The College has endorsed the findings and recommendations from a review of the student residential experience here at Imperial.
The review, which was commissioned by Vice Provost (Education) Professor Debra Humphris as part of the Education and Student Strategy, was tasked with looking at the residential experience for students living in Imperial accommodation with a particular focus on the experience of first year undergraduates and ways the quality of that experience can be improved.
From improving the information we offer to prospective students, greater transparency on rent costs and with the amenities fund run by the Imperial College Union we’re putting students firmly in control of shaping their own experience in Halls.
– Professor Debra Humphris
Vice Provost (Education)
At meetings in January and February the panel took evidence from students, wardens and accommodation staff as well as representatives from other universities to help them to assess best practice before presenting their finding to the College last month. The recommendations have subsequently been passed by the Provost's Board and action plans for their implementation drawn up.
Vice Provost (Education), Professor Debra Humphris said: “A lot of what we’re taking forward is about information and transparency, helping students take control of their decisions when it comes to their accommodation and residential experience.
“From improving the information we offer to prospective students, greater transparency on rent costs and with the amenities fund run by the Imperial College Union we’re putting students firmly in control of shaping their own experience in halls.”
The key recommendations include:
- Greater transparency on rent costs for students living in halls – providing clear information on how rents are set and costs associated with cleaning and maintaining residences.
- Improving information to prospective students on the residential experience here at the College – clearer information on the types of accommodation available and their cost as well as a greater student involvement in producing this information.
- A reformed Student Amenities Fund administered by Imperial College Union (ICU) and set at a consistent rate per student across all halls.
- A new Hall Warden Policy and Procedures document with clear and transparent process on the recruitment, selection, and contract terms, training and appraisal of wardening staff.
As part of the review the College has also committed to undertaking a further project to investigate the feasibility of introducing a rent guarantor scheme for international students at the College who lack a UK-based guarantor when entering into accommodation contracts.
Marissa Lewis, Deputy President Welfare of ICU, who also sat on the review panel said: “We are pleased to see the review's recommendations endorsed on important areas like increased information and transparency as well as the continuation of vital pastoral and wellbeing support through the wardening system.
“The potential rent guarantor scheme would make a huge difference to thousands of international students without a UK guarantor who are currently faced with paying thousands of pounds in accommodation fees upfront.”
For more information on the review and its recommendations visit the Residential Experience Review site.
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