FAQ for current students

We want USW students to have the latest and best facilities on their campuses, and we think you deserve them.  That's why the University is investing hugely in its student experience, whether through social facilities such as new students' unions and social spaces, or teaching and simulation facilities for your degree course.  It's not just USW doing this: pretty much every other university in the UK is doing it too, because we all want to attract as many students as possible in the future.  Like many other universities, USW can't do this on every campus because the University has inherited too many buildings and campuses for the number of students we have.  What we've done is looked carefully at where it makes most sense to focus for the future, and we're concentrating our investment there.  In Newport's case, it means expanding the Newport City campus in a two-phase, multi-million pound investment programme, and across the University moving some courses to bring them together with similar subjects and nearer to potential employers.
We understand that you thought hard when you chose the campus where you now study, and we appreciate that this news may cause you mixed feelings.  On one hand, if you move, you'll be moving to study in state of the art facilities that may be more modern but are at least as good, and in many cases better, than those on your current campus.
But we recognise that all transitions will have their issues.  We also want to make sure the experience you have as a student doesn't suffer, and we’ll be working with your representatives to address concerns that you raise as students. That's why your Student Union and course representatives, and of course your lecturers, will be heavily involved in the decision on when you move and how we do that.  We'll be taking all steps to make sure that the experience you have as a student isn't affected.
None of this is to say that current and former students don't have strong affection for the Caerleon campus: they do and we understand that.  But the student market doesn't respect this history, and we have to make sometimes difficult decisions for the future of the University and its next generation of students.  USW's predecessors did the same when they took the major long-term decisions to build our modern campuses in Newport City and ATRiuM in Cardiff. We judge that this change is necessary so that all USW students can have the very best facilities and experiences during their time at university.
If you would like to raise any issues, your first port of call is your student representatives.  Your Student Union representatives are your first port of call, by email on supres@southwales.ac.uk or 01633 432076 or 01443 483500.
If you have queries about what it means for you and your course, you can either check out the course lists - full-time undergraduate, part-time undergraduate, postgraduate -  and Student Q&As below or on your student portal, UniLife.  We’ll be keeping you updated.

I am going into my 2nd year of an undergraduate course: will I complete my course at my current campus?

It is possible that you’ll finish your course at another campus if your course (check the course lists above) is one of the minority of subjects across the University that will move.  The exact timing of any move will be worked out with your student representatives, such as the Student Union officers and your course Student Voice representatives.  We’ll be taking all steps to make sure that the experience you have as a student isn’t affected.

I am a final year student: will I complete my course at my current campus?

It is likely - pretty much certain - that you’ll finish your course at the campus you’re currently studying at.  There’s a very small chance that you might move, but the exact timing of any change to this will be worked through with your student representatives, and we’d only do this if we judged that the experience you have as a student would be damaged if you didn’t move.

I am a postgraduate student: will I complete my course at my current campus?

That depends how long you’ve been studying already, and how long you have left to go.  We’ll be keeping in touch to advise you about any changes.

I am a part-time student: will I complete my course at my current campus?

That depends how long you’ve been studying already, and how long you have left to go.  We’ll be keeping in touch to advise you about any changes.

If you’re finishing this year (2014-15) you’re very likely to complete at the campus you started at.

If you’re finishing next year, it is possible that your course might move.

If you’re finishing your course from 2016-17 onwards, it’s likely that your course will move.

If I have to transfer course to another campus and this increases my travel and/or accommodation costs, will I be reimbursed?

Our intention would always be that any student whose course moves will not be worse off, whether that is in terms of their student experience or other issues like this.  In discussion with the Students' Union, who represent the interests of students, a fund has been set aside to cover payments to returning students who are affected by changes to location of course delivery. Applications will be administered via the Student Money Service. The payments will be for additional travel costs, rather than relocation of accommodation or other costs. More details will come in due course.

What happens if I don't want to transfer to another campus?

Your voice and those of all students are represented on the Board of Governors which has made this decision, on which the SU President sits, and student input through the SU has been a key part of the process that developed these options.  You should raise concerns in the first instance with your SU officers and Student Voice Representatives.

Where will I live if I have to move campus?

The University has an excellent accommodation service which can help you with finding the right type of accommodation to suit your specific needs.

Will I have the same lecturers if my course is moved?

We would expect that your lecturers will move with your course, so very probably yes, unless the lecturers teaching your course change for normal business reasons, such as moving to another role.

Will I study with the same group of students as I normally do?

You are likely to move as a group with your course, so very probably yes.

I have made friends with students at this campus; will we all be moved to the same campus?

Your fellow students on the same course will move with you, and it is likely that your friends studying similar courses will also move with you.

Will there be the same equipment I need for my course at another campus?

Our aim is that you will have at least the same student experience, including academic course equipment, that you would have expected.  We’ll be working hard with your student representatives and course leaders on this, as detailed plans for the moves are developed.

Will the same student support be available at another campus?

Yes. The University provides student support on all of its campuses and you will have access to the support on whichever campus you study.

Will students have to move campuses during an academic year?

No, we won’t be moving students in-year.  The exact timing will be confirmed at the latest by the end of November 2014, with decisions informed by academic staff and student representatives.  But for those students whose courses are moving, we won’t be disrupting their student experience by expecting them to move part-way through an academic year.

Will there be graduations in Caerleon in 2015?

Yes. Current final year Caerleon students will graduate in Caerleon in 2015.  Arrangements for future years will depend on when and how we move the students, but those currently going into their final year will graduate in Summer 2015 at Caerleon.

What will happen about sports teams and facilities at Caerleon?

The University teams will compete as now in the BUCS leagues for the next 12 months.  Such teams are reviewed annually, and so any decisions would involve the Student Union officers.  At the same time, an agreement is in place with the Newport Leisure Centre, and we are in discussion with the Newport Gwent Dragons, about the future use of sports facilities around the Newport City Campus.

Who can I talk to about this?

Your Student Union representatives are your first port of call. Email supres@southwales.ac.uk

Open meetings for students have been arranged by the Student Union for October and November to highlight and discuss a range of issues relating to campus realignment.