This academic year has been one of the most challenging students have faced. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that students have had to make a series of adjustments in order continue learning effectively and we’ve been more keen than ever to hear what our students have to say about their university experience.
Over this academic year students have told us many things that would improve their lives when studying and after they graduate including:
- Having a clear no detriment policy
- Being given more time to complete assignments
- Access to university services once students graduate
- Discounted further study options for undergraduates
We’ve worked hard, in partnership with the University, to deliver resolutions to your feedback. Students have already been able to take advantage of the no detriment policy which was reintroduced in semester 2 and all students have been given the opportunity to apply for extensions and deferrals for some of their assignments without providing evidence. We hope that these have proved useful in achieving the best grades possible. (Please be aware that no detriment and extension/deferral policies are no longer in place)
This week we have received further communication from the University regarding some of our requests. After we were unsuccessful in negotiating partial fee refunds as outlined in CUSU’s open letter, which was signed by over 5,000 students, we worked with our students to come up with alternative solutions which we put to the University. We are delighted that the University has been able to resolve the vast majority of our requests and thank them for their support. The full response can be found here however you can find a summary of these below:
- Extended A1 Microsoft Office Licence – unlimited access has been granted as part of the Alumni services and benefits.
- Extended A1 Adobe Suite Licence – available for one year after graduating for all students on courses that have used it regularly throughout their studies.
- Extended printing credits – unused printing credits from the 2020/21 academic year will automatically be carried over for use on students’ personal printing accounts.
- Extended access to Bibliu – publications and resources which students may have received as part of Flying Start will remain available as long as you need them. You can check if Flying Start applies to you here.
- Extended library use for graduates – free associate membership of the library to alumni permitting physical access to all library and learning resource centres. You’ll be able to borrow up to 5 items at a time.
- Increased Alumni discount to 20% for undergraduates who study a Postgraduate Taught course – available for May 2021 entry and all entry points during the 2021/22 academic year
- Extended access to Talent Connect – all alumni will continue to have access to this service for 3 years after they have graduated. You can access Talent Connect here.
- Extended access to LinkedIn Learning – all alumni will be able to benefit from the same access as staff and current students.
- Extended welfare support – now available to alumni. The University is also looking to develop other support and resources once students have left.
- Graduation/celebratory events for students – students who have already graduated in absentia and virtually will be invited to a graduation festival. It is also intended that the autumn graduation ceremonies as usual for students later in the year. Continue to check your university email and the university student news page for updates.
Students can find more information on the above extended benefits for alumni as well as many other benefits and services of being a part of the University’s alumni here and can register as part of the alumni community.
What is already available to students?
- Enhancing futures programme – a range of online and interactive sessions designed to help students gain the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. Find out more or sign up for a session. Coventry University and Coventry University London students only.
- Coventry University Community Enterprise - The Enterprise Hub team is committed to continuing to support budding entrepreneurs in the current COVID-19 crisis. Find out more here.
- Financial support – If students are in financial difficulty or need further information and guidance, speak to the Student Union Advice Centre (SUAC) who will help identify any funding that may be available, and offer further support.
- City of culture opportunities - There will be several opportunities to get involved in Coventry's year as City of Culture, including starting your own project. You can check for updates here.
What are the university still working on?
- Carrying over credits for arts students – the University is still looking into the viability and practicality of carrying over credits. An update will be provided as soon as possible.
- Additional lab sessions for practical courses – course teams are reviewing whether resources and facilities are available and if so will organise practical sessions where possible. Keep checking your Aula community page for updates.
- Opportunities to study abroad – The University has submitted a bid to the government for Turing funds for the next 12 months. Turing replaces the Erasmus programme which the UK were a part of when in the European Union.
What can’t be offered by the University?
- Access to e-journals – due to publisher license restrictions, it’s not possible to access content of many e-journals after graduation, though the University will investigate with key providers to see if this is possible in the future
- Mental health support – for legal liability and insurance reasons the University cannot offer mental health support for alumn
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.