Open letter gains over 7000 signatures following NTU no-detriment refusal

‘NTU has the lives of thousands of students in their hands’

An open letter launched by Nottingham Trent University’s Labour Society last week has gained over 7000 signatures, along with the support of Nottingham Trent’s Student’s Union.

The letter was launched in response to the announcement made by university on January 8th, that there would be no safety net or no-detriment policy; no reduction in student workload and no meaningful increase in support.

The society believe that it is ‘only through the collective action of all students and our representative bodies can we bring enough pressure to the university’.

NTU Labour Society

Sam Harris, President of NTU’s Labour Society told us that he “decided that the letter had to be written because, as President of NTU Labour, many of my members had expressed concern with how NTU had dealt with the pandemic. Many students felt completely abandoned by the university and felt that their mental health had been greatly effected by their inaction. After the announcement by NTU we had no other option than to organise a response.

“The lack of no-detriment policy is one of many issues that needs to be reviewed. Many students are concerned with the levels of workload placed on them & the implications this is having on their mental health. However, many students like myself have worked hard for two years and feel that with many of our courses being 80% based in the 3rd year, we are being based purely on a year in which we have no control over and have seen mental health decline hugely.

“Within the letter we have specified we demand a ‘meaningful’ no-detriment policy. Many students felt that the loose no-detriment policy implemented last year did little-to-nothing to aid students. Therefore, this now has to be paired with a reduction in workload and increased support for the policy to have a real effect.

“NTU has completely ignored the concerns of students which has left many students feeling abandoned and hopeless. We believe that the implementation of our demands is the only way to protect the mental health and the academic prospects of thousands of NTU students.

“NTU has the lives of thousands of students in their hands.

“There has been 7,400 signatures and rising. I feel that the letter has been a great success and we are so happy with the support all the students have given us. This letter is just the first stage of our campaign.”

The Nottingham Tab also spoke to Nottingham Trent’s Students’ Union.

“The Students’ Union understands that its members want action on housing, academic safeguards and mental health. NTSU has worked since the start of the pandemic to lobby the University and government on these issues and more, it will continue to do so.

“Specifically, in relation to no detriment we have made our position clear to NTU that the current provision does not go far enough in supporting students. We will be engaging with students and are academic representatives over the coming days and weeks to collect vital information on why students need more safeguards which will we feedback to NTU.

Our Students Deserve Better campaign outlines our work on ‘no detriment’, mental health and rent refunds. We were happy to see that the discounted rents in NTU Halls were a direct response to the SU’s dialogue with NTU. The University has also agreed to approach other student landlords, jointly with NTSU in the coming days to ask them to follow suit.”

A source told us that the uni’s rejection of the no-detriment appeal was simply a rejection of a blanket policy. However, officers of each school and the NTSU are meeting regularly to discuss subject specific no-detriment policies.

Support the campaign by signing the open letter to Nottingham Trent University here.