Policy

Code of Practice on Student Placements and Exchanges

Updated on 26 January 2021

This Code of Practice provides a framework for placement learning or study abroad to safeguard the interests of students, the University and external providers.

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The Code of Practice (CoP) on Student Placements and Exchanges is part of the University’s Quality Framework for Teaching Collaborations. The CoP is in place to provide a framework for placement learning or study abroad to safeguard the interests of students, the University and external providers, and to ensure that practice is aligned with the relevant expectations and indicators of sound practice described in the QAA’s UK Quality Code for Higher Education, in particular Chapter B 10, Managing Higher Education Provision with Others. 

The CoP is a public document to ensure transparency and to provide clarity for all stakeholders about the University’s approach to student placements and exchanges/study abroad opportunities. 

The scope of the CoP includes: 

  • work placement activities that form an integral part of any given programme of study and are organised by the University 
  • work placement activities that do not form an integral part of any given programme of study and are organised by the University 
  • student exchange schemes and study abroad opportunities 
  • student elective placements 
  • research degree programmes that may involve a single student working in premises within another organisation and 
  • incoming student exchanges or placements 

Other than student elective placements, the scope of the CoP does not cover placement learning where this is not organised by the University. ‘