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Student charters to help students get the most out of higher education

David Willetts has welcomed a new report recommending that universities should develop charters setting out students' rights and responsibilities.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

For the Ron Dearing lecture at Nottingham University on February 18, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts spoke of the challenges facing universities in recruiting the best and brightest students.

Mr. Willetts discussed why social mobility is at the heart of the Government’s agenda, and how Universities can help improve social mobility without compromising their academic integrity.

He also paid tribute to the Student Charter Group which was led by NUS President Aaron Porter and Oxford Brookes vice-chancellor Professor Janet Beer. Welcoming their final report, Mr. Willetts said;

“Too many universities still don’t have a charter. Improving student information is a key priority for the Government. Students have a right to know how they will learn, how they will be supported and what they need to do themselves to reach their potential.

“At a time of significant change in higher education students have increased expectations of their university experience. I want a system where students have real choice and universities respond to what students need.

“Institution-specific charters will provide better information and increased transparency. Universities should use the good practice identified in this report to review the information which they currently provide.”

The report provides a good practice toolkit for universities and students’ unions to develop charters at an institutional level.

The Government will consider the Group’s report during the development of its strategy for higher education, which is to be set out in the forthcoming White Paper.


Published 18 February 2011