Decisions affecting students are made nationally on a regular basis and YUSU works hard to represent your views, needs and experiences by engaging with decision-makers and contributing to national policy consultations.
This Government consultation set out the context for the creation of the Office for Students (OfS) and a new approach to regulation in higher education. To inform our submission we spoke to Department Reps, held a roundtable discussion with the Chief Executive of the OfS and looked at comments from student surveys. We shared our views on issues such as value for money, improving access and participation, quality and the Teaching Excellence Framework, assessment methods and staff pay.
Throughout our submission, we emphasised the importance of student voice, wider student experiences (e.g. sport, drama, volunteering, and representation) and seeing students as partners’ not just consumers.
The Joint Committee on Human Rights has launched an Inquiry to find out whether universities and students’ unions are suppressing free speech and if Government policy on free speech in universities is coherent. In our submission, we emphasised the importance of free speech and the role of SUs and universities in promoting it. However, we contended that the Government’s focus on free speech in universities was politically motivated and not about improving things for students. We argued that York students negotiate the meaning and boundaries of free speech through Student Media, policy, Student Networks and elections and referenda. We recognised that differences arise between student groups and students and the SU in terms of the boundaries of free speech. However, we think these critical conversations reflect the promotion of free speech not suppression.