8 May 2019

A word about student charters

We are in the process of updating our student charter guidance. We’re doing this to integrate well-being and health into the charters, as it didn’t seem meaningful for institutions to develop mental health charters which were separate to the student experience charters.

We’ve taken this addition of well-being and health as an opportunity to review the student charter guidelines more broadly, as there is a risk of continuing to add new requirements without taking anything away – resulting in a very long shopping list!

We worked on the updated guidance with a task and finish group, which included sector representatives, mental health experts, and student representatives, and we are very grateful for their help in shaping the proposals.

The updated guidance proposes that the charters should include a statement on the institutional commitment to student well-being and health, including mental health, and that they should link to related strategies that could impact on this area – for example, around safeguarding.

Other changes we are proposing include clarifying that the student charter isn’t a legal document, but that it sets out mutual expectations of institutions, staff and student unions.

We’ve also emphasised the need for institutions to communicate the charter in ways that are easily understood, and to continually adapt this.

Finally, we’ve proposed that the charters include a statement on the need for the institution to meet its statutory responsibilities, such as those around equality and diversity.

We’re having to do this work fairly quickly to give institutions and their student unions the time to make these changes in time for the 2019/20 student cohort. Therefore, we’re aiming to publish the revised guidance the week of 20 May 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter.

If you want to contribute your views before we publish the guidance, please contact me at cliona.oneill@hefcw.ac.uk before 15 May.

Cliona O’Neill, Head of Student Experience, HEFCW