Trending Topics

This page is regularly updated and provides details of the most important topics that students raise with the Students' Union through Union Voice.

Click on the following topics to find out what the Students' Union has been doing on behalf of you, based on your feedback.

Placements and Support: Nursing & Midwifery

In total, 116 students from Nursing & Midwifery have shared their experience through Union Voice. As this is a live topic, if you have not yet shared your experience with us, please let us know your thoughts.

The main themes so far are:


  • Poor Placement Communication to Students. There were 72 comments made regarding poor communication. A lack of communication regarding the making up of hours, poorly timed email communications, issues surrounding placements not having correct information regarding students and little to no contact from lecturers or tutors regarding placement concerns.
  • Placement Hours. There were 35 comments on concerns of making up placement hours missed due to mitigating circumstances (Covid). There were also comments being allocated more/less hours than others. You were also concerned that when these issues were raised with the placement team, little to no information was given. In turn this created stress.
  • Lack of Support. There were 27 comments regarding the lack of support. You often sought support through academic advisors, course tutors, placement staff however, the advice given did not meet your needs.

Elena Bowley, the HWLS College Officer, has taken your feedback to the Vice Chancellor at SHU; the Pro Vice Chancellor and the Dean of Academic Strategy are treating this as a matter of urgency.

There was a Student Voice meeting on 8th June 2022 between the University, Course Reps, and Nursing & Midwifery Department Reps. A FAQ document was produced and can be circulated to students in Nursing & Midwifery department to help answer questions they may have.

Meghan Jenkins, the Department Rep for Nursing & Midwifery, and Elena Bowley brought forward the 'Supporting Nursing & Midwifery Students' motion to Union Council in the Students' Union (the highest decision making body for students) and this passed. Read the policy

As you can see, we are aware of the issues with allocation of placement hours and issues with communication around placements and are working hard on a range of interventions to address these. Elena will be meeting with Susan Wakefield (Head of Department) and Lesley Saunders (Deputy Head) in May to discuss the feedback in more detail and review the actions to address these.

With regard to the third area (i.e. lack of support around academic work and placement): if you do not receive appropriate support when requested, please can you contact the Senior Academic Advisor, John Freeman (J.P.Freeman@shu.ac.uk). This will enable John to raise these issues, in confidence, on an individual basis.

Placement Travel: Social Work

In total, 15 students BSc Social Work have shared their experience to Union Voice.


  • 14 spoke of the placement bursary not reflecting the 'real' cost of living
  • There were 7 comments regarding fuel prices
  • There were 3 comments regarding accommodation costs
  • There were 6 comments regarding public transport
  • There were 2 comments regarding childcare costs

Elena Bowley, HWLS College Officer, with the Dean of Academic Strategy and the Head of Student Finance about what support the university could offer. The Head of Student Finance at SHU stated the eligibility criteria for the social work bursary is very explicit that they cannot also be in receipt of a bursary from us (P4). He said SHU needed to careful not to step in and provide support that will cost them a bursary which is worth almost £5k.

The whole sector continue to put pressure on bursary and student loan amounts, Sheffield Hallam University does not hold out much hope that they're ever going to rise in line with inflation. The university is part of a group called NASMA, which is the National Association of Student Money Advisors. As part of that they meet with NHSBSA as sector representatives regularly. They also talk to SFE monthly around support for vulnerable students. Finally, there are a small number of university staff who consult with Department for Education on a more informal basis, and this is a useful avenue to influence policy.

If you, or any other students on BSc Social Work, would be interested in receiving the Energy Costs Bursary (as this might help to offset the cost of some of your travel to and from placement), please email Elena Bowley at e.bowley@shu.ac.uk.

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