In December 2020 we asked you what issues we should ask the new Provost Dr Michael Spence to prioritise. We wanted to know what issues we should focus on first in order to make your experience of UCL better.  

You shared hundreds of ideas, a mix of both long-term and short-term projects, and together with insight from our network of more than 1,600 Academic Representatives, we compiled the most important issues into a clear top ten list.

We work with UCL’s senior leadership team, including the Provost, throughout the year. We make sure your voice is central to all the decisions made here, and the priorities listed below will help set the agenda for our work with UCL over the coming year and beyond.  

We shared these priorities with Michael Spence in January, and we’ll be working closely with him to make them happen. 

Prioritise personalised teaching and extra-curricular activity post-pandemic.

Face-to-face teaching should return as soon as possible as we recover from the pandemic, whilst the many benefits of digital teaching are retained. There should be a focus on a quick return to face-to-face social and extra-curricular activity, as well as necessary support to expand and grow participation in these areas.   

Join our call for a Government intervention on tuition fees.

Students should receive value for money and equitable access to the whole UCL experience. The UK Government should recognise the need to have a national policy on tuition fee refunds and provide funding to enable universities to deliver these refunds. We would like UCL’s support to build a strong coalition for this across the Higher Education sector to put pressure on Ministers.  

Tackle the structural inequalities at UCL and ensure that our university is truly diverse and inclusive.

Continue the work to make UCL more inclusive, decolonise its curriculum and estate, improve the diversity of professors, lecturers and postgraduates who teach, improve the accessibility of the campus for disabled students, and support our LGBTQ+ students and staff.   

Make sure no student is left behind due to the impact of the pandemic.

Implement a new No Detriment policy so that students who have suffered as a result of the pandemic are supported to achieve their full potential and not penalised academically.   

Increase the financial support available to postgraduate taught and research students.

Our postgraduate community needs more support. We need to improve pay and conditions for PGTAs, increase the monthly stipend of PhD studentships and remove application fees for Master’s programmes.  

Improve support for International Students to match our status as London’s Global University.

Address the imbalance in value for money and support received between international students and UK students. We should work to make accessing funding easier and focus on welcoming international students back to UCL as we recover from Covid-19. Help ensure that we are the best university in the world for international students to achieve their potential.  

End the mental health crisis at our University with more funding to help students succeed.

The pandemic has continued to exacerbate a growing crisis in mental health at UCL. UCL needs to increase the provision of mental health support services so that more students can find the support they need. We want to work with UCL to make our university the very best at supporting students. 

Help us make UCL’s campuses the place where more happens.

Help us make more happen, by creating more high-quality spaces and facilities for students. Support to the creation of more student-led social, sporting and extracurricular activity space, more academic space, especially within faculties, and work in partnership with us to build campuses befitting UCL’s international standing.   

Work with us to create support structures for specific student groups.

Our student representatives have highlighted clear areas for improvement in their experience of UCL. Specifically, improving the accessibility of the estate, and improving the support, and spaces available, for students with caring responsibilities.  

Support us to become one of the best students’ unions in the UK and internationally.

Our members deserve a students’ union that is one of the very best in the world, providing excellent services, facilities, representation and support. Support our continued development and growth as an organisation, and ensure students are key partners in the future development of UCL. Invest in the social, sporting and extra-curricular facilities students need, so that we can offer the range and quality of services students expect.