The University should ensure that Joint Honours students have an equitable university experience

Passed: May 2019 (14th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

The University of Leeds has one of the largest programme catalogues in the country, which means students can come and study niche degree options. This is something that many relish, as it gives them the opportunity to study exactly what they want in a way that may not be possible at many other institutions.

We see the opportunity for interdisciplinary education to provide great opportunities for students. The challenges we face in our societies and our world are best met by finding solutions from different areas of expertise and knowledge. We have seen the development of interdisciplinary education in areas such as Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences. Some of these programmes may be categorised as ‘Single Honours’ (SH), but students may experience difficulties typical for Joint Honours (JH). JH courses and these SH courses have in common that they’re taught across two or more schools. For the sake of this idea proposal, all students on these courses have been referred to as JH students.

JH students risk a poorer university experience. These are often attributed to the organisation and management of student education provision by which is focussed on the Parent School. Examples include (but are not limited to);

  • Personal tutoring dependent and focussed on the Parent School subject

  • Difficulties navigating and integrating into their teaching school due to ‘invisibility’ as a JH student

  • Timetable clashes meaning that JH students are less likely to choose the modules they want, or experience clashes in their timetable with core modules/the only modules available for them to chose

  • Inability to access opportunities which are reserved for Single Honours or ‘parented’ students only

  • Requirement to submit the same evidence up to three times for ongoing medical or other conditions

  • Not getting the right support for final year projects which bring both sides of their degree together, or restrictions in subjects available

  • Assessment bunching due to lack of communication about and visibility of JH students

  • Not being able to graduate with the School of their choice

These issues start from the moment students join the university and follow them until the moment they graduate. This policy is proposing that LUU lobby the university to identify and use an umbrella term for students on courses taught across two schools, map the experience of these students, seek to ‘level up’ the experience of these students and address issues that put these students at a unique detriment.

Expires: May 2022 (14th)

Submitted By: Serene Esuruoso

Officer: Education

Area of Work: Education Service Provision

Updates

June 2020: Unfortunately there are no major updates to this work over the summer as a result of lots of LUU staff being furloughed (ongoing), as well as the LUU building and campus being closed. As staff return to work and the new Officer team settle into their roles this will be picked up again.

October 2019: No progress as yet, but Abiha, Education Officer, has ambitious plans in this area. Has been talking to LUU's Chief Exec about it - will be housed in her objectives so will be a priority.

May 2019: New Policy