19th April 2012 11:36 am
NUS WELCOMES OFFA GUIDANCE ON CONSULTING WITH STUDENTS’ UNIONS
The National Union of Students (NUS) welcomed new guidance from the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) which places a greater expectation on universities to consult with students’ unions before submitting accessing agreements.
NUS research shows that more than two-thirds of students’ unions were inadequately consulted, or not consulted at all, by universities about current access agreements.
In the new guidance OFFA make clear that proper consultation with unions is expected and they require a statement from institutions detailing the nature of their consultation as well as encouraging students’ unions to submit their own feedback direct to OFFA.
Liam Burns, NUS President, said:
“We welcome moves from OFFA to encourage further student involvement in deciding how a university supports vulnerable students and attracts students from underrepresented backgrounds.
“For too long universities have got away with cursory or non-existent consultation of the very students that Access Agreements are designed to help. NUS has been pushing for universities to be required to properly consult students and this is a recognition of the need for such requirements.
“Whilst this is a very positive step, in future universities must go further and give students sign off on plans for widening participation.”
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