Could the nursery entertain children during Awards Week?

Question:

I wondered if the University have considered utilising the nursery staff during Awards week to entertain young children attending the ceremonies?

 

Answer:

The University is committed to supporting students with families. Presently many students utilise the nurseries on campus during awards week.  There are still many students who bring their children with them to the awards ceremonies and we are happy to accommodate them. This year particularly saw an increase of young children in attendance at the awards.

The nurseries have to adhere to legal ratios therefore all University childcare staff are fully utilised within the nurseries and we would be unable to release them to provide facilities offsite. We would therefore have to employ additional part time staff in accordance with legal ratios in addition to hiring an additional marquee, toilets and other facilities for children. This additional expense, we believe, would be prohibitive to graduates particularly as we have never stopped graduates bring in babies or young children.

 

Facilities that are provided for children of this nature need to be legally registered (for which there is also a charge) and must adhere to OFSTED regulations so it is not as straightforward as it may initially seem. We will, however, look at this again if there is perceived to be a need and if it can be funded.

What is the future of the Dwight building?

Question:

What is the future of the Dwight building?
It was not mentioned in the recent Estates communication. The Dwight building hasbeen rather neglected over recent years, and all the Courses within it deal with manyexternal clients and agencies, as well as prospective students and their parents.

 

Answer:

The Dwight building is currently planned to be retained as part of the University Quarter Plan for the Stoke Campus.

We will be reviewing it’s occupation and condition as part of delivering the plan over the next few years and will address any issues of disrepair accordingly.  The building is basically sound structurally but it would benefit from some redecoration and refurbishment.

Can the SU shops open during summer for Open Days?

Question:

I know the SU shops are not strictly speaking Staffs uni property or under our control, but it does seem to me that the Uni is missing a trick here, and too the SU themselves.

Today there have been a large open day at the Uni, with hundreds of potential customers milling around, yet the SU shops on leek road and college road are shut  ? Surely they would be doing a LOT of business with all these people around, not to mention it better advertises what we have to offer on our sites.. I cant see the SU objecting either unless they don’t like making money ?

Answer:

In looking at the June Open Day, the Students’ Union considered how best to showcase the facilities and services available to students.

During term-time, the Student Shops opened for all the weekend Open Days because they were able to present a positive example of the service available to students

However, because there are now very few students on any campus after May, the Student Shops close for 4 months between June and September and all stocks of perishables are run down to zero.  

As this makes up over 50% of the range, it leaves the shops looking very spartan and inadequate.  Therefore, rather than presenting a false and less than ideal impression, the focus was placed on operating the services that aren’t dependent on being stocked for their presentation.

In anticipation of the broader question about vacation opening, the Student Shops at the Beaconside site were operated as a pilot throughout the summer 3 years ago.  However, because trade averaged below £250 per day (despite occasional summer school conferences) it operated below breakeven, so had to be subsidised. 

Because its’ resultant turnover was so low, it proved difficult to meet the minimum drop levels for deliveries, which led to high out-of-stocks in some categories and high wastage levels on perishables,  where lines didn’t sell before their use by dates.
The Union is, however, in discussions with Co-Op about a possible supply arrangement that may change this in future years, so future vacation opening is being actively reviewed.

What are Exec’s plans for part-time study?

Question:

What are the plans for part-time study? Does Executive expect part-time study will recruit students who are either maybe put off by full-time fees, or who want to study while working?

Answer:

Re part-time study, we expect the market to drive the offer. In particular, we are considering whether PT UG Programmes, offered over three years, will be popular in the future.  We would be interested to hear staff and student views on this subject.

Will joint awards be looked at individually?

Question:

Taking up the point about looking at combined honours and concentrating on what we are good at, in journalism we have many combined honours students who are very successful and who bring a diversity and new ideas that also inform the core single honours course. I would like reassurance that each joint honours award would be looked at individually rather than a decision being made in general to cut these courses.

Answer:

When we are making our decisions about  the programme portfolio going forward, we will be considering a range of factors in relation to all the programmes. These include application rates,  different quality  measures, financial viability and other fields.

Then we will be asking academic staff to compete information  on how the 3 Es are delivered within programmes, whether elearning is a factor, what the competition is like, the strategic value of programmes and a range of other considerations. 

Once all the information is gathered, we will revue the data together and make decisions about how we shape the portfolio going forward.

In this way there is the opportunity for any individual Award to be considered in its own right.
That said, We do need to simplify our offer with less titles overall. The number of options  available on any programme has to be dependant on the number of students. We need to work towards a situation where ideally all modules have an optimum number of 20 students studying in seminar and lab based groups.