NUS MEMBERSHIP UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) 14 April 2020
Our number one priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of the students and apprentices we represent, so we have been working closely with institutions, trade unions, national sector bodies like Universities UK and the Association of Colleges, the Student Loans Company, and the government to inform our response to Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Here’s an update of what we are doing on your behalf to ensure your interests are represented as we tackle this pandemic:
- We're calling for a national approach to exams, assessment and ‘no detriment’ policies this year, following mixed responses from education institutions to student petitions for action. We’ve used the exam section of the Coronavirus and students survey to reinforce how important this issue is to students
- Universities UK (UUK) has responded to our letter asking it to adopt a national ‘no detriment’ policy for exams. UUK will not take this up as a national policy, as it wants it's members to have flexibility to set their own policies. This is a real disappointment, as we know a UUK direction would have been a help for students’ unions who are lobbying their universities on this, but we will continue to work on this issue, to lobby nationally and keep you updated
- We've had our weekly call with the Office for Students and raised questions around financial sustainability, ministerial statements on consumer law, and working together on the results of our forthcoming report on Coronavirus and students.
- On Thursday 9 April, Liam McCabe, NUS Scotland President took part in a meeting with the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, along with other stakeholders in the further and higher education sectors. Liam raised the ongoing difficulties students are experiencing with getting out of their student accommodation contracts and the need for a no-detriment approach to assessing students during the Covid-19 outbreak
- Liam also met with Scottish Government officials, and discussed the Scottish Government’s £5 million hardship fund (a big win for us!), support for international students, and issues relating to student accommodation.
- Our next weekly meeting of sabbatical officers in Wales will take place on Wednesday at 10am
- After we made representations on PGCE students, the Welsh Government issued guidance for teacher training providers and students
- We’ll be meeting with heads of student services at universities in Wales this week to discuss students’ housing and welfare needs.