Responsibilities of the University and its students

Excellence in teaching and learning: Our responsibilities and yours in ensuring the quality of your learning experience.

The University as a learning and teaching community

A University is a community of people, academics, administrators and students, dedicated to learning, debate and the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge. The University of Kent places value on critical thinking, the advancement of knowledge and the pursuit of truth. All education is about developing learning and enquiry, but as a university we focus upon areas at the boundaries of knowledge and work to refine those methods of reasoning and understanding which help us to push back those boundaries: students and staff do this both together and independently of each other.

At Kent we strive for excellence in everything that we do. We foster staff and students' potential for high achievement and are committed to realising this potential in part through independent research and research informed teaching and learning; we prize and defend the special and intimate relationship between teaching and research in a university.

The relationship between students and the University, particularly in relation to the teaching experience, is mutually dependent. The quality of a university experience is at least as much the outcome of the effort and initiative that you put into the experience as it is of the teaching and facilities provided. Universities provide opportunities, not simply facilities and services, though we always wish these to be of an appropriate and high quality.

University and student responsibilities

To achieve the maximum benefit from the teaching and learning experience, both students and the University must commit resources and effort. Both students and the University have responsibilities to ensure that the learning experience is the best it can possibly be; the University has responsibilities to you, and you have responsibilities to the University and to yourself.

The University will:

  • Provide an environment that supports your intellectual, social and personal development.
  • Use reasonable endeavours to deliver programmes of study in accordance with the descriptions in University publications and web pages.
  • Communicate clearly the requirements of each programme of study.
  • Provide teaching, by appropriate delivery modes, that it reasonably decides is necessary for programmes of study
    • This will involve a variety of learning opportunities provided by the University's staff or by other suitably experienced and qualified persons: for example lectures, seminars, practical classes, examples classes and laboratory classes
    • The number of contact hours per week will depend on the subject content of your programme. Full-time undergraduate programmes expect students to do at least 1200 hours of study per year which includes both contact hours and private study. The pattern of teaching and study required for specific programmes can be found on the Student Guide
  • Provide feedback on written and other assignments in accordance with published school or faculty deadlines and standards.
  • Provide IT and Library support to facilitate study and on the conditions set out in hard-copy and electronic publications.
  • Provide a range of student support facilities to address academic and pastoral needs.
  • Provide registered students with residential accommodation (providing the University's admissions criteria are met) or assistance in finding private accommodation.
  • Monitor your performance and bring it to your attention when it is unsatisfactory.
  • Provide the opportunity for student feedback on the quality and nature of teaching provision and facilities and use this to inform future practice.
  • Use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that staff are diligent in the execution of their duties.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that you are not injured by its undertakings, either while you are on its premises, or engaged in activities which have been organised by the University. You are expected to co-operate with the University to enable it to discharge that responsibility. You should report any injuries to your supervisor or academic school, who will take any appropriate further action.

You are expected to:

  • Abide by the University Regulations in relation to your studies and residence and to behave in a manner appropriate to the University and its place in the wider community.
  • Pay all fees and charges due to the University in connection with your studies and residence.
  • Take primary responsibility for your learning, in particular:
    • to be self-motivated and self-directed in the management of your learning. Be attentive and orderly in class and considerate in your behaviour towards all other members of the teaching community
    • to pursue diligently such studies that are required of you by those assigned to teach you. This includes reading material and undertaking prescribed learning activities, including attending lectures, tutorials, seminars, classes and other opportunities provided for learning
    • to fulfil the academic requirements of your programme of study, including preparation for classes and seminars, the submission of work by published deadlines, and attendance at examinations
    • to be diligent in your attendance and punctuality and to notify the University when you have to be absent through illness or other good reason
    • to familiarise yourself with published information that will allow the selection, by due deadlines, of the appropriate paths of academic study
    • not to plagiarise or to cheat when submitting work for assessment
    • to acquaint yourself with the variety of academic and student support services provided by the University and to use them where necessary.
  • Agree to the processing of personal data in accordance with the terms of Data Protection law and as set out in University publications.
  • Register and maintain personal details accurately on University systems and notify changes promptly.
  • Agree that all ideas, material or work produced and submitted as part of the requirements of a programme of study, and all intellectual property rights therein, become the property of the University. 
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