The University will invest funds saved during the recent period of industrial action in a number of areas that will support both current and graduating students.
During the recent UCU industrial action that took place over proposed changes to the USS pension scheme, pay was deducted from staff who took strike action, in line with University policy.
The Senior Management Team has met regularly to discuss how the money saved should be spent and the following three areas have been identified as being best able to support both our current and graduating students:
- Mental health and wellbeing support
- Study abroad opportunities
- Graduate internships
These areas have been selected because of their potential to positively impact upon you, your studies and your career prospects.
We have outlined below how the money will be used in each of these areas.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Support
We know that there is growing national and local concern about student mental health, which is why we will be extending access to the Big White Wall 24-hour online support forum for at least a further three years.
In addition to this online support, we also plan to employ new wellbeing advisers. Advisers will be available centrally for all students as well as an additional dedicated service in the School of Medicine. The advisers will initially be employed for two years. The support will then be evaluated and if the outcome is positive, we will look to maintain these positions.
Study abroad opportunities
Next summer we plan to offer students who are in the second year or above in September 2018 the exciting opportunity to undertake a short-term programme of study at one of our partner universities in either the USA or Canada. The places will be funded and the only thing students will need to contribute is their spending money.
If successful in your application, you will attend classes at the university, studying topics like civil rights and diversity. You will also take part in a range of activities in the local area.
If you are interested in applying, you can find out more at our 2018 Study Abroad Fair. You should also look out for communications from the Study Abroad team. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact the Study Abroad Team.
In terms of your career, we know that the first few months after graduating can be critical. That’s why we’re creating another 100 graduate internships for our students this year. The positions will be paid and each role will last for three months.
The internships are being created in response to business needs, and a range of positions will be available, suiting students from a variety of disciplines. If you are successful, you will work within a local organisation, the University, or at our London campus.
Students graduating in 2018 will be able to apply for the opportunities.
The new ‘Kickstart 2.0’ internships will be targeted in particular at students from under-represented groups who have traditionally faced additional barriers in the graduate job market. In this way, the University can use the funds to make a difference to the employability of all our graduates.
Our Careers and Employability Service will be providing more information about the internships in the coming months. If you are graduating this summer, make sure you update your contact details so the team can keep in touch with you.