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13 August 2012
Professor Stephen Denyer, Chair of the Student Charter Development Group, provides an insight into our new Student Charter and what it means for Cardiff University and its students.
At the first meeting of the Student Charter Development Group in August 2011, which I was invited to Chair, I couldn’t help but ask the question, "Well what exactly is the Student Charter for?"
The background to this was that the National Student Charter Group, commissioned by the Minister of State for Universities and Science, confirmed the merit of Student Charters and advised that all Higher Education Institutions should publish such a document. Following this, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales made the introduction of a Student Charter a requirement of all Higher Education Institutions in Wales.
It soon became apparent that, for Cardiff University and the Students’ Union, the Student Charter was more than just meeting externally imposed requirements. The development of the Charter afforded us a rare opportunity to take a step back from the continued efforts of the University to enhance our student experience and to reflect on what we already do for the experience of our students.
A key purpose of the Student Charter is to clearly outline what our students can expect from the University and the Students’ Union and what the University expects from its students. We’ve needed to ensure that its contents are based on current delivery and experience and are not aspirational.
Over the past 12 months, the Charter has been prepared in a close partnership between the University and the Students’ Union. We have consulted extensively with students and staff and the final document was approved recently by the Student Council and both the University Senate and Council.
The Charter is made up of eight communities, each reflecting characteristics of the student experience at the University and provides useful information and guidance. Students and staff can now explore these Cardiff communities on our Student Charter web pages, which also signposts to practical and relevant information elsewhere on our website.
When discussing the Student Charter with our students, I am sometimes asked ‘But what happens if something doesn’t meet my expectations?’ My advice to all is to let us know as soon as possible. Our Student Charter web pages provide students with advice on where to go should an aspect of their experience not meet their expectations.
My thanks go to all those involved in the development of our Student Charter and all that it represents. I now feel able to confidently answer my initial question: the Student Charter helps define the community that is Cardiff University and the relationship that it has with its students; it lays out the pathway to everything key about the Cardiff experience, so that all of our students can take full advantage of the opportunities on offer to them.
The Student Charter is a living document which will evolve each year as the University and the Students’ Union continue to enhance the inspiring and enriching experience we provide for our students.
If you would like to provide feedback on our Student Charter, you can do so on the website: Student Feedback.
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