Vice-chancellor apologises for exam timetable screw-up

Not that his apology will make your life any easier

Vice-Chancellor David Richardson has offered an unreserved apology to students affected by the recent rescheduling of exam timetables.

The VC was speaking at the Union Council’s meeting, where student reps questioned him about the future of UEA.

The university faced a backlash recently when students’ exam timetables were rescheduled, and many students’ final year exams are now the day after their dissertation deadline date.

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He also said he would consult with students on £200m worth of investment in a new campus infrastructure. David stated that the campus is not openly accessible to all, and that this would be carefully assessed when investment decisions are made on the new infrastructure.

Concrete heaven

Concrete heaven

Alongside infrastructure plans, the vice-chancellor said that gender neutral toilets will be considered in any plans. Additionally, he said that he would consult with colleagues on flying the Pride rainbow flag. This follows UEA’s Pride Society winning LGBT+ society of the year.

In tandem with the SU’s “it’s never ok” campaign earlier this year, he committed to a complete eradication of sexual harassment on campus.

Posters around campus

Posters around campus

David agreed to consider how to maximise flexibility in regards to module choice, and said he would review how the new Academic Model affects these choices. Currently, subjects such as English Literature allow for freedom in module choices in second and third year, whereas subjects like Actuarial Sciences only allow for modular choices in final years.

David went on to pledge that he would do everything possible to try to ensure that 24/7 library provision is not interrupted in future.

The library will remain open 24/7

The library will remain open 24/7

Earlier this year, the Union became a Living Wage employer, meaning that regardless of whether they worked part-time or full-time, all would earn £7.45. David made a clear commitment to reviewing whether UEA could afford to pay the Living Wage to all staff, agreeing to meet with campaigners after the general election when the Higher Education funding situation is clearer.

The Student Union pays its staff the living wage. Will the university?

The SU pays its staff the living wage, the university doesn’t

He also offered a clear recognition of the need for extra support for international students, and cited peer support as a potential new model.

David also said he would assess whether the Dean of Students has adequate resurces, particularly with mental health this financial year. He asserted his support to sign the “Time to Change!” pledge towards mental health.

The Dean of Students' Office

The Dean of Students’ Office

Lastly, David said that a winter graduation as well as a summer one was being looked at. He added that there could be a compelling case to extend the offer to international students too.

For the full list of discussions and comments from the Vice-Chancellor, see the Student Union’s post on Monday.