We are backing the NUS’ Student Safety Net Campaign!
In line with Guild Council’s stance in support of tuition fee reimbursement as voted on 25 March, we have decided to join forces with the National Union of Students (NUS) in advocating for a safety net for students. The main aims of the campaign are:
A national hardship fund for all current students (including HE, FE and apprentices)
A financial support package for those leaving education - grants to ensure they get access to additional training and skills development
The opportunity to retake the year of education at no additional cost, receiving full maintenance support
Reimbursements of fees or a debt write off from the government
You can read more about the campaign and report here.
The campaign is asking the UK Government to finance these reimbursements instead of individual universities, and as an Officer team, we are supportive of this stance.
We appreciate that University of Exeter has been sector-leading in supporting students from creating the No Detriment Policy to an emergency hardship fund and an IT fund, amongst other positive actions. We support the NUS’ campaign because what Exeter students are offered here should be a national standard, and that financial support for students should be granted not at the detriment of universities, some of which are not in as good a financial position as University of Exeter.
We also agree with the demand for financial support for education leavers to access additional training and skills development. Students, and especially those on hands-on practical courses, have been telling us that they lose out from fundamental training in their degrees when teaching is delivered online and that they fear this may have significant impact on their employability. These students need support to access further training opportunities to make up for what they miss out due to Covid-19 disruptions.
The Officer Team expressed our support for the NUS’ campaign in our catch-up with the Chief College Operations Officer and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education on Friday 1 May. The University said that they would discuss it further with the Vice Chancellor. We will continue to raise this in University meetings moving forwards. On top of this, we have written to the President of the NUS to offer support in lobbying Universities UK (UUK) to support the campaign, utilising the Guild’s relationship with our Vice-Chancellor, who is a board member of UUK. We have also written to our local MP for Exeter to ask him to back the campaign; you can see the letter here.
We hope to provide an update for the outcomes of our lobbying efforts within the next few weeks.
How can you get involved?
Share your Study Space on Twitter using #SpacetoStudy to join the campaign and share your experiences of working remotely
Get in touch with us with any feedback by emailing or filling out our student feedback form
If you have any ideas or ways to help the campaign, share your thoughts with us
Keep sharing the campaign on social media and online using #StudentSafetyNet with your networks to raise awareness of the campaign
Get involved with a day of digital action on Friday 29 May!
If you have any question about the actions that we are taking, or if you have any feedback or recommendations, please email email@example.com.