As your elected officer we strive to work in your best interest as the students at BU, we work tirelessly to get the best outcomes for you, and we want to give you the best experience during your time at BU.
On Monday morning, we, as your elected officers, met with BU’s University Executive Team. This comprises of the three most senior leaders at the University; Professor John Vinney (Vice- Chancellor), Professor Tim McIntyre-Bhatty (Deputy Vice-Chancellor) and Jim Andrews (Chief Operating Officer).
After collecting your feedback, we formulated the following questions to pose to the University Executive Team:
- In addition to the revised measure to protect student outcomes, would BU also be able to deliver on offering uncapped reassessments, the opportunity for students to defer studies without financial penalties and to ensure that students’ marks will not fall below the average already achieved?
- What additional measures are BU willing to put into place to protect student outcomes?
- Would BU commit to writing a letter to private accommodation partners requesting them to consider a rent rebate to students this year?
- Will BU be able to share their data around the BU Wellbeing service, including waiting list numbers and student reviews on the efficiency of the service?
- Is BU aware of the level of dissatisfaction students feel towards the wellbeing service offered by the University?
- Has there been a conversation at BU around support for students without the resources necessary to complete their learning at home? How can BU increase their level of support for these students?
- What are BU’s plans for international students during this time?
A copy of the full minutes from the meeting with the University will be made available on SUBU’s website as soon as possible. In the meantime, a summary of the responses from the University on the above were:
- It has been made clear on the BU website, under Protecting Student Outcomes, that the current situation has been taken into account when supporting students with assignments. Further considerations are also being made on a case by case basis
- BU want to avoid any delay for students when completing their degrees, therefore reassessment attempts would not be suitable
- A No Detriment Policy is not the best solution for now, as the majority of students do not have a complete set of marks from Semester 1 to carry over
- Offering rent rebates to students is not a quick or easy decision for BU to make. This is a decision that would have a long-term financial impact on providers and we are still only in the second week of the latest lockdown
- BU have hardship funding in place to support students, and they should feel comfortable applying for this
- BU are listening to students and are putting necessary changes into place, however they want to remain cautious and do not want to rush into any decisions that could negatively impact both the institution and students
We are hearing from you that there is still more that the University, and government, need to do to support students. Specifically, we will be working with the University to get further clarity and action for you on:
- BU’s lobbying of accommodation providers to provide a rebate whilst students are not able to occupy their rooms
- BU’s lobbying of the government to provide financial support for universities
- Securing uncapped reassessment attempts for students
- Securing the opportunity for students to defer their studies or assessments without academic or financial penalty
- Securing additional funding for students experiencing financial hardship
- Better support for students requiring Visa extensions
We also recognise this is a national problem, and that students have not been supported adequately by the government through a much needed financial bailout that would support universities in offering compensation. We are therefore continuing to support national efforts to lobby MPs on your behalf, including through the NUS #StudentsDeserveBetter campaign.
We remain resolute in our unrelenting desire to improve your experience as students. Every single day we are receiving emails from you, many detailing experiences of distress, anger and frustration, and every single day we are moved to action on behalf of the injustices you are facing.
We continue to take your feedback, both the positive and the negative, very seriously and will continue to fight for your rights. We will continue to represent your feedback to BU, and we do believe that the more we continue to collect and raise student issues, the stronger our power will be to secure changes on your behalf.
Naturally, we were incredibly disappointed that BU did not respond on Monday to the pressure we have placed on them with immediate, tangible actions. However, we will continue to lobby the University and to ensure BU is doing all it can to aid you through this. In the meantime, if you would like to share your concerns and the impact this time has had on you please feel free to contact us at