51 petitions

Started 1 day ago

Petition to Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II

Signatures gathering of the affected Erasmus students in Naples

To whom it may concern;I am Pere Vilalta Huguet, an Erasmus student currently studying online in the University of Naples Federico II.I am writing to explain my situation and the situation that a considerable amount of Erasmus students in Naples are living in the times of Covid-19. The students that have arrived on the second semester are really concerned with the situation we are living study wise. We are not being helped on any circumstances. We have only been in Naples for one month, and personally I have only attended physically two classes of the three courses I am studying in Naples. It is not possible that a student that has been only three weeks studying Italian (the course that they provide us with) could follow Sociology, Philosophy, Engineering or any other subject that requires extended knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and abstract concepts. When we ask for help to the teachers because we are having a lot of trouble trying to understand their classes, they either do not respond to emails or they just answer effortlessly. Only one teacher has answered my emails requesting for help and did not care about my situation. He said that I could do my exam in English. The problem is not the language in which we can develop our exams. The problem is the understanding of the subject and its concepts and ideas. It is logical that an Erasmus student in our conditions cannot fulfil the same expectations of a native Italian student. The access to technology should not be taken for granted. Personally I have not been able to enter my classes for a long time because the app they were having the classes in did not work for me. I asked for help but they did no help me at all. In this situation, the only way of getting in touch with our professors is via email, but if they do not answer we are being deprived from our only way of clearing doubts and staying in contact for any circumstance that could occur. There has also been trouble with some coordinators. Colleagues of mine are desperate to get in touch with their coordinators but cannot achieve it, therefore are stuck in a circle of not getting any response from the ones that are supposed to help you in your Erasmus destination. The ones of us that have returned to their homelands are also having a lot of trouble getting the books we need and can only find in Italy. Moreover, a large quantity of us has been through terrible and awful experiences through this Covid-19 period. Personally, both of my parents were sick of Covid-19 and I had to take care of the six people living in my house, with absolutely no time or possibility to deal with the expectations required by our teachers. I have been through this but many other people have experienced even more dreadful experiences: death of the loved ones, sickness, etc… A lot of us feel ignored by the universities of Naples. We are a weak group of students; we need help and are not being provided with it. Therefore, we demand solidarity and help from the universities we are studying in. We demand to be listened from all of our teachers, so we can explain our personal and generalized situation. This way, we can find solutions to our problems and they can provide us with tools to deal better with this awful situation. We look forward to hearing from you.Yours sincerely, Pere Vilalta Huguet

