Students' Union Formal Response

Monday 05-06-2017 - 16:20


Update: 6 June 2017

As a direct result of the Students’ Union’s commitment to ensuring your concerns were heard and addressed during the consultation process, the University has responded to the 25 recommendations informed by your feedback, which we presented to them on 15th May.

We have worked closely with the on-campus trade unions, and through sustained lobbying of the senior management at the University, we have ensured vital wins for students for the next academic year.

 

Some of our biggest wins:

  • the Nursery remains open
  • the Advice Zone presence at Glyntaff to be maintained
  • the library in Treforest to be open 24/7 during term time, the opening hours of the Newport campus library to be reviewed, and a pilot to commence for the same at the Cardiff campus.

 

This work will have a positive impact on all of our students, across all of our campuses.

We have not won all of our recommendations, but we remain committed to working with the University and exploring alternative options, if possible, where we have not been successful.

You can read the University’s full response to our recommendations here.

 

 

Faculty of Business & Society, School of Humanities & Social Sciences


 

We recommended: the University reconsider staff changes within HASS

  • the University reconsider staff changes within HASS
  • be clear and transparent around proposals regarding TESOL


University response:

Recommendation 1: “We’ve considered the detailed counter-proposals made by academic staff in the School and Faculty. We’ve accepted some of those changes to improve the proposals, for example by increasing flexibility in which staff could go for posts in the new structure, and the main thrust will be implemented to slim down staff numbers in subject areas where demand is lower”.

Recommendation 2: “We’re going to maintain the existing level of TESOL staffing so that students can get their certificate, and make a judgement about TESOL for future students as we plan USW’s future curriculum offer.”


SU win: a reconsideration of the proposed changes to increase flexibility in staff applications.

SU win: Continue with the TESOL certificate for current students.

 

 

Faculty of Business & Society Management



We recommended:

  • be mindful of the risk around lecturers leaving & minimise impact
  • reconsider the academic manager restructure
     

University response:

Recommendation 3: “That’s an important issue and we’re very mindful of it. We’ll be working closely with the academic team in the Faculty in their planning next year.”

Recommendation 4: “We’re already reviewing staffing across the board in each faculty as part of this process. Within the changes we’re making to the proposed management structure we’re removing a Senior Deputy Dean post. The Academic Manager restructure will be going ahead: the point of it is to reduce the layers and complexity of senior management in the Faculty.”


SU win: greater consideration for lecturers leaving and closer working relations with the Faculty in their planning.

SU win: reconsideration of proposed manager restructures including removal of senior Deputy Dean post.

SU loss: Academic Manager restructure going ahead.

 

 

Faculty of Creative Industries



We recommended:

  • ensure essential members of faculty are maintained
  • the University to commit to establishing the USW Film School
  • consider timings of any future restructure

University response:

Recommendation 5: “This is an important point that we already consider carefully, and will be sure to include in our thinking in appointing to the new structure.”

Recommendation 6: “This is a live conversation and we’re considering the creation of a Film and Television School as part of the strategic development and branding of the Creative Industries offer.”

Recommendation 7: “There’s never a great time to make changes, but we’ve tried hard to minimise the impact on students while fully involving the SU in making sure their views are considered. We’ll be implementing our changes largely after students have broken up for the summer in order to have new structures established and working well before the next academic year.”


SU win: consideration for essential members of faculty in any new structure discussions in place for Film and Television School

 

 

Campus & Student Services, Nursery


 

We recommended:

  • phase any reduction in subsidy to the nursery over 2 years
  • continue with the shorter term contracts for student parents
  • investigate variegated charging model for service users
  • continue with a subsidy linked to student parents.

 

University response:

Recommendations 8 – 11: “The nursery will be open next year. USW is a family friendly University and we’ve always recognised the importance of our childcare facility to students, staff, and the local community. We’ve been working hard to keep the provision by finding a sustainable new operating model that doesn’t need a subsidy of £150,000 a year. We’re in really positive discussions, and we’re at a very sensitive stage with a preferred option. These recommendations will be part of our discussions and we’ll be saying more when the time is right.”
 

SU wins: the nursery to remain open next year

consideration for the importance of childcare facilities to students

discussions taking place for an alternative sustainable operating model, with our recommendations being part of these

 

 

Campus & Student Services, Library


 

We recommended:

  • detailed analysis of library use
  • maintain 24/7 access to IT / computer labs
  • consider impact of different start dates and assignment hand in dates
  • equal access to libraries across all campuses

 

University response:

Recommendations 12 – 15: “We’ll always keep our opening hours under review to maximise their impact on the student experience. As a result of listening to this consultation feedback we’re going to keep 24 hour opening at Treforest during term time, we’re exploring new opening hours at Newport, and we’re going to work with the SU and FCI students to analyse the demand for a 24/7 pilot in Cardiff.”

