GSU Officers Ask the VC - watch the Q&A

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Graphic with title of event (GSU Officers Ask the VC) with pictures of Jane Harrington (Vice Chancel

Your GSU Officers had a live Q&A with the University Vice Chancellor (VC) and new Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) on Friday 19th March. They answered questions that were submitted in advance, and some submitted on the day during the event.

Jane Harrington, the University's Vice Chancellor answered the first set of questions from Mayo, and Jane Roscoe, the new Deputy Vice Chancellor, answered questions to follow from Zoë and Bilal.

The Vice Chancellor also had a message to all students at Greenwich and facing challenges due to Covid: "You will come out of this as a generation who is resilient, who can adapt to change and is absolutely ready for anything that life throws in your way. Don't forget that in all of this."

We're grateful to Jane Harrington and Jane Roscoe for taking the time to talk with our Officers. Click here to watch the Q&A in full (opens in a new window).

The questions asked covered a range of topics which are listed below with some of the key information and answers. Keep an eye on the Union and University’s websites and the Portal for further detail on some of these topics in the coming weeks.

If you have any further questions or suggestions for the VC and DVC, you can use our anonymous suggestion form or contact any of the GSU Officers and we’ll pass them on.


Fees & Finance

Tuition fees and requests for reductions
Have been financial savings for students this year:

  • Accommodation Promise, £10 a week service rebate. £1.5million in reduction in halls fees for students so far this year.
  • University gyms will open without charge for the rest of the academic year.
  • Private renting bursary for students in private accommodation.
  • 500 Laptops and 200 Wi-Fi dongles have been given out also; VC would like scheme to continue.
  • Term 3 will see funding for more activities and events for those who can come back on campus, particularly around employability.

International student support
Has been increased financial support through central University funding, wellbeing support, and particular employability and careers support. Can contact the Funds and Bursaries team if financial support is needed. The University is trying to make payment terms as reasonable and flexible as possible, and discount on fees if paid in full ahead of registration.

Extension of University's Accommodation Promise, and needs for isolation for International students
Accommodation Promise is extended to 5th April 2021, and under close review in line with government guidance. If International students arrive on campus and need to isolate as per government guidelines, they won’t be charged for this.

Financial support to EU students who cannot apply for maintenance loan
Students can email to get in touch with the Funds and Bursaries team for advice; alternatively, students can talk to their Director of Student Experience as they may have details of other sources of help.


Exams and Assessments

Support if grades not as they should be regardless of No detriment policy
No students’ work should be disadvantaged by Covid – No Detriment policy is a safety net alongside Extenuating Circumstances. In line with the policy, adjustments in marks always go up, not down. If you think you’ve performed lower than expected, then use the Extenuating Circumstances process, and go to your Personal Tutor with any questions and concerns.

Extenuating Circumstances process and submitting further evidence to prove their situation is worse
Amended policy has eased the amount of evidence needed, and rely on explanation of situation. Reach out to our Personal Tutor for help if your situation gets worse; can also access help from University and Union wellbeing services.


Inclusive campus

Training for academics and support for students with learning disorders and learning online
Training was given to academics when pandemic started on producing inclusive content, including formatting, and using relevant platforms for making materials. Tool has recently become available to checking accessibility requirements of materials. Moodle courses available for staff and students about learning online and making materials more accessible. University is happy to take feedback from students about what more is needed to fully support staff to make learning easier for all.

Anti-Asian hate crime in the UK – how is this being address at the University
Harassment and hate crime is not tolerated at the University. Number of policies in place and a new Conduct, Bullying, Harassment and Hate Crime working group to look at policies holistically, work out best course of support for students who need it, and working with Greenwich community to be active bystanders.

Reporting issues of discrimination
Reporting mechanisms already in place will be reviewed by new working group. Want to have a system that is trusted, situations are handled discreetly, and people are trained to give the right support. DVC has seen some of this work in practice; needs culture change which is part of the work to be done as well.


Future plans

Hopes for next year
To all be back on campuses, seeing and meeting students; start socialising again and easing social distancing with testing and vaccinations; looking forward to graduations (favourite time of year); and starting new projects.

Plans for graduations this year, including for students who graduated last year
Every student will get an in-person graduation ceremony when it’s safe to do so. There are plans for different scenarios this year depending on government guidelines.

Make rooms available to book where one would not have to wear a mask but can study in an environment that is not their bedroom
The VC and DVC will take this away and look into it.


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