Access and Participation: Student Written Submission

A huge part of what we do here at the Students’ Union is making sure that our student’s voices are not only heard at the University, but also on a national scale.  

This year, we are working with students to write a Student Written Submission which will form part of a report that the University is submitting to the OfS, which discusses what they have done to make sure their Access and Participation Plan has been implemented successfully. 

What is the Access and Participation Plan? 
The Access and Participation Plan a plan laid out by the University with the aim of making studying at university a more accessible, rewarding and fairer experience for under-represented groups. The plan outlines the targets that the University aims to achieve and how they will go about this. You can read the University’s 2019/20 here. 

What is the Office for Students? 
The Office for Students (OfS) are a regulatory body, that exists to make sure that Universities are providing that experience and level of service to students that they say that they are going to.  

In the case of the Access and Participation Plan, it is the job of the OfS to make sure that the University are doing all of the things they set out in the plan. In order to do this, they ask the University to write a report on their progress, and part of this is the Student Written Submission.  

What is the Student Written Submission? 
The Student Written Submission is a document comprised of feedback and opinions from students, on the content of the University’s Access and Participation Plan and whether they believe the University has achieved everything they set out to do. It is important that the students who contribute to the Student Written Submission, represent the groups that the Access and Participation Plan aims to help. At the Students’ Union we will be creating a survey and running a series of focus groups, with the aim of collecting as much student feedback as possible. We will then use this student feedback to write the submission on behalf of students. 

What is Classed as an ‘Under-Represented Group’? 
The Access and Participation Plan outlines a lot of different groups which it aims to help, so we are interested in talking to students who identify in any of the below groups: 
BAME students  
Disabled students 
Care Leavers 
Students estranged from their families  
From a low-income family/low socio-economic background  
Part-time students 
Mature students 
Students who didn’t take A-Levels  
Students with mental health difficulties 
Students with learning difficulties  
Students on work-based courses 
Nursing/Social Work students 

How Can I Take Part in This and Give My Feedback/Opinions? 

The first way you can get involved is by taking part in this survey. 

The second way you can get involved is by taking part in one of our Focus Groups, where you will be asked to speak about certain topics as part of a group, led by a Student Leader. The following Focus Groups are available to take part in, dependant on which group you identify with, which will all be run over Teams: 

Date and Time Target Group Led By
22nd Feb @ 5pm  Mature Students and Part-Time Students Amina
23rd Feb @ 5pm  Asian Students Bailey
24th Feb @ 12pm  Disabled Students, with a focus on physical disabilities and students with learning difficulties Lucy
24th Feb @ 5pm Students From a Lower Socio-Economic Background, with a focus on students who are estranged and student who are the first from their family to attend university  Georgia
25th Feb @ 1pm Students From a Lower Socio-Economic Background, with a focus on students who are carers and also care leavers. Georgia
25th Feb @ 3pm  Mature Students and Part-Time Students Amina
25th Feb @ 5pm Minority Ethnic Students  Bailey
1st March @ 5pm Students who experience mental health difficulties  Lucy
2nd March @5pm Black Students Bailey

If you would like to take part in one of these Focus Groups, please contact [email protected].  

If you would like to be a part of this research, but would prefer to speak to Student Leader in a one-to-one meeting, please contact: [email protected]

If you have any other questions about this project, please email: [email protected]