Shadow Council was informed on Wednesday 20th March that the incumbent VP Education, Warren Bingham-Roberts, was content to keep the Digital Check-in system in place provided that sufficient reassurances had been provided on five aspects of the system.
These reassurances surrounded accessibility issues for students who lack phones, concerns that had been raised over protecting the rights of Tier 4 visa students, accessibility for students with disabilities or caring responsibilities, concerns over personal data and broader concerns that the system was seeking to ‘punish students’.
Councillors were informed that the Students’ Guild are working with the university to explore the option of providing students who lack phones with phones to enable them to check-in, and are exploring a web check-in system. This would be funded by the university.
VP Education: “most of the reasons students wanted to get rid of it have been mitigated against, or are being dealt with”
He conceded that warning emails and communications to Tier 4 visa students had originally been too aggressive and had now been ‘toned-down’, stating: “There is going to be no punishment if you miss a lecture.’’
He stated that he was satisfied with university reassurance over concerns that have been raised about students’ personal location data.
He stated that guidance issued to students on Tier 4 visas, disabled students and students with caring responsibilities had been insufficiently clear, and that this had now been improved.
Bingham-Roberts conceded that warning emails and communications to Tier 4 visa students had originally been too aggressive
Bingham-Roberts told Exeposé: ”There were […] problems around Tier 4 visa students experiencing distress and confusion at being monitored by the University, which was further impacted by problems with communication.”
”We have been given assurance multiple times by the University that students’ locations cannot be tracked.”
A student idea calling for the end of digital check-in was ratified by Democracy and Governance Council on 30 October 2018.
On Wednesday 23 January, Bingham-Roberts told Shadow Council that he felt that “most of the reasons students wanted to get rid of it have been mitigated against, or are being dealt with.”
This article originally appeared in print 25/03/2019.