offee and hot beverage credits are being offered to students as compensation for 8.30am classes.
Launched by Director of Education and Student Experience Ian Blenkharn by email last Monday, the scheme will see students with “a number of 8.30am starts” credited with £20 of University Credit to spend on hot drinks at Students’ Guild outlets across campus. These can be spent in Comida, Ram Bar, Pieminister and Grove Diner.
The email recognised that the scheme “isn’t the answer” to the controversial change to the teaching day implemented this year, but is an “acknowledgement” that students have “so many early starts” in their timetable”.
Speaking to Exeposé, Blenkharn commented that the “goodwill gesture” would only be allocated to students “with more than three 8.30am starts”. A number of students, however, noticed “inconsistencies” in the offering, given that some with just two 8.30am lectures per week were offered the points, while others were not.
Blenkharn has since clarified the conditions needed to qualify for the offer. Anyone with more than three 8.30am starts during “any week of the first term were given the one-off, £20 credit”, he told Exeposé.
He added: “some students will, of course, only have one or two weeks where this occurs over the course of this term, so their timetable might otherwise look very similar to other students’.”
While “appreciative” of the credit, one fourth-year Biological Sciences student questioned, “surely it would just be better to give all students a hot drinks discount before 8.30am?”
Laura-Jane Tiley, President of the Students’ Guild, which opposed the extension of the teaching day, commented: “It is key to note that the free hot drinks are a gesture rather than a solution to the problem. The Students’ Guild will be working hard to ensure that the University implements the mitigations which were identified by students in our consultation last year.”
As part of these mitigations, Bethan Jones, VP for Education, will be pursuing an opt-out policy for recording of all lectures, not just those at the beginning and end of the day. “This requirement formed part of the Students’ Guild position statement on the teaching day and is one of my top priorities for this year,” she said.