The announcement today that GCU management have withdrawn plans to ‘fine’ students for resits and retaking modules was today welcomed by GCU unions. Speaking on behalf of the University and College Union, branch president Douglas Chalmers said: “We welcome this step back by management on the issue. This really would have hit hard those who already find it hard to finance a university career – exactly the students who the university has a proud record of aiming to help.”
Earlier this month a joint statement of support had gone to the Students Association from both the UCU and EIS, pledging support for the students’ campaign in this area, and Douglas had addressed the Student Parliament to add the support of the combined unions at GCU.
“We believe the original proposals were ill conceived” said Douglas, “it appeared that there had been no equality impact assessment done, and in this case, no real consideration given as to how the university carries out its remit to ‘improve the Common Weal’ – something the unions have always supported. In this light, we also welcome the pledge made to the Student Association president from the university secretary Jan Hulme today, that ‘support available to students who face hardship in the course of their study could usefully be more clearly flagged, and [that]the Student Funding Team will be tasked with looking at that’.
We also welcome the pledge from Ms Hulme that the signposting of provision for students who need additional learning support will similarly be reviewed so that students undertaking resits or retaking modules are reminded of the range of support they can call upon”
In a message to the University Unions, Student Association President Matte Andrews said: “On behalf of the Students’ Association and the student population, I would like to extend a massive thank you for all your support over the last month and I hope that this is the beginning of a pro-active relationship with the Students’ Association campaigning alongside the Unions“.