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#CutTheCosts campaigning on campus: University of Cumbria

Friday 11-03-2016 - 10:31

This is a guest blog from Izaak Koroneos, Academic Officer at University of Cumbria Students' Union.

As part of our NSS response campaign we challenged the University of Cumbria to address issues raised by respondents to the 2015 survey - issues which we’d also observed for a number of years.

We discovered eight key themes of recurring feedback and categorised them as follows, with each category seeking specific, measurable targets for 2017:

  1. Make good use of our time
  2. Give us useful feedback, in time to apply it
  3. Demonstrate that our work is marked fairly
  4. Give us a break
  5. Enjoy helping us succeed
  6. Give us time to prepare for placement
  7. Show us the money
  8. Give us the Cumbria experience wherever we are

The university are at varying stages of progress for each point, with some having been worked on for some time and others new to the discussion table.

One item in particular has advanced following UCSU intervention: Show us the money.

The university have made a commitment to financial transparency.

Working with UCSU they provided a data sheet which breaks down the university’s income and expenditure.

In the coming months we will work with the university finance team and academic leads to identify and eradicate hidden course costs after securing commitment to transparency in this area.

We will of course share findings with our members and further challenge the university to be more transparent – both around how fees are spent and where students may be required to spend extra money to access their studies.

With students investing upwards of £27,000 in their higher education it is only right that universities are clear about where this money goes, and they should welcome discussion on the matter.

We are pleased with the response of the University of Cumbria and are looking forward to making further progress with this important project.

If you have any questions or comments please get in touch with UCSU or Izaak at Izaak.koroneos@cumbria.ac.uk

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