Hello. I am Zuhaira Islam and I am a fresher studying History & Politics at St Peter’s college. I wish to represent you, the students of Oxford at the NUS conference, as I believe it my duty to ensure our voices are heard across the education community nationally. The following manifesto will outline areas of progress that should be initiated, namely:
- In the face of the pandemic (and after) ensuring all students have equal access to technological resources,
- Alleviating intense study pressures
- A consideration and leniency for those students unable to take out governmental loans (including targeted financial scholarships/bursaries).
Equal Access to Resources:
Digital poverty must be eradicated. It is a necessity that all student be able to afford the resources needed for them to complete their degree to the highest of ability.
In the face of the Covid-19 Pandemic, access to online resources has become essential. There is a wealth disparity in terms of access to these resources. I shall lobby the NUS ensure a means of providing access to technology such as laptops, headphones and microphones etc., where it is lacking.
University is an institute designed for intellectual stimulation. However, the unnecessary pressure university students are placed under stifles such creativity.
According to the most recent published data, 1.7% of students in Oxford drop out of their course and nationally this rate is 7.4%. However, rustication statistics must be taken into consideration when studying the former. Both statistics could be avoided if Professors were instructed to exercise a policy of leniency when it comes to deadlines. Harsh deadlines and intense workloads place an immense burden upon students who are there to further their own knowledge and should be allowed to do so at an individual pace.
There are various reasons students may not have access to loans. Be this down to UK citizenship requirements, international statuses, or even religious reasons.
I myself was not able to take out a loan on the grounds of the latter. Although I have access to bursaries of varying sorts, these are in short supply. I propose the university create a larger central fund of money for students facing such circumstances.
Vote Zuhaira as NUS delegate to see these policies voiced on your behalf