This Charter has been developed in partnership between the University and Kent Union. It is subject to annual review by both the University and Kent Union in the Spring Term each year with implementation from 1 August. It is designed as an overview of our mutual expectations and to help signpost readers to more detailed relevant information.
This Charter is underpinned by values which particularly highlight: academic freedom; integrity and accountability; the advancement of knowledge and intellectual creativity; the importance of an inclusive and welcoming culture and community; Europe and an international perspective; critical thinking; the achievement of excellence and environmental sustainability.
The student body has diverse needs and requirements and this document seeks to clarify the mutual expectations held by both students and the University.
The term “student” covers both undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking programmes of study. This Charter serves as a headline document that addresses the needs and expectations of student members of the University and the Students’ Union. In doing so it refers to the obligations staff and students have to one another in these areas.
The University is committed to...
- Excellence: the achievement of high standards in all its activities and by individual students and staff.
- Equality: the fair and equal treatment of every person, and to diversity and inclusivity in its student and staff community.
- Quality: providing high standards of teaching, support, advice and guidance for students and competent, diligent and professionally trained staff who help them to realise their potential.
- Student support: providing access to Library and IT facilities and to advice and support on issues relating to welfare, health, finance, residential accommodation, chaplaincy, counselling and careers.
- The student experience: offering an inspiring experience which allows students to benefit from being part of the University and its wider academic and social community and encourages personal development.
- Student feedback: responding to students’ comments and suggestions for improvement.
- Student achievement: supporting and challenging students to realise their ambitions through active engagement with their studies and other opportunities provided (such as for involvement in sport, music, cultural and college activities).
- Transparency: ensuring that all students will be able to access an outline syllabus before starting their programmes and details of the requirements for attendance, reading and academic work including deadlines for the submission and return of work.
- Personal development: providing access to activities which will enhance students’ graduate prospects, skills development and well-being, these including opportunities arising from the University’s international outlook and activities, links with external organisations and volunteering.
- Student participation: providing support for the involvement of student representatives in academic development and management in Academic Schools and decision-making at Faculty, Senate and Council levels.
- The Students’ Union: facilitating opportunities for student involvement in its activities and, as prescribed in legislation, bringing to students’ attention, at least once a year, the right to opt out of membership.
Our students are committed to...
- Diligence: striving to achieve success in academic and other activities.
- Respectfulness: treating fellow students, University staff, visitors, neighbours and all people equally and respectfully, regardless of gender, religion, community background, nationality, race/ethnic origin, disability, marital or other status, responsibilities, sexual orientation or age.
- Collaboration: complying with the terms of all Statutes, Ordinances, Regulations relating to their studies and conduct, policies, rules and requirements of the University and Union, as well as any professional standards and requirements applicable to their programmes.
- Engagement: embracing a shared learning experience by attending all scheduled sessions and examinations related to their studies, as well as pursuing their academic studies in a diligent, honest and professional manner.
- Communication: informing their tutor, supervisor or School office if they are unable to attend a teaching session, examination or are unable to submit coursework on time.
- Feedback: giving their views on their educational and university experience honestly and constructively so that the University can seek to improve it year on year.
- Development: taking part in all aspects of University life as much as possible to help them receive the best possible experience the University of Kent has to offer.
- Being informed: ensuring that they read information provided for students by the University, particularly from their School and Student Services, and to retaining it for future reference as well as seeking clarification on anything that they do not understand so all students are fully engaged.
- Responsibility: behaving in a responsible manner, on and off campus, and ensuring that their actions do not have an adverse impact on the University’s reputation, its environment, their neighbours, the local community or those who work or study at the University.
- Being organised: meeting all academic and related obligations and paying all fees and charges when these are due.
Your union is committed to...
- Democracy: aiming to be wholly student-led through strong democratic structures; we believe in the principle and power of democracy and want our members to play an active role in our democracy and in society.
- Inclusivity: campaigning actively on behalf of discriminated-against groups and promoting an inclusive culture of equality of opportunity and taking positive action to promote diversity.
- Quality: endeavouring to excel at everything we do – representing students and providing high quality services.
- Responsibility: aiming to be a completely open, transparent and responsible organisation, with strong and effective governance arrangements as well as implementing best ethical and environmental practice.
- Professionalism: having a professional management team and staff and aiming to be an outstanding employer; we create a positive working environment in which our staff enjoy work and can be passionate about what they do.
- Change: taking positive action to create change and to help students to play a full role in society through volunteering and skills development.
- The student experience: helping students to stay on track with their courses, to complete their studies and enjoy their time at Kent including by campaigning on issues with which our members identify.
- The voice of students: representing all students at the University of Kent: to the University in relevant meetings, in the communities in which they live and to wider society through membership of the National Union of Students (NUS).
- Graduate employability: working with the University to help students identify and develop transferable skills from their time here to improve their chances of graduate employment.
- Sustainability: ensuring that Kent Union meets its charitable objectives and is a successful, well- governed and well-managed organisation.
- Accountability: facilitating scrutiny of all Kent Union processes in democracy and governance.
Appeals and complaints procedures
The Student Charter is also supported by the Dignity at Study Policy which outlines our commitment to ensuring that students are treated with respect and other policies such as the Student Complaints Procedure which explains what to do if you have a complaint or grievance.