What is Policy?
The official definition of policy is: a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organisation or individual. Policy is essentially a way of understanding how to do something to achieve a specific aim. Policy can come in many forms, and effect many different areas. At Oxford SU we believe that policy is a key ingredient to inform our work influencing and campaigning for change.
So what types of policy are important for Oxford students?
Students' Union Policy
As a Students' Union we have our own policies which mandate us as an organisation, and our Sabbatical Officers. These policies are detailed in our Policy Book. Our SU policies are created and voted on by students, and express the principles, values and actions of Oxford Students' Union. Any student can write and put forward policy for the Students' Union through our democratic structures. If you wish to influence Students' Union policy, you can submit a motion to Student Council, to be voted on and (if it passes) become official Students' Union Policy. To learn more about this please visit our Student Council page.
Oxford University Policy
Oxford University also creates their own policies which detail how the university will operate on certain areas, and mandates departments to follow them. Our Sabbatical Officers regularly consult with the University on the creation and implementation of new university policies that affect students. Some key university policies that are of interest to students are:
College's also create and adhere to their own policies. Unlike the University and departments, each college exists as its own entity, and therefore have their own policies. College policies and guidance is often discussed within Conference of Colleges (a forum for all 39 colleges, and 6 PPHs). College common room reps may work with their colleges to implement and change college policy. If you are interested in college policy your common room reps may be able to help with that. If you are a college common room rep, looking for help in making change to your college policy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for policy support.
Higher Education Policy
As well as the Oxford focused policies, it is vital that as an organisation we are up to date with the latest changes in higher education (HE) policy as a whole. HE policy refers to national policies that affect all universities, and have impact across the sector. These policies can come from government, the university regulator (Office for Students), or other groups that work alongside universities such as Universities UK, or NUS. We are also interested in sector data and research on higher education, and often view this hand-in-hand with policy. Essentially, HE policy is about ensuring our knowledge is current and accurate, and using this knowledge to influence changemaking in our institution. For the latest HE policy updates, have a read of our news section below.
(Please note these guides are in progress so if you can't access any, that means it is not completed yet)
Other Policy Resources
Education Policy News