Pere Vilalta Huguet
10 supporters
Started 3 weeks ago

Petition to Oriol Amat, Master Program Directors and Coordinators

Compensation for loss of value of the Master programs

Spanish version (pdf) unsigned: see or download here English version (pdf) unsigned: see below or download here To: Oriol Amat, Dean of the Barcelona School of Management, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (BSM-UPF) and to the Academic Directors of all the master programs From: The BSM students, course 2019-2020 (see signatures). Dear Dean, academic directive and coordinating teams of the BSM-UPF and all other potentially involved parties. We hope and trust that you and your families are healthy, well and safe during this unfortunate and difficult times. As we are all aware, due to the COVID-19 health and social crisis, some restrictions and social changes have been imposed in almost every country, in an effort of each countries’ government to take control of the situation and minimize the pandemic. This affects society as a whole and especially several sectors, including the academic sector that has been particularly affected, since the ways of teaching and studying had to be drastically changed. We believe that we, the students, are the most harmed by the changes in the academic sector and would like to highlight the various damages that we are suffering, therefore we bring to your attention following statements: 1. We fully understand that the current situation we are living is caused by a global pandemic and by the governmental measures imposed to counter it, and thus the BSM-UPF cannot be held responsible for the situation. We also understand that the University is trying to mitigate, to the extent possible, some of the harm that we are receiving as students. However, while the solutions offered are, to some extent, helpful, we identify a clear loss of program value (both monetary and instructive) and we also believe the university should understand, that this is not fair to us and not according with the program we purchased and paid for. 2. Although the BSM-UPF is trying to maintain class normality as much as possible with the online classes, following the restrictions imposed by the government, this is far from optimal, since we are encountering the following:       a. Connectivity and other technical issues affecting the quality of the sessions for all or some of the students, or in other occasions for the professor, in which case the class has to be dismissed midway before the scheduled time has elapsed.       b. Difficulty to follow the classes and program outlines, compared with physical classes, due to a frequent poor quality of sound or image, or simply because the ambience of a classroom is lost due to not being physically there and that affects both our performance and the professors’. In some cases, an extra difficulty caused by being in a very different time-zone also applies.       c. Inability of some professors to deliver effective online lectures, due to the technical limitations. Some professors have a very dynamic and class-immersive teaching style that we realize would work perfectly in a face-to-face session with constant interaction, but severely underperforms in a remote session, even with the built-in tools of the ‘Collaborate’ software, because the tempo is lost.       d. Difference in personalized treatment due to having all student-professor interactions in remote. As much as the professors try to be reachable and helpful (and we greatly appreciate their effort), it is just not the same thing.       e. A reduction of the number of live classes, since some are now asynchronous, with the subsequent loss of contact and dynamics of a class. 3. Aside from the loss of quality of the class sessions and the face-to-face factor (and all the benefits that come with it), there are several other services that we students have paid for, that we are unable to receive or utilize during the rest of the academic year. These include:       a. Access to the UPF facilities, such as the libraries, the study rooms, the classrooms, etc.       b. Access to the UPF resources, such as the library books, the faculty computers, some research tools, etc.       c. Class outdoor activities and BSM-careers outdoor activities, such as visits to companies’ offices or other similar culturally and professionally enriching activities and experiences.       d. BSM-careers guiding activities. Even if these could be held remotely, the same issues as with the online classes would apply. (see points 2a, 2b, 2c, and 2d aforementioned).       e. Networking events with other students of the BSM and the UPF, with former students (alumni) and/or with some companies HR professionals and potential recruiters. Even if these could be held remotely, they would be highly ineffective, as quality would be compromised due to the online nature, causing inability to fully connect to the other persons at the same level as in a real networking event.       f. The difficulty of accomplishing the internships of the master program on time, since many companies discontinued all recruitment, making it harder or impossible to complete the internships before December 2020.       g. The masters’ graduation ceremony, which is supposed to be a unique event acting as a culmination of completion of the Master Program. While the recently announced virtual graduation represents BSM-UPF’s intention to make up for this loss, the event cannot offer the same value as a real-life ceremony; this is both in terms of monetary and sentimental value. This event is not only an official convocation to celebrate the achievement of a milestone, but also holds a social and emotional value for students, their families and groups alike, that is not perceived equally in a virtual representation. Furthermore, holding a later celebratory event in the uncertain future is a commendable gesture from the university, however, it is important to note that not all the students may be able to attend the event, especially international students. As a result of all the aforementioned reasons, we would like the BSM-UPF to consider the below requests: I. A partial refund as a compensation, in the amount that the university considers appropriate, just like other renown universities have made (see appendix).       a. As stated in point one (1), we understand the university is not responsible for the situation, however, it has an obligation to deliver reasonable quality based on what the tuition (and other fees) we paid for account for, that cannot currently be met. Compensation must therefore be offered to mitigate the issues at hand.       b. We also understand that part of the price are taxes and that some minimum and maximum prices per credit are regulated by law, but we know that the university has margin of action over their prices and can partially compensate us for our loss in quality.       c. We may be open to other or additional compensation methods suggested by the university, if we consider them to be fair and acceptable. II. That the BSM-UPF grants us access to some online complementary materials, that could partially compensate for the loss of access to the libraries. III. An extended and flexible timeframe for completing the internships of the program, with the same support from the BSM-careers office we were supposed to receive during the initial academic year. IV. In case some international students require assistance to extend their visas/NIEs/TIEs, and if the university can assist, support from the university for the same; only of course to the extent to what is possible. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, BSM students, 2019-2020   Appendix: references for various universities in the world offering partial refunds: In the UK, a petition to the parliament to force university refunds has been risen, that counts with about 12.000 supporters in just 4 days and will receive a response from the government (more info here) In the United States, as published by the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, over a dozen universities, such as Harvard University, MIT, Ohio State University, University of South Alabama, University of North Carolina, University of Minnesota, University of Maine, University of Nebraska, and New York University have granted students a prorrated refund. The School of Visual Arts in New York stands out, offering half of the course fee. (click here to see the article). Not needing to go that far away, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid is also offering partial refunds due to Coronavirus in some cases, that students can request here.