 

SU wins:

continually review opening hours and use of facilities

24/7 access to Treforest during term time

exploring new opening hours at Newport

analysis of demand in Cardiff for 24/7 pilot

 

 

Student Support


 

We recommended:

  • clear communication on proposed changes
  • provide jargon-free guide on proposed new services
  • review changes to service provision after first 12mths
     

University response:

Recommendations 16 – 18: “We’re making changes to the proposals so that a desk with staff providing advice services is at Glyntaff. No student will have less access to specialist disability support – we’re going to replace the current system of part-time support with a team of permanent full-time support workers. We’ll be producing a simple, jargon-free guide to these services, for example in the course handbook and Unilife. We’d review the changes as part of normal business, and we’re happy to do this review.”

 

SU wins:

staff providing advice zone services to be available at Glyntaff

permanent full-time support workers to be employed to ensure no student has less access to specialist disability support

jargon-free guide to be produced for students

review changes as part of normal business

 

 

IT opening hours at Newport City Campus


 

We recommended:

  • University to work with Timetabling to assess impact before a decision is made to reduce IT support
     

University response:

Recommendation 19: “No change to the proposal is to be made and the after-hours service will be reduced accordingly in line with the current provision for student advice at the Newport campus. The IT User service team, however, will be harmonised to provide an all campus service where appropriate. After hours support will be available remotely.”

 

SU loss: after-hours IT support service will be reduced

  
 

Print Shop in Cardiff



We recommended:

  • to reconsider its proposal to close the Print Shop at Cardiff
  • Ask students at Cardiff campus why print service isn’t being utilised
  • establish permanent peripatetic print service is closure is inevitable
  • commit to a ‘pop-up’ print provision at key points of the year

 

University response:

Recommendations 20 – 23: “The specialist nature of the requirements of FCI students is recognised, and the proposed operation of an “anytime anywhere” on-line service is considered feasible backed up by Skype/Telephone intervention where appropriate. Additionally, the University distribution service (Estates’ stores, Library, IT and Print) will be considered for consolidation to enable twice a day deliveries to all campuses. The use of a “pop-up” shop will also be considered to cover peak times. A significant technical resource exists within the Faculty and resident IT staff to provide ad hoc advice and appropriate printing equipment will be available for self-service.”

 

SU loss: The Print Shop at Cardiff will close, with the University exploring an "anytime anywhere" on-line service

Faculty and IT staff to provide ad hoc advice and printing equipment for self-service

SU win: Distribution services to enable twice a day deliveries to all campuses

SU win: A “pop-up” shop will be considered to cover peak times

 

 

Executive Board



We recommended:

  • the University to respond in an open and honest way with regards to the remuneration of the Executive Board
  • The Executive Board to consider how they can actively contribute to remaining financially stable
     

University response:

Recommendation 24: “The pay of senior USW staff is openly and honestly detailed in the Annual Review & Accounts, which is publicly available online at www.southwales.ac.uk.”

Recommendation 25: “Pay of USW staff is linked to other universities through the national collective bargaining. The pay of senior staff of the University is set by the Board of Governors, with the advice of its Remuneration Committee, who independently assess where to set pay against similar universities in the sector. The size and shape of the Executive team is constantly reviewed and benchmarked against similar universities.”

 

SU win: The pay of senior USW staff is publicly available online

SU loss: The pay of USW staff remains linked to other universities and is set by the Board of Governors.


 


 

Update: 5 June 2017


Over the last four weeks, the Students’ Union has taken part in Consultation Meetings with Senior University Management.

In order for the Students’ Union to input formally into the Consultation, and for our response to be meaningful, we set up a feedback form for our students to tell us their concerns. We received over 200 submissions, raising concerns ranging from course based issues to the closure of services. Every submission was considered and raised formally with the University and finally collated in our formal response.

You can read the full report which we sent to the University on 15th May here. This document contains the 25 recommendations we have consolidated from the feedback received from you during the consultation period.

The University has carefully considered the report and we eagerly await their imminent response.

 

Submit your feedback

The deadline for feedback submissions has now passed. If you would like to discuss any of the Students’ Union recommendations, please get in touch with your Students’ Union President, Jonathan Jones at supres@southwales.ac.uk.

 

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