Speak Week - Timetabling and catering


A big shout out to everyone who engaged with our Speak Week activity from 6-10 November! It was an amazing success, with over 3,000 of you telling us what you'd keep the same about your university experience, and what you'd like to change.

We heard from you about all sorts of things, from how good the teaching and library facilities are, to how bad the parking can be. You told us about the need to improve signposting around campuses, and the kinds of SU events you'd like to see in future. You even told us about your lecturers' fashion choices (generally pretty good, apparently).

But the two topics that came up again and again were timetabling and catering.


Over 850 of you had something to say about your timetables, and these are just some of the issues you raised:

  • A general lack of consistency/structure, making it super hard to hold down a part-time job or make plans to go home, for instance.
  • Only being timetabled for one hour per day. Tough if you commute from far away.
  • Gaps too big between lectures (4+ hrs), again affecting when you can work jobs.
  • Poor communication on late changes to timetables, with students not notified of changes until the last moment, or in some cases not at all.
  • Seminars before lectures (does not make sense and makes learning more difficult).
  • Different buildings for back-to-back lectures - students are sometimes being sent across campus and having to rush to get there in time.
  • Early/late finishes - not good for student commuters, carers, or parents. Late finishes are particularly problematic as the nights draw in, as some of you understandably worry about safety walking home in the dark.

We're already working with the university on some of these so stay tuned for more information soon.


You also had lots to say on catering! In fact, we received around 1,150 individual bits of feedback about food and drink at the University, much of it around cost and choice.

  • Around 400 of you said you are happy with the catering provision just the way it is. The cost and options suited these guys to a 'T'.
  • Almost as many said you like £1 Wednesday but want it to happen more regularly, to be expanded to other days, or for the food to be just generally cheaper.
  • Lunch/street food boxes at City are popular, and the menu at Granary Café at Collegiate is appreciated too!
  • But many of you want more choice both in terms of the types of food available, and the number of outlets - especially at City Campus *cough Aspect Court cough*. Fewer outlets meant longer queues with the Granary being particularly affected at busy times.
  • Halal, and good quality vegetarian options were top of your menu wish list, as was some spicier dishes from time to time.
  • You also asked for more hot water access and food preparation areas so you could bring your own scran to uni with you.

These are just two of the areas you brought up, and we're still working on the rest of the feedback you gave us. Look out for more details soon, along with updates on what's changing as a result.

In the meantime, if you have any more feedback you'd like to share with us then please head on over to our Share Your Experience page to tell us about it. And if you haven't filled in our Hallam, how are we doing? survey yet, submit your answers and be in with a chance of winning £150 worth of prizes!