Your School Network Officers sat down with Student and Academic Services

On Tuesday 9th April, your School Network Officers sat down with Directors from across Student and Academic services to discuss the issues impacting students the most.

No ratings yet. Log in to rate.

On Tuesday 9th April, your School Network Officers (SNO) sat down with Directors from across Student and Academic Services (SAS) to discuss the issues impacting students the most.

Across the panel, students discussed their views on employability, hidden costs on campus, women’s safety, accommodation and much more. Download the full agenda for the panel.

You can view the full event on the Greenwich Students’ Union Youtube channel: GSU SAS SNO Sit Down April 2024 (youtube.com)

Read on for a full breakdown of what was discussed and the outcome.

What work is being done to improve the opportunities for part-time work, placements and internships with top companies?

Lots! Students can connect with the Employability and careers service to find out about what opportunities exist. They can also let their programme leaders and representatives know any additional resources that they think would enhance the programme.

Creative courses are often hit with additional hidden costs for printing, models, workshop materials etc. What support is available to these students?

The University advertise the likely additional costs on the externally facing programme websites so it is clear - they are not hidden. See example for Architecture - under fees and funding section. Architecture, BA | University of Greenwich, London.

We will ask that the faculty review this to ensure it is still reflective of costs.

Services provided (including costs) are referenced on our Technical Support pages - Design Support – School of Design :: Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (gre.ac.uk) and all students have access to this.

Rachel Ashton will reach out to the faculty (FLAS) to feedback the concerns about cost.

Things to consider are discounts from suppliers eg SWS Printing, recycling scheme, sponsors.

Many students have had a poor experience with booking accommodation for the 2023/2024 academic year due to technical issues. So far, these students have been offered expensive or inconvenient alternatives at other campuses, what other support can the University do for those affected and to ensure this does not happen again?

Lesley Morrison, Head of Accommodation, apologised for the technical glitch this year when bookings were opened. She talked through everything that was put in place to mitigate impact. The issue has now been rectified so do not anticipate this happening again. 

There is high demand of student accommodation, and the University is always exploring ways to expand the offer for as much affordable housing as possible to students.

In addition, Kyle mentioned issues with cleaning when he first moved in. Sodexo have been in touch with Kyle regarding this matter to understand the issue and enhanced pre-move in checks will be undertaken for future move in dates.

What is the procedure for international students to return home during holidays and when term ends?

If not missing classes, no process and expected. If travelling in term time. Detailed question IA, advice workshop International Student Advice Service | Visas and Immigration for study in the UK | University of Greenwich

Travel related | Visas and Immigration for study in the UK | University of Greenwich

Women’s safety is a priority for a lot of students. What are the University doing to maintain focus on this important topic?

Helen Pierce, Associate Director of Campus Management outlined what the University are doing to focus on women’s safety. The University run ‘campus night’ from October to February where the Facilities Management team invite staff and students to accompany them on a walk around campus to highlight issues and areas that feel unsafe. Students and Staff are advised to download the SafeZone app.

GSU have trained all bar staff in ‘Ask for Angela/Andrew’. There is 24/7 security at gate houses.

The University is forging closer links with the local police. The Avery Hill police run ‘Cuppa with a copper’ sessions where they would love to hear from students about their concerns around crime and safety. The police are also trying to recruit the PCSO for University campuses.

Students seem to be having many issues around timings. They often report significant gaps in between classes spread across five days. There also are deadline clusters with large assignments being submitted on the same days and weeks. What can be done to help manage these timing issues?

The University are continuously looking to improve the experience of scheduled timetabling. It must be noted that it will not be possible for us to remove all gaps or condense all timetables due to the number of events that we need to schedule. This is a hugely complex planning exercise; we review feedback closely and are implementing a number of measures that should increase the student experience. It is key that you feedback clusters of assignments to your faculty to see if any dates can be adjusted. The University is introducing a Curriculum Management tool that will ultimately assist with this issue.

Many students also have young children. What does the University do and plan to do, to support these students who balance childcare with their studies?

We are keen to hear from students about what could help support students with childcare responsibilities. GSU are creating a space for a liberation lounge where we will give a safe space with facilities for parents. We also would welcome more feedback from our students on what more we can do to support these students.

