Credit: Dimosthenis Violaris

SRC claim ‘success’ despite no cap on student numbers

By Odhran Gallagher

The University of Glasgow has issued a joint statement with the Student Representative Council (SRC) concerning student numbers in response to the SRC’s “Cap Student Numbers Now!” campaign. The statement, released on the University’s website today details a jointly agreed action plan between it and the SRC. 

The University has committed to zero growth for the 2023/24 academic year “in recognition of the current pressures on accommodation”, but rejected additional key points of the SRC’s campaign.

The statement has been labelled a “success” by the SRC, despite the fact it fails to meet a central demand of the campaign, launched last semester, to cap the number of students admitted each year until 2027. The SRC’s demands allowed for an increase of a maximum of 1200 students over the five-year period, with no more than 200 coming in the next academic year of 2023/24. 

In the statement, the University commits to:

  1. Target zero growth in student intake numbers for 2023/24; and commit to a managed growth admissions policy for 2024/25, carefully monitoring and controlling the overall student population number while working to improve on capacity constraints such as teaching space
  1. Provide the full and complete accommodation guarantee policy to students by 25 January at the latest
  1. Allocate additional funds to support the student experience strategy action plan in order to improve support for student services, clubs and societies
  1. Ensure the student voice is present in the recruitment process through SRC inclusion in the Recruitment and Conversion Committee. 

The joint statement goes on to say: “The SRC and the University feel confident that these steps will adequately support students at the University of Glasgow and ensure that any student number growth in the future will happen in consultation with and for the benefit of students.”

Each of the four demands made by the SRC in their campaign to cap student numbers are addressed, with the expectation of their first demand to “accept a gradual increase of a maximum of 1200 students over the 5-year period” which, they argued, was “in line with the rate of growth across the UK-wide HE sector”. 

Instead, the statement does not commit to this specific capped increase, but instead a “managed growth admissions policy”. It states that this is due to the fact that the current strategic planning round (which sets out intentions for growth) will end in two years time, and therefore “It is not possible for the University to commit to any firm admissions targets for beyond 2025”. 

The statement does however make a promise to include the SRC in the next strategic planning round, stating that they have “invited the SRC to join the newly formed ‘Recruitment and Conversion Committee’ to improve the transparency and decision-making around recruitment process and to help create an understanding of the trade-offs within our decision-making framework.”

The statement can be read in full here.


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