time to time and the students’ union recognises that the university should plan to operate sustainably. But we can see a clear set of concerns from the vast amount of feedback received.
What we have heard from students
RSU is committed to representing the views of students on all matters relating to their education, and through the elected sabbatical officers, it continues to relay students’ views relating to:
The overall impact on students’ education if their lecturers were to change through this process.
The consistency of marking, assessment, and the high level of uncertainty and concern students feel about their degree outcomes.
Students’ concern about the integrity of their programmes should academic personnel and staffing levels change to an extent that modules are covered by staff qualified in other fields.
The overall capacity of programme teams to deliver the high-quality experience the university commits to in its contract with students.
An increase in poor mental health, placing higher demand on services and longer waiting times for support.
The external reputation of the university, and the value students’ degrees will carry in the future, particularly in the fields of study where the changes are particularly deep.
Students’ overall wellbeing has been impacted following the announcement and is expected to worsen if and when the proposals are implemented, and the above concerns come to pass.
We are asking the university to listen to what students are telling us, and to communicate better with students
Students’ views need to be heard throughout this process. We remain committed to holding the university to account, and to negotiate the best outcomes for students by providing representative feedback during the next steps in this process. We recognise from listening to feedback, and meeting with students in groups or individually, that students feel that the proposals will limit their prospects. We know that students may use a variety of methods to publicly air their concerns with the University. However, we still encourage students to make use of the representative routes available to them, which the university are listening to. Doing so strengthens the students’ union’s negotiation of getting the best outcomes for students in this situation.
The next steps to be taken by the university will be considered upon the backdrop of the university’s consultation with staff, so we have asked the institution for the following;
Provision of extensions and deferrals for all students who are studying on affected programmes.
Disclosure of financial information which helps students understand the university’s position and rationale for these proposals.
Another series of meetings with students who will be affected to be held with the senior management of the university as soon as possible.
For the next series of meetings to be minuted, for those minutes to be accessible to students, and for the completion of any actions agreed at the meetings to be communicated with students at the earliest opportunity.
We will continue to meet with students individually and as groups over the coming weeks to collate and share your feedback regularly with the university’s senior management, who continue to engage with us.
Your right to complain
All students enter a contract with the University when they enrol onto a programme of study with the university. Students are beginning to tell us that they feel the university may not deliver its commitments to protect students from the effects of large-scale change (as outlined in its Student Protection Plan). If the university have made material changes and students feel do not deliver a better-quality education experience having made ‘material changes’, then students may feel they have a right to complain.
The RSU academic advice service can provide support for individual and group complaints on matters relating to students’ academic experience, including the commitments made by the university to students. The service is free and independent and supports hundreds of students each year with complaints (alongside a range of other advice).
Furthermore, any student can issue a concern with the Office for Students (OfS) and can do so independently via their website. Doing so does not jeopardise the RSUs ability to negotiate outcomes for students with the university, nor students right to make use of the academic advice service to support a complaint.
We wanted to acknowledge the fact that currently, given the recent situation with university cuts, you may be facing an increase in stress and anxiety. We recognise how challenging of a situation this may be and wanted to offer support in dealing with this. Below are the contact details for internal support services (wellbeing etc) and external support services for out of hours contact.
HealthandWellbeing@roehampton.ac.uk or call 0208 392 3653 between 9am-5pm.
You can also contact your Student Wellbeing officer:
Location: Erasmus House 101, Digby Stuart
Location: Grove House 202, Froebel
Location: Queen’s Building 149, Southlands
Location: PH, G048, Whitelands
No Fixed College
Colin Symington – Bailey
Location: Queens Building QB020, Southlands Campus
Shout is a free, confidential anonymous text support service.
Text: SHOUT to 85258 to avail of 24hour support.
Free confidential service to offer listening and support to people and communities in time of need. Call 116 123 or email email@example.com.
Mind infoline on 0300 123 3393 (UK landline calls are charged at local rates, and charges from mobile phones will vary considerably). Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have been affected by the announcement of the university’s plans, you can still provide feedback, thoughts and ideas to help your elected officers negotiate the best outcomes for students. Please visit Speak Week 2021-22 (forms-db.com) to access the online form and provide your feedback or complete this form if you have an advice enquiry.
Roehampton Students' Union
University Change Proposals & Student Response
Tuesday 7th June, 2022
In the past few weeks Roehampton Students’ Union has invited students to comment and share their views on a range of matters relating to their university experience at Roehampton via the Speak Week campaign. Following the University’s announcement of change proposals last month, we extended this initiative to include student’s views about these proposals and the impact felt by students.
Overall, we have received hundreds of responses and are thankful to the students who have taken the time to share their views with us. During this time, we also understand that some students have organised independently and are channelling their views in a variety of ways.
Much of the feedback contributions we received refers directly to the change proposals and we continue keep those who are impacted at the forefront of our minds at a very difficult time.
We are acutely aware of our responsibility to be representative and believe that our democratic functions assist our elected officers meet that responsibility. Based on the scope and volume of the feedback we have received from across all academic departments there is a bigger conversation to have. We will be inviting students to attend a General Meeting later this month which will provide students with a safe and inclusive space to discuss the proposals, their impact, and invite counterproposals that the sabbatical officers can represent to the university before the end of the consultation period.
A communication outlining the date, time and location for the meeting will be made available to all students shortly.
University change proposals
Friday 27 May, 2022
Roehampton Students’ Union was made aware of a set of change proposals outlined by the University to students in five academic departments last week. We know that change proposals can be very worrying for students and our thoughts are with those who may be affected. This week the university have been holding student forums to outline the changes and have provided a set of FAQs for students in the affected areas. The proposals are subject to a formal consultation now underway.
Your sabbatical officers who represent your voice have been consulted on matters relating to student protection, which is outlined in a plan that the university is required to have.
We know this matter is complex so we are now asking students to share with us their views on this (or any other) matter so that we can work with the university to ensure students’ best interests served.
Please visit Speak Week 2022 (roehamptonstudent.com) where you can share your views with us and help us shape our conversations with the university going forward.