How we change policies, regulations and processes

The University has a number of policies, regulations and processes (referred to as policies for the purpose of this document) which impact upon students. These change from time to time, due to regular review or because of changes in best practice or the external environment in which the University operates.

The University will inform new and returning students of changes to these policies through this  Student Handbook, which will feature a ‘What’s New’ section which will indicate changes. A link to the Handbook will be given to all students as they enrol or re-enrol, and this will alert students that the Handbook will indicate what has changed.

All academic and most student-related policies are contained within the University’s Academic Quality Handbook (https://docushare.sunderland.ac.uk/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-2773). These include the Academic Regulations, and regulations on extenuating circumstances, academic misconduct, complaint, student discipline, academic appeal, exclusion on health grounds, and fitness to practise, all of which are also linked to from this Student Handbook.

These policies are reviewed on a regular basis, usually (depending on the policy) in consultation with the Students’ Union, and the changes made to these policies are approved by the University’s Academic Board or its subcommittees acting on its behalf. Students are represented on all of these committees, via the Students’ Union. Student Disciplinary Regulations and the Student Complaints Procedure are approved by the University’s Board of Governors, which again has formal student representation in its membership.

Some policies are owned within other parts of the University, and these have different routes to approval. For example, the IT Acceptable Use Policy, Data Protection Policy, and the Retention Policy (which sets out how long we will keep documents, assessment data etc) are approved by the University’s Information Governance Group. The Whistleblowing and Bribery Act policies are approved by the University’s Business Assurance Board.

Wherever a policy which affects students is reviewed or approved, we will communicate this to you, normally through this Handbook as outlined above, and we may also use your student email to notify you of changes.