Union Voice: 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 the 2021/22 academic year, over 100 nursing & midwifery students shared their experienced with us. The main themes that students fed back on were:


  • Poor placement communication to students
  • Placement hours
  • Lack of support

To help students progress quickly and efficiently with completing their placement hours, the Department of Nursing & Midwifery and the Professional Placements Team have circulated guidance for students. If you need this guidance or are unclear about this, please do email placement-support@shu.ac.uk and we will get back to you. A number of students mentioned that they were not clear about how to upload hours (e.g. interview; attendance at recovery event; simulated learning; make-up time) onto Blackboard on MYePAD. Please view the Blackboard Timesheet Guidance for more information.


The 2021/22 HWLS College Officer shared this feedback with the Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam, the Pro Vice Chancellor, and the Dean of Academic Strategy. 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. The Department Rep for Nursing & Midwifery and the HWLS College Officer 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


If you do not receive appropriate support when requested, please 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.


As this is a live topic, if you have not yet shared your experience with us, please let us know your thoughts.

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 Misbah Ticklay at m.ticklay@shu.ac.uk.

Online and on-campus learning, teaching & assessment

A small number of students have contacted the Students' Union via Union Voice with their opinions about learning, teaching, and assessment occurring virtually and/or on-campus. Some students want more virtual approaches, particularly to exams. Some students, however, prefer to be on campus, to learn from their course mates and develop their student community.


Sheffield Hallam have released their Learning, Teaching, and Assessment Framework for 2022/23 which states that assessment is designed to meet course learning outcomes with course and level-based assessment a core approach. Assessment is designed to assure academic integrity, fairness, and consistency. So, it might be that a course has had to make the decision to hold on-campus exams because it upholds academic standards and prepares you for future employment opportunities.


We also understand that learning virtually is a requirement for some students due to health implications. We sympathize with you on this. We recommend speaking to your Academic Adviser if you are experiencing difficulty with attending on-campus learning and assessments. You can also apply for a learning contract in some cases. Do to this, please speak to your Academic Adviser, Course Leader, or for more information if this is the right path for you, please go to: Learning contracts | Sheffield Hallam University (shu.ac.uk).

Academic appeals and study skills

The Students' Union, through the Advice Centre, Officers, as well as Union Voice, has received queries from students seeking help with academic misconduct panels and academic appeals. If you are currently facing academic misconduct issues, please get in contact with our Advice Centre. They offer free, independent help and advice for Sheffield Hallam students.


Studying at university is a different experience to school, or at any other education you might have received previously. This means that, for some, you will be taught and will learn in different ways that you are used to. For example, university requires a lot more independent learning and critical thinking. A recent international student shared tips for success, which are applicable to all students: Teaching and Learning | Sheffield Hallam University (shu.ac.uk).


Financial support for international students

Our Cost of Living Survey identified that a number of students would like additional help from their University and Students' Union. We wanted to make sure that you are aware of the current offers available to students, particularly international students.


Please note, this information is regularly being updated by the University and your International Students' Officer. For more information, please see the GoGlobal Financial Support Page.


International Emergency Fund

International students experiencing financial hardship due to an emergency or a significant, unexpected, and unforeseen change in circumstances may be eligible for a loan or grant from the International Emergency Fund. Please note that strict rules apply and students with tuition fee debt are not eligible to apply. Please read the guidance document before applying. Apply for the International Emergency Fund.


House Hunting Grant for new international students bringing children dependants to the UK

From the 2022/23 academic year, new international students who are bringing children dependants to the UK may be eligible for the House Hunting Grant. Strict eligibility criteria apply, so please read the guidance carefully before applying. Apply for the House Hunting Grant.


£1 Wednesdays

The University are hosting a number of £1 Wednesdays throughout Semester 1. Please make sure you check which outlets are offering this as an option. View details of £1 Wednesdays.

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