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Full University Response To CUSU Suggestions

Full details on what the University has introduced as a result of students experience during the pandemic.

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CUSU submitted an open letter, with over 5,000 student signatures, to the University in early March requesting that they consider a number of suggestions to improve the student experience relating to:

 

  • No detriment policies
  • Clarity on grading
  • Extensions and deferrals to assignments without evidence
  • Partial refunds for tuition fees

The full letter can be viewed here.

CUSU’s officers worked with the University’s senior leadership team to resolve some of the above suggestions including the reintroduction of the no detriment policy and the granting of extensions/deferrals to assignments without evidence for the Jan-April Semester. (Please note these policies are no longer active). The University was not able to grant partial refunds for students but made it clear that there may be other things they could do to help students whilst they study and once they graduate.

CUSU held a focus group with students to collate suggestions on what the University could provide in order to satisfy them. The suggestions we received from students were used to formulate a number of requests which were made to the University and we thank all those students who took part.

Since then, the University has been working to address as many of these requests as possible and this week published their response to our officers. We are delighted that the University has been able to deliver on the vast majority of these suggestions and we thank them for listening to the voice of the students. Below is the full letter provided by the University.

‘Dear students

Thank you for taking the time to share with us a number of key points that outline the impact that the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic has had on your student experience. We, like you, have truly missed all in-person activity that can take place under ‘normal’ circumstances. We have worked hard to be flexible and adapt our online teaching delivery, offer a blended approach when possible, continue to provide access to services, and expand academic support resources through the library and career-focused skills sessions with the Enhancing Futures programme

It’s been important for us to follow government guidance closely to ensure our students and staff remain as safe as possible throughout this uncertain time. This has meant making changes and we thank you for your ongoing patience while we have had to adjust teaching and learning arrangements in response to the pandemic. As has been said many times before, this has been an exceptionally challenging time for everyone and we’re proud to see how well our community has responded to ensure that learning outcomes have been met, not least because of the ways that our students have adapted and risen to the challenges we have all faced.

We have read, understood, and addressed the requests raised to help as a way of supporting what has been changed due to government restrictions and requirements this past year. We are pleased to have been able to honour as many as are possible. We will continue to work hard to provide the best possible education and look forward to welcoming more students onto campuses in the near future.

For recent and upcoming graduates – registering as a part of our alumni community allows you to keep your university email account, have access to an exclusive range of benefits, services, networking opportunities and discounts designed to help you make the most out of life after university.

Full responses to your requests are as follows. There is also a long read on the student news page that was published last year in October – delivering higher education during a pandemic.

Requested by CUSU on behalf of students

University Response

Extending Microsoft Office and course specific software licences past graduation

We are happy to have been able to extend the Adobe Suite A1 package for one year after graduating, to students on courses that have used it regularly throughout their studies. 

We understand that the Adobe suite can be extremely useful when first moving into a new career that requires this expertise, particularly for students on specific design related courses. 

In addition to this, as a current student and as part of our alumni you have unlimited access to A1 Microsoft OfficeRead more about the benefits and services of being a part of our alumni.

Unused printing credits from the current academic year to be extended

We are pleased to confirm that unused printing credit from the academic year 2020/2021 will automatically be carried over for use on students’ personal printing accounts.

We are still looking into the viability and practicality of carrying over credits for arts students. We will provide a response as soon as possible.

Access to Bibliu and journals after graduating

All Bibliu resources and publications which you may have received as part of the Flying Start programme will remain available to you for as long as you need them including after graduating

Many of you are given access to resources and membership to professional institutions as part of the accreditation offered by your courses. In many cases these professional resources remain available to you after graduation. You can check Flying Start to see if this applies to you, or check with a member of your course team staff.

Due to publisher license restrictions, it’s unfortunately not possible to access the content of many of our e-journals after graduation, though we will investigate with key providers to see if this is possible in the future.

Extending library use for alumni after graduating

With immediate effect, we are offering free associate membership of the library to alumni which permits physical access to all of our library and learning resource centres and enables borrowing of up to 5 items at a time. Read more about the benefits of being a part of our alumni community.

