"You make good things happen. See how your suggestions have made a positive difference. " Website - reading.ac.uk/good-things.

This week we’re showcasing the positive differences that working together, your suggestions and feedback make. In partnership with you we’ve made good things happen.

The Student App

This year we launched the UoR Student app, a truly bespoke app, and first of its kind in a UK university, created and developed by students, for students.

Working in close partnership with you, our students, has made the app a real success, including in testing phases and your input on accessibility and usability enhancements. You can use the app to check your timetable on the go, get important alerts and important campus information directly to your device, and interactive maps to help you get around campus.Your feedback and suggestions have been invaluable in helping us bring the UoR Student app to life. You can download the app by searching ‘UoR student’ in your app store.

Exceptional Circumstances

We overhauled our Extenuating Circumstances process

Our new Exceptional Circumstances process has replaced the previous Extenuating Circumstances process. We consulted with students and listened to your feedback and made some key changes to the Exceptional Circumstances policy 2021/22:

  • We’ve re-named the process – formerly known as Extenuating Circumstances – recognising that we need to be clear and transparent about what our policy covers, including in its title.
  • You can now Self-Certify (without evidence) for 2 working-day extensions on most coursework if you have been impacted by short-term unexpected illness or disruption to your studies. You can do this twice per academic year.
  • Post-Results EC process (PREC) – as introduced last year, you have the opportunity to evaluate the impact any adverse circumstances have had on your exam performance after the publication of your results using the Post-results Exceptional Circumstances process.

These significant changes sit alongside the more standard processes, which should be used in the majority of cases for valid exceptional circumstances.

Counselling & Wellbeing support resources for when you need them

With your feedback we’ve worked on some new things to support you!

We’ve created the Student Wellness Check. You can use this online questionnaire at any time, and it will direct you to the right support. You can now also get our tailored ‘Strategies for Success’ document to take away and access after your initial consultation with us, with all the discussion, tips, skills and guidance you need. We have also introduced longer first appointments with you, so we can help as much as possible in one meeting.

Available on the Essentials webpages and in print copy for you to take away is our new booklet to support you to look after yourself. This new resource covers a range of information and supportive materials, that you can browse in your own time, when you need it.

Increasing support for mature students

This year, Chris Dobson (former Mature Students Part Time Officer at RUSU) set out to find out more about the mature student experience at Reading. The Big Mature Student Survey helped us to identify what more we could do to support and enhance the experience of our mature students. Thanks to all those who voiced their views in the survey, together we’ve made some changes:

  • For our 2021/22 Welcome we created sessions specifically for new mature students. A Whatsapp group was also established for mature students to join.
  • Now, throughout the year, we’ll be running even more sessions for mature students to enable structured socialising opportunities. Our December session focused on Study Skills for first year mature students. We also hosted a festive quiz and provided students with space to network over festive treats. The Mature Student Officer was there to answer any student questions and we invited others to join the Mature students WhatsApp group that was set up during Welcome.
  • RUSU has initiated conversations about restarting the mature student society.
  • We’re working on new content, specifically for mature students on the Essentials webpages.

What you said about our mature student festive social on Tuesday 7 December:

“Lovely event thank-you, Study Advise session was a good shout”

“Thank-you lovely chance to meet others, please do more”

“Positive experiences have been functions like this one where I can get to know more people in my circumstance”

“It’s nice to have games and casual chat thanks!”

“I loved the activities thought it was a great way to engage”

“Love this mature student Xmas. Please do this again next year”

Your contributions to the upcoming exhibition: ‘Promoting Racial justice in teaching and learning’

Thanks to student contributions in response to the University’s Race Equality Review, we will be launching a collection of pieces on ‘Promoting Racial justice in teaching and learning’ in January 2022. These pieces consist of personal reflections, opinion pieces as well as academic research on racial inequality. Students were key members of the editorial board and also designed the final product.  We hope this work will not only raise awareness of racial inequality but encourage action to change. Visit the Library foyer in late January to explore the collection.

Let’s keep making good things happen together.

Find out more positive differences and how you can have your say at reading.ac.uk/good-things.

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