Should LUU work with the University to make campus more student-parent friendly?

Passed: March 2024 (14th)

What is the current problem, and how does it affect students? 

An NUS survey (2007-2008) defines student parents as those with at least one dependent child up to the age of 18. A third of respondents stated that a third of respondents had caring responsibilities. While the national picture remains rather blurred, data from the NUS and the SIES surveys point to the fact that parents represent a significant proportion of the student population. There is not one student experience for all, and the need for widening participation in Higher Education is still absolutely critical. 

Since October 2023, members of LUU have worked with student-parents to see how they feel about using campus, and what could be done to make their experience better. They held a focus group with student parents to ascertain the difficulties that they face on campus; the report is here. In general, student parents do not feel as though their needs are adequately considered, designed or catered for on campus. Even then, multiple decisions that affect student-parents, such as the layout of baby-changing toilets toilets do not feel as though they have had input from student-parents. 

Moreover, the University currently does not house all relevant information for student-parents relating to provision, support and rights, especially under the Equality Act 2010. Any onus should not be on students to have to go through various means to understand the support they should have available. 

What is your proposed change? Why would this Idea benefit students? 

University campus, in order to foster a sense of belonging at University for student parents needs to be more welcoming to those from the community. Proposed changes are outlined in the report.  

Not mentioned in the report is the need for the University of Leeds to transparently house relevant information for student-parents, and update and it accordingly. 

Have you considered the impact of the proposed change for traditionally underrepresented student groups? 

Student parents are more likely to be mature students and postgraduates. These groups are traditionally underrepresented due to their low numbers on campus, and require additional support due to their additional responsibilities.  

Expires: March 2027 (14th)

Submitted By: Hope Bachmann and Haryati Mohammed

Officer: Equality and Liberation Officer

Area of Work: Equality and Liberation


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