The coalition Government have released the long awaited White Paper, ‘Students at the Heart of the System.’ Fundamentally, it is very worrying that a white paper that has been so delayed can be so confused on the key issues.
We successfully raised our objections to this White Paper through the media yesterday and will continue to do so over the coming days.
Our next priority will be to meet with decision makers from across the political spectrum to fight for major changes to the Governments’ proposals.
Check out today's (29 June) Daily Media Digest Fees have been tripled and students have been exposed to the potential chaos of the market and yet there are still no concrete proposals for how quality, accountability and access will be improved.
This must urgently be addressed. White Paper Summary We welcome the focus on students' unions and the drive for better information for students in the white paper, but the Government must not confuse information with power.
The white paper assumes that market competition alone will drive up quality, without ever arguing as to how this is the case. Listen to our Policy Pod Whilst our reaction to the White Paper concentrated on a number of key concerns, it is right to acknowledge a number of wins that NUS achieved
• Support for Medicine and Dentistry students. Find out more.
• Putting PQA on the agenda, pending the UCAS review of admissions
• More power and resources for OFFA.
• Guarantees that any providers will have to participate on a level playing field.
• Significant improvements in the information for prospective students
• Protection of the independence of the OIA.
• New regulatory system which gives powers to students to trigger quality reviews.
• Consultation on the creation of a NSS for Taught Postgraduates.
• Continued support of the Graduate Talent Pool for 2011.
• Expansion of funded student places by employers and charities.
• Establishment of a new Careers Service in England by April 2012.
• A new quality assurance framework for careers guidance
• Specific reference to the role of students' unions. Check out page 36 of the White Paper.
• Recognition of the important role played by NUS and the HEA in supporting institutions respond to feedback, and the joint NUS/HEA project on student engagement.
• Special recognition of the work of Aaron Porter and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, Professor Janet Beer for their work co-chairing the Student Charter Group.
For a summary of what these proposals mean check out our briefing If you would like any more information about the White Paper don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be in touch shortly on how you can help us campaign locally for changes to this White Paper.