Podcast: Duty of care, international students, drugs

This week on the podcast student suicides and a duty of care have been discussed in Parliament - but would such a duty help or hinder in efforts to support students?

News, analysis and explanation of higher education issues from our leading team of wonks

This week on the podcast student suicides and a duty of care have been discussed in Parliament – but would such a duty help or hinder in efforts to support students?

Plus cabinet wranglings over immigration policy and international students continue, and we discuss whether the sector should wade in or deftly avoid controversies over issues like student drug use.

With Sue Rigby, Vice Chancellor at Bath Spa University, Andy Youell, Executive Director Digital and Regulation at University College of Estate Management, Sunday Blake, Associate Editor at Wonkhe and presented by Mark Leach, Editor in Chief at Wonkhe.

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When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

3 responses to “Podcast: Duty of care, international students, drugs

  1. Interesting perspectives but this is not about blame. We recognise there are complex issues but it is wrong to simply suggest that lower rates of suicide equates to students being ‘ safer’. There is no empirical data of credible evidence to support this claim.
    We are clear, a legal precedent has undermined the government’s reassurance about any ‘general duty’.

    It is presumptuous to state campaigners do not understand the sector, some of our members actually work within the sector as well.
    We are not asking for the University to become primary carers, we are not seeking individual liability, staff have nothing to fear.
    We seek clarification on what universities duty should be in terms of how it takes reasonable steps to protect students from reasonably foreseeable harms.
    Its about aspects universities can and do control; extensions, interpretation of reasonable adjustments, communicating failed examine results, identifying vulnerability, managing and supporting students. It’s about ensuring these are carried out in safe, compassionate and consistent ways.

    The sector consistently demonstrates an inability to work collaboratively, consistently and at pace. It repeats the same mistakes. UUK began discussing sharing information with trusted contacts in 2002, 16 years later the lack of leadership in that space was a contributory factor in Daniel’s suicide. Even now the guidance is being ignored. It is about accountability for repeated mistakes, not through litigation, but through serious case reviews and a duty of candour.

    Universities are not the only sector that has diverse populations, diverse practices and complex operating environments. They remain however an outlier in terms of a statutory framework in terms of ‘ how’ they deliver their functions.

    Lee Fryatt, Lecturer at University of Winchester.

  2. Would appreciate if the show notes included links to support services, such as Samaritans (116 123) to be more fully in line with Samaritans Media guidelines.

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