The Students’ Union intends to unveil a new student charter, encompassing many aspects of university life, including finance, discipline, education, careers advice and accommodation.
“The charter is a link between three parties – the university, the Students’ Union and the students themselves,” says Matt Styles, the SU’s Education Officer.
“Currently, when you apply for the next academic year, you tick a ‘terms and conditions’ type box which is saying you accept the rules laid down by the university,” elaborates Styles, who is currently working on implementing the charter.
“The new system is different in the way that an emphasis is put on expectation – what the University expects of you, and what you can expect of them.”
Differences between the Students’ Union in Nottingham and the equivalents in China and Malaysia have delayed the activation of the charter, but co-operation between the campuses has allowed the final stages of planning to go ahead.
The charter lays out a set of expectations on behalf of both the University and students and will have to be read through at the start of the academic year. This gives students grounds to complain if the University and SU doesn’t keep their promises, such as providing a “careers and employability service offering information, advice and guidance to help you research your career options and ideas.”
The document claims to “describe the environment, relationships and mutual expectations which underpin your experience as a student at the University of Nottingham.”
The SU hopes that the charter will be more universally recognised by members of the University, as many students are unaware of the current system in place.
Opinions of the new charter amongst students are favourable, with undergraduate Will Simpson commenting: “I like the idea of the new system, the concept of mutual respect between students and the university is a lot better than just obeying rules.”
Styles believes the new approach is an improvement because students, the Students’ Union and the University have all had an input into the creation of the charter and concludes that it is “balanced and fair”.
The motion to introduce the charter was passed in the March SU council session, however due to the vote not being quorate, it will be ratified in the next meeting.