1. What is the Student Futures Manifesto?
As a College, we were one of the first 20 universities to develop a Student Futures Manifesto (SFM) aimed at improving student experience and tackling key issues caused by the pandemic. Developing a SFM was the key recommendation from the UPP Foundation’s Student Futures Commission report. The report identified six themes for successful student futures which our manifesto is based around:
- Support for students before they reach university
- An induction into university life for each year of study
- Support for mental health and wellbeing
- A clear outline of the teaching students will receive and the necessary tools to access it
- Activities inside and outside the curriculum that build skills, networks and communities
- A clear pathway towards graduate outcomes
2. What are our commitments to our students?
Our College and Student’s Union have been working together to co-create a Student Futures Manifesto which will guide and support our students in all aspects of student life. It has been co-produced with students and is led by Jon Howden Evans, Director of Student Academic Services. Our six commitments are outlined below:
- We are committed to helping you get ready for the start of university life
Preparing for the start of university life can be daunting for students. We will provide key information in an interactive and simple format that covers topics such as enrolment and key tasks to complete before joining the College. We will also provide useful contacts for students and help them to self-serve any queries before ensuring they are directed to the correct person.
2. We are committed to helping you navigate the year successfully and become part of our university community
We will support all students to understand how we measure attendance and engagement and ensure they can easily find out what is happening across campus from teaching to extra-curricular activities. We will encourage students to take part in new experiences and responsibilities to foster a sense of community and promote our principle of equality.
3. We are committed to keeping you well physically, emotionally, mentally and culturally so you can make the most of student life
Our Wellbeing provision, School support colleagues and our proactive online resources will support students’ mental health and physical wellbeing across all aspects of university life. We will encourage a two-way dialogue with students, including feedback surveys and RH Be Heard so that we can continuously strive to improve student experience.
4. We are committed to ensuring you get the most from your learning and are prepared for assessments
We will encourage students to review digital resources including course handbooks and learning resources. We will also provide guidance around assessments including academic integrity and extenuating circumstances. Our Academic Reps will provide peer-to-peer support for students and vital feedback to academic staff to support the future success of our Academy.
5. We are committed to helping you find it easy to join in by providing something for everyone
We will continue to offer a wide range of activities and experiences across campus, including the Student Union’s extensive collection of societies and sports clubs. Students will be supported in creating any new activities and societies and our Volunteering Team will provide key opportunities for students to give back locally or further afield.
6. We are committed to getting you ready for life after your Degree – the CVstac
Our CVstac programme will help students to translate the skills they gain at university in to evidence statements for future job applications. This includes skills from within their course as well as other experiences such as studying and working abroad, volunteering opportunities and other work placements. Our Careers team will provide in-depth help and access to a network of employers.
3. Why is the Student Futures Manifesto important?
The manifesto is a powerful statement of the commitments we are making to support our students in achieving successful lives and careers. It showcases the positive initiatives being undertaken at Royal Holloway to improve student experience, which is critical to student recruitment and our College’s future success.
The Student Futures Commission report highlighted that disadvantaged pupils have been hardest hit by the pandemic and higher education establishments needs to tackle these barriers, amongst others. Our manifesto is strongly linked to our Strategic Plan, including goals in addressing awarding gaps, expanding the horizons of all our students and supporting commuting students.
4. What are our plans surrounding the manifesto?
The information hub on the student intranet is being updated and will be based around our six commitments to students. The information hub provides quick links for students and introduces them to the manifesto, while encouraging them to self-serve frequent queries. The information hub will go live in early September and a link will be shared with all colleagues via the staff intranet.
1 - https://intranet.royalholloway.ac.uk/staff/news-events/news-articles/2022/april/our-college-signs-up-to-student-futures-manifesto.aspx
2 - https://www.advance-he.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/upp-foundation-student-futures-manifesto
3 - https://intranet.royalholloway.ac.uk/students/help-support/wellbeing/rh-beheard.aspx
4 - https://intranet.royalholloway.ac.uk/restricted/contensis/staff/principals-column/introducing-cvstac.aspx
5 - https://intranet.royalholloway.ac.uk/restricted/contensis/staff/strategy-2021/strategic-plan.aspx