Chartering a smoother course

January 13, 1995

I read with interest Jim Parlour ("Charters which change little", Opinion, THES December 30). While I would agree that the Department for Education and the National Union of Students charters emphasise pleasing students with no corresponding counterbalance of their responsibilities and obligations he should be careful not to decry the efforts of others.

Liverpool John Moores University was the first HE institution to produce an institutional charter 18 months ago and the benefits to both students and institution are slowly emerging. In our charter we provide clear statements of what students can expect of the university and what in return is expected of students. Our student charter aims to provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to enhance and facilitate choice for all our students so that they know exactly what is being delivered and what they must do in return.

JMU's charter has brought to the attention of everyone in the institution our stated aim of putting our students' needs first and is providing a vehicle for monitoring and evaluating the constantly changing needs of our student population.

Mr Parlour claims that students have special rights as students (as opposed to ordinary citizens) then says that they do not have rights if they fail the test of legal enforceability. If there is a legally enforceable right then that right is adequately protected. It is the function of the student charter to address those aspects of student life not covered by legally enforceable rights without affording them true legal status. The charter is not intended to be a legally enforceable contract that gives the student (purely by being a student) rights that can be enforced outside the institution. Rather the charter is a means of formulating a proper code of conduct.

Student charters should be seen as an integral part of all forward-thinking educational establishments. They should not be trivialised by those who have nothing better to offer.

Maureen A. Blackmore Head of Student Charter and Advice Liverpool John Moores University

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Professorship in Behavioural Science LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE
Foundation Partnerships Officer LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE

Most Commented

Social media icons

Gabriel Egan laments the narcissistic craving for others’ approval brought on, he says, by the use of social networking websites

James Fryer illustration (8 September 2016)

Some lecturers will rightly encourage forms of student interaction that are impossible for those covering their faces, Eric Heinze argues

University of Oxford students walking on campus

University of Oxford snatches top spot from Caltech in this year’s World University Rankings as Asia’s rise continues

Handwritten essay on table

Universities must pay more attention to the difficulties faced by students, says Daniel Dennehy

Theresa May entering 10 Downing Street, London

The prospect of new grammar schools on the horizon raises big questions for HE, writes Nick Hillman