AT A RECENT Academic Board meeting, Napier Students’ Association
(NSA) verbally attacked Napier University for cutting back student
rights relating to the Academic Appeals Procedure and the Discipline
According to the NSA’s in-house Reporter newsletter, the
association argued the case for student rights against the university
management, but in the end it was decided that students no longer
have the right to representation at hearings involving academic
appeals and discipline.
The timescale for appealing decisions made by the university has
now decreased and now the university can administer fines on students
for disciplinary actions.
This led to harsh comments from members of the NSA delegation,
mainly Neil Freshwater, the Campaigns and Representation Sabbatical.
Mr. Freshwater said the University refused to listen and that they
were “dismissive.” He went on to say that: “Napier’s
senior management is not well known for having an open and consultative
style of leadership.”
Dr. Gerry Webber, University Secretary and Registrar said: “All
decisions of the University Court and its subsidiary bodies, including
the Academic Board, are regarded as collective decisions; therefore,
I cannot comment for individual members of the Board on this situation.”
He did say that new procedures regarding academic appeals and
student discipline were approved at the last meeting, where students
were represented. He also mentioned that the University Court would
approve new procedures for student complaints in December.
“Students will again be directly represented here as they
were in the last meeting,” said Dr. Webber.
At the last student senate, held on 2nd December, Angela Mitchell
stressed that they “had a strong campaign, with strong arguments”,
and that despite NSA winning the debate, the university management
had succeeded in pushing through measures that Mitchell claimed
would cut back on basic student rights.
Mitchell added that she was considering some form of ‘name
and shame’ campaign as the first step in trying to reverse