Increasing the alumni discount for students who wish to undertake a masters at Coventry University

We are pleased to be able to confirm we will be increasing the alumni fee discount to 20% for May 2021 entry and all entry points during academic year 2021/2022.

 

Careers fair access online or in-person

The Talent Team (previously known as the careers team) continue to provide a wide variety of activities, so there are now more opportunities than ever for you to get involved with.

At no extra cost, all students can access Talent Connect (log on using university credentials) – to find employment-focussed sessions, workshops and further one-to-one professional support from the team.

All alumni will continue to have access to this service, and we are pleased to confirm this has now been extended to three years after they have graduated.

Additional resources and support for students searching for placements

Talent Connect also hosts a range of placement opportunities which you can apply for. This includes our recent graduates. Alumni can continue to have access to this service, and this has now been extended to three years after they have graduated.

Additional workshops and training sessions for graduating and current students

We can confirm we have now extended access to LinkedIn Learning as part of our alumni package, where alumni can benefit from the same access to LinkedIn Learning as our staff and students. Find out how to register as a part of our alumni community, which allows you to keep your university email account (how you will be able to access LinkedIn Learning) and gives you access to an exclusive range of benefits, services, networking opportunities and discounts.

 

The Enhancing Futures programme open to undergraduate students in Coventry University and Coventry University London has a range of online and interactive sessions designed to help you gain the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. Find out more or book a session.

 

Also, Coventry University Community Enterprise (CUSE) holds regular Launch UPD8 workshops which will help develop and enhance your skills across a range of areas. These will be useful to you when starting your own business or starting your career. The Enterprise Hub team is committed to continuing to support budding entrepreneurs in the current COVID-19 crisis. Find out about the Enterprise Hub.

Graduations and celebratory events for students who have graduated or are graduating during the pandemic

We know how important graduation ceremonies are for our students and their families and it is disappointing for all of us that we have not been able to hold these valued events in person due to government restrictions.

Therefore, those students who have already graduated in absentia and virtually, will be invited to a graduation festival which we hope will take place from September. We also intend to hold our autumn ceremonies as usual for all students later this year. This will of course subject to government guidance and requirements.

More details will follow as soon as possible – please continue to check your university email account and the university student news page for the latest updates.

Supplementary trips for next academic year due to the inability to access them over the academic year

During the pandemic we have delivered a variety of online content and events in place of the trips that have not been possible to take place due to government restrictions. These have included increased coverage from Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and Virtual World Tours.

We have submitted a recent bid to government for Turing funds for the next 12 months and, subject to award and approval to travel, aim to offer you many more opportunities. We therefore are unable to offer double the funding for supplementary trips as requested.

Additional lab sessions for students on practical courses

Course teams have been asked to review, and where resources and facilities allow, organise additional practical sessions where possible. You will hear from your course team directly if this applies to you. Please check your Aula community pages for opportunities that may be available.

Access to wellbeing services after leaving campus for 12 months

Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to offer mental health support to alumni for legal liability and insurance reasons.

We are pleased, however, to be able to extend our welfare support to alumni. We are also looking to develop other support and resources for students once they have left the university. Read more about the benefits and services of being a part of our alumni.

More financial support for students

If you find yourself in financial difficulty or need further information and guidance, please speak to the Student Union Addvice Centre SUAC who will help you identify any funding that may be available, and offer further support.

Additional funding for student projects

City of Culture: There will be several opportunities to get involved in Coventry's year as City of Culture, including starting your own projectKeep checking back to the website for the latest updates.

A special thank you to Catarina Cardoso EEC Faculty Officer, Joshua McFadden HLS Faculty Officer, Mariam Abdurahman FAH Faculty Officer, Sophie Mowle Postgraduate Research Officer and Favour Sanusi VP Activities and members of Education Forum for working with the university on this.

Comments

Alex Beilby-Duckett
6:01pm on 4 Jun 21 This is good to see. Essentially everything that nobody cares about has been agreed to. Mission accomplished, time to head home and call celebrate. Anything worth a damn will not be allowed. Glad to see "our voice" in the students union works hard.
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