We have revised our Extenuating Circumstances policy to include grace periods and self-certification options. These will be effective from Sept 2024. We will action the suggesting to add carers organisations to our Student wellbeing hub.

How can we effectively hold leaders and decision-makers to account when advocating for issues raised by programme representatives?

Although issues are addressed, there is often little follow up to action change and take feedback on board. I would love to see and encourage more joint working between SNOs/GSU and the senior leaders within schools to promote transparency and positive change that can be communicated to our student reps. We are always keen to hear from our students and see what we can do to improve Student Success and experience.

We will now hold these events as part of the calendar where you will have the opportunity to raise anything. The University will ensure our main areas are represented so that you have a senior university colleague to respond and take forward any matter. We will also ensure that we feed back to GSU following our meetings.

Once registered, Student Wellbeing services provide excellent support. However, there are delays in the registering process. Could the University share any plans to reduce waiting times for students seeking to register with Student Wellbeing services?

D&D team have extended the drop-ins to all day Monday to Friday so that already registered students can attend those with their queries and not need an appointment. This will reduce waiting times and new students needing to register can be prioritised. Students that have questions about their exam arrangements or if they need to speak to member of the team can attend the drop ins. This is instant support as the drop ins now run from 10.00 - 4.00 Monday to Friday. D&D have changed the way they offer appointments to new students needing to register. When a student shares their evidence with them they assess and start a support package. If they think the student requires a follow up appointment then this will be offered to them. This is a better and more effective way of managing appointments; as well as reducing the waiting times and reduce DNA’s.

In the PW team, from triage to appointment, wait times are currently 1-1.5 weeks for a 1-2-1 appointment. They also offer a SWS (PW run) online drop in service for 8 hours a week (Mon, Wed, Thu (5-7pm so students on placement/in lectures, etc can access it) and Fridays. This is used by students but attendance numbers are lower than we’d hoped.

Spectrum Life is also an instant access, 24/7 service for students. They have specific targets they strive for to keep wait times short (for their counselling service). All students are made aware of once referring for wellbeing support of the 24/7 helpline that Spectrum Life offer that as well as being promoted generally across the University there is a lot of self-help and wellbeing resources that student can access through them.

Greenwich Students' Union would like to thank all of the staff and school network officers that took part and made this event so successful.

  • School Network Officers: Rashmeet Sokhi, Aleksandra Klepacka, Kristofer Grigaitis, Kyle Sewell, Riya Raj Kandhari, Devan Chauhan, Md Rizwan Azad Chowdhury and Muzna Tariq

  • SAS Staff: Rachel Ashton, Executive Director of Student and Academic Services

  • Lesley-Ann Morrison, Head of Accommodation services

  • Hayriye Mehmet, Associate Director of Student Registry

  • Mark Crittenden, Associate Director of Student Engagement & Centres

  • Helen Pierce, Associate Director of Campus Management

  • Gianina Harvey-Brewin, Associate Director, Employability & Apprenticeships

Comments

 

Enable Recite Me accessibility tools

 

Other news


Image shows students doing different activities - one is serving a customer at one of out tills, two

See the progress on our strategy

As the 2023/24 academic year starts to close and we look ahead to the next one, we've been reflecting on 2022/23 and the progress made on our strategic goals in our GSU Plan 2026. See how we're doing and helping you Become Your Best.

Mon 13 May 2024

Parent and child facilities on campus

We have dedicated baby changing and breastfeeding facilities for parents across all three University of Greenwich campuses.

Thu 25 Apr 2024
Photo showing officers from GSU and Christ Church Student Union standing alongside Kelly Tolhurst MP

Your GSU Officers hold meeting with Kelly Tolhurst MP

On 23 February, GSU Officers Anuj and Aminul met with Kelly Tolhurst, the MP for Rochester and Strood.

Wed 27 Mar 2024
Decorative

Multi-faith spaces on campus

Read on to see where there are multi-faith prayer rooms available on campus.

Mon 25 Mar 2024
decorative

GSU Elections 2024 - the results!

Find out who has won in the GSU Elections for the GSU Officer positions for 2024/25.

Mon 11 Mar 2024