18 April

Union Forum Update

Union Forum took place on Tuesday 16 April on Microsoft Teams, where members of the officer team were joined by students to discuss the Union’s stance on the University’s financial resilience plan and proposed a draft policy outlining the steps the Union will take to represent students during this process. Suggestions from students were taken away and incorporated into a final draft of the policy which will be published once approved. The Officer team also discussed a presentation from the VP Support on the work ongoing to share student feedback about safety on campus with the University, and noted all of the actions taken so far in partnership with staff at the University to improve the student experience in this way.

22 March 2024

UCU Meeting

The Union President and Chief Executive Officer met with members of the Surrey UCU Committee to discuss the University cuts and the voluntary severance scheme. We spoke about a range of issues where our views aligned including concerns about the student experience and workload of professional and academic staff members.

21 March 2024

Sabbatical Officer Team Meeting

The Sabbatical officer team met on Thursday 21 March to discuss the University’s recent announcement about its financial resilience plans. They reviewed the Union’s priorities ahead of the Union Forum planned for 16 April, where the Union’s whole officer team will discuss the Union’s response to the announcement. The Sabbatical officers read over all the feedback we have received so far from students, reviewed all our survey data and what we already know about what matters most to students. Submissions can still be made through the form, so if you have an opinion to share please get in touch.

19 March 2024

Union Forum

Union Forum for semester two will be taking place at 18:00 – 19:30 Tuesday 16 April on Microsoft Teams. The topics of discussion at the semester two Union Forum will include the University’s financial cuts and campus safety.

Visit the union forum website page

15 March 2024

Share your feedback

The University of Surrey has announced a significant cost-cutting process that seeks to address the financial challenges facing Surrey and other UK higher education providers, including a voluntary severance scheme opened to many staff members at the University. 
  
As a Union, we want to hear from you if you have feedback about this process or how it will affect you. The feedback you share via this form will be fully anonymous and help inform our Sabbatical Officer team as we represent your views to the University.
  
If you require personal support or advice as a result of this announcement, please email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk. You can also find our full statement and further updates at https://surreyunion.org and on Instagram @surreyunion

14 March 2024

A message was emailed out to students today from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Max Lu and Students’ Union President, Jo Yau, about the increasing financial pressures the University is facing, and the proposed measures being discussed to address them:

A Message from the Vice-Chancellor

Dear Student,

In recent days, you may have heard that I have announced to our community the need for us to take measures to ensure our financial resilience and sustainability. I wanted to write to you to reassure you about the steps being taken to maintain the quality of our teaching and your student experience.

At Surrey, we are committed to delivering an outstanding experience. As a result of the actions underway, we anticipate that most students will experience little or no disruption. However, we will monitor the situation carefully.

You will have seen that challenges faced by the university sector have been widely reported in the media. We are not immune to these pressures. For example, we have seen rising costs due to high inflation, high energy costs and overall cost of living pressures. As a learning community we must ensure that we are financially sustainable and continue to be a sector-leading institution. As a result, regretfully, I have announced that we need to take proactive measures to reduce our expenditure.

We are doing this in a tailored and nuanced way across the University, including, in some areas, a voluntary severance scheme, which allows staff to apply to leave the University voluntarily in exchange for a financial payment. Any decisions to allow staff to leave will take into account both our commitment to our academic mission and the student experience you expect and deserve.

We are working closely with the Students’ Union, who are representing your concerns and informing our decision-making.

We know that any change is unsettling and, as always, our support services are available to you. You can access a range of support services by looking on MySurrey or the Support Zone on the Students’ Union website.

Best wishes,

Max

Professor Max Lu

President and Vice-Chancellor

A Message from the Students’ Union

Last week the University announced a significant cost-cutting process that seeks to address the financial challenges facing Surrey and most other UK higher education providers. This process will initially see a voluntary severance scheme opened to many staff members at the University.

The Union’s Sabbatical Officers have been briefed about this and we understand the rationale behind this difficult decision. As a Union we are focused on protecting the student experience and quality of teaching throughout the decision-making process, and we will work with senior University staff members to understand where we can expect to see cuts.

As always, our support team is available if you are concerned about this announcement: please email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk. You can also find further updates and share your thoughts with us on our website.

Best wishes,

Jo Yau

Students’ Union President

If you want to get in touch with the Union about anything mentioned above please email ussu.information@surrey.ac.uk