NUS says plans for student contracts “do not address student concerns”
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The National Union of Students (NUS) has condemned planned policy changes to higher education, which the government says are aimed at “securing value for money for students in higher education”. In a speech on Thursday, Universities Minister Jo Johnson revealed that the government was considering implementing a legally binding contract between students and universities.
Such an agreement would establish exactly what students should expect in terms of contact time, the number of lectures and seminars each week and the structure and time frame for assessments and feedback. Students would be able to take legal action against institutions if they did not comply with their obligations under the contract. Johnson also criticised the “spiralling” salaries of many university Vice-Chancellors. He announced that he would ask the Office for Students (OfS), the new university regulator which is set to be established in January and fully launched three months later, to look into the issue alongside the plans for student contracts. He suggested that university remuneration committees could be required to “publicly justify” any pay increased above the salary of the Prime Minister (approximately £150,000) to ensure that any pay rises are only granted for “exceptional performance”.
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