Student Representatives BSM 2019-20
1,509 supporters
Started 3 weeks ago

Petition to University of Manchester

Stop job cuts at UoM and cap senior management pay.

The University of Manchester is making cuts in SALC, particularly EAC and modern foreign languages. The university has decided that no fixed-term teaching staff in SALC will be re-employed next academic year (those who do not have permanent contracts and rely on their contracts being renewed on a yearly basis) and the GTA budget (PhD students who teach seminars) will be severely cut.  Roughly 49% (according to HESA statistics) of teaching across the university is done by teaching staff on fixed-term contracts. That means that many of our brilliant teachers already will be out of work, and the permanent staff will have a much larger workload in order to teach the same number of students.  These changes mean: Larger seminar groups and less individual attention from teaching staffA narrower range of modulesPermanent staff having a huge increase in the amount of teaching Fees remain the same but the money the university spends on teaching in SALC is slashed.  We understand that all universities, including the University of Manchester, are currently facing very serious financial losses in light of the COVID-19 crisis. We understand that steps need to be taken to keep the University afloat. However, it is unnecessary and unjust that these cuts be made to those on already precarious, fixed-term contracts. It is unjust that the GTA budget will be cut, when GTAs already struggle to make ends meet. It is unjust that the workload of permanent staff be increased so dramatically, when staff workload is already unsustainable.   We are calling on the university to renew the contracts of our fixed-term staff in SALC for the next two years and to maintain the GTA budget at the same level as this year. Other Russell Group universities have done this, so the University of Manchester is offering a sub-standard response. York, for instance, has now announced that they are making the majority of their fixed-term staff permanent in a humane response to the crisis. If York can do this, why can’t Manchester? Over 100 members of staff at the University of Manchester are on a salary over £100,000. It is deeply unjust that the jobs of some of our most vulnerable, underpaid and overworked staff are being slashed, while so many continue to enjoy such a large salary. In order to address the financial situation, instead of making cuts to SALC and demonstrating a lack of care for staff wellbeing and for the sustainability of the school, we are calling for a £100,000 pay cap at the University of Manchester for all non-NHS staff. The 20% pay cut which has already been made to Senior Leadership’s budget, while a step in the right direction, means little against teaching staff who are losing their jobs. Only when their pay has been cut to a reasonable level, should teaching staff be laid off.  What can you do about it?  Sign this petition and promote it on social media and to your friends and colleagues.Write to the Vice Chancellor, using the template below.If possible, ask your parents or guardians to write to the Vice Chancellor, using the template below. To the vice-chancellor, from student I am writing to ask the university to renew the contracts of all temporary teaching staff in SALC and to maintain the GTA budget for the next two years. I am concerned at the plans of the university to slash the teaching budget and the impact this will have on the quality of my teaching. I also feel it is unfair that I am paying the same amount in fees for a substantially reduced teaching service. I support the call for a £100,000 pay cap at the university for all non-NHS staff as I firmly believe that senior management salaries should be reduced before any teaching staff are laid off.    To the vice-chancellor, from parent/guardian As a parent/guardian of a student at the University of Manchester, I am extremely concerned to hear of the university’s plans to lay off teaching staff for the next academic year. Please can you let me know what steps are being taken to ensure the best educational experience possible? If York University are preserving temporary teaching staff, why is Manchester not doing so? I support the call for a £100,000 pay cap at the university as I firmly believe that senior management salaries should be reduced before any teaching staff are laid off. 

Helen Stott
3,260 supporters