University of South Wales Campus Change Student Compensation 2016/17

Policy overview
This Compensation Policy provides financial compensation for continuing University of South Wales (USW) students who are assessed as incurring increased costs as a direct result of the compulsory change of location of their course in the academic year 2016/17.

In 2016/17 a list of all the courses that will change location can be found here:

Full time undergraduate courses
Part time undergraduate courses
Full and part time postgraduate courses

Students enrolled on these courses will be eligible to be considered for compensation under this policy.

Whilst this policy relates to 2016/17 academic year only, eligible students who are continuing and progressing on the same course (i.e. progressing onto the next stage as planned) will be considered for the same level of support in 2017/18.

Students who received compensation for course moves in 14/15 academic year and 15/16 academic year will be considered for the same level of support they original received unless there has been a significant change of circumstance.

Students repeating parts of the course (and not progressing onto the next stage of their course) in 2016 and 2017 who meet all other conditions of the scheme will be considered for compensation. However, please note that students will be considered for compensation for the normal duration of their course only, i.e. the normal duration of the course expected when the student first enrolled on the course. Therefore, repeating students will not receive payments in their final year(s) as they will have received compensation during their repeat year(s).

1. Policy compensation schemes
Eligible students will be automatically assessed for compensation relating to their increased travel or accommodation costs. An individual student cannot receive both. In addition, there is a Discretionary Fund available to consider circumstances where the automated travel and accommodation compensation schemes do not meet an individual’s need.

1.1. Travel costs
Students who have an increased travelling distance will be compensated for the additional mileage incurred at a rate of 20p per mile for 6 journeys per week (3 return journeys) over a 32 week period during the academic year. If you are studying a part time course your award will be based on 50% intensity e.g. 96 journeys per academic year.

1.2. Accommodation costs
Students currently living in halls in Caerleon or Newport City, or in private rented accommodation, will be compensated at a rate of £1300 per annum for students currently living in Caerleon halls and £950 per annum for students currently living in Newport City halls or private rented accommodation

The level of compensation has been agreed, students should take this in to consideration when considering their accommodation options, particularly if rents are substantially higher.

1.3 Discretionary Fund
A Discretionary Fund will be available for applications from any students who feel that the automated (see How students will be assessed for compensation below) compensation travel and accommodation schemes do not address their needs. Also, any students who have other increased costs incurred directly as a result of the move of one of the above courses, can apply to this Fund. Students will need to email the Compensation Inbox to request an application form to apply to the Discretionary Fund. The form must be returned before the deadline of 18th November 2016. An outcome will be communicated to the students within 15 working days if the application is complete.
Applications to this Fund will be assessed on an individual basis and applicants will need to clearly demonstrate their circumstances, providing relevant evidence to demonstrate their increased costs.

2. How students will be assessed for compensation

All students enrolled on the above eligible courses will be automatically assessed for travel and accommodation compensation using information held on their student record on Monday 1st February 2016. All potentially eligible students therefore must ensure that their student record (and in particular their home and term time addresses) is accurate as soon as possible and by Friday 29th January 2016 at the very latest. This information will be used by the University to predict how much compensation students may be eligible to receive in 16/17. This Prediction may, for example, include an assumption that students will move closer to their new campus location.

The University aims to write to all eligible students’ via their University email address by Friday 12th February 2016 to inform them of their predicted Compensation award for 16/17.
Students will be given the option of informing the University if in the 16/17 academic year they will not be doing as we expect, e.g. student does not intend to move to closer to their new campus location as expected.

2.1. Travel costs

A comparison will be made between the travelling distances from the student’s current term time address and their current campus versus the their new campus location. This will be calculated using the distance by land transport as per this website tool http://www.freemaptools.com/distance-between-uk-postcodes.htm

Any eligible students with an increased travel distance using the above methodology will be compensated for the additional mileage incurred at a standard rate of 20p per mile for 6 journeys per week (3 return journeys) over a 32 week period during the academic year. If you are studying a part time course your award will be based on 50% intensity e.g. 96 journeys per academic year.

Students will not normally be required to provide evidence of the assessed increased travel distance (N.B. if students believe their compensation does not meet their increased costs they may be required to provide evidence of this in order to be considered via the Discretionary Fund).

Students will not be considered for car parking cost as part of the Compensation Fund. Given the changes in our campus configuration in the medium term, it’s helpful to confirm the University’s position in relation to the provision of car parking for staff and students.
Car Parking facilities are available at some and not all of the University campuses. The provision of this facility is dependent on the configuration of each individual campus. To confirm the current and future provision at each site:
Cardiff: Limited car parking is available for staff (for which charges apply) and no parking is provided for students.
Glyntaff: Car parking is provided for staff and students and charges apply
Newport City: No car parking is available for staff or students
Treforest: Car parking is available for staff and students and charges apply

All parking facilities at our campuses are provided on a first come, first served basis and the payment of car parking subscriptions does not guarantee a space for all staff. The University is committed to Environmental Management and the USW Environmental Policy statement confirms its position in relation to transportation with the following aim:
‘to reduce the impact of transport on the local environment arising from vehicles brought onto our campuses and those which are used for university activities’.

For staff and students who have been relocated as a result of the changes in campus configuration, compensation schemes are in place. The disturbance allowances are for students and employees who move location on a compulsory basis, and incur additional mileage travelled from home. The schemes do not include increased parking charges. Individuals are encouraged to utilise other transport options where available such as public transport (for example the Unigo bus travel scheme). The University has arrangements with local car parks for reduced parking very close to Newport City Campus. Details are available from the Newport City Campus reception.

2.2. Accommodation costs

Students living in halls in Caerleon or Newport City, or in private rented accommodation, will be compensated at a rate of £1300 per annum for students currently living in Caerleon halls and £950 per annum for students currently living in Newport City halls or private rented accommodation. These levels of compensation are calculated according to the difference in costs between halls accommodation in Caerleon and City compared to their new campus location. This compensation is granted on the assumption that students will move from their current accommodation to a location closer to their new campus and that this move will incur a cost.

Students will not normally be required to provide evidence of this move. (N.B. if students believe their compensation does not meet their increased costs they may be required to provide evidence of this in order to be considered via the Discretionary Fund).

If students do not move closer to their new campus, they will not be eligible for this element of the Compensation Scheme. They, may, however be eligible for an award for travel costs (if their circumstances meet the criteria).

3. Payments

Payments will be made to enrolled and satisfactorily attending students by BACS in one instalment in October 2016. Students will be required to provide their UK bank details using a secure online portal by the relevant deadline given in order to be paid on time.

4. Communication with eligible students

All direct communications with eligible students relating to this scheme will be undertaken using student USW email addresses. Students are therefore advised to ensure that they check this email account regularly for emails from the University email address compensation@southwales.ac.uk

5. Appeals process

Students who wish to appeal against decisions made in relation to this policy can do so in writing by emailing compensation@southwales.ac.uk detailing the reasons for their appeal. The deadline for an Appeal to be submitted for consideration is 18th November 2016. Appeals will be considered by the Director of Student Services and their decision will be final.

Please refer to our frequently asked questions for further information, if you have any further questions please email compensation@southwales.ac.uk or alternatively contact your Student Union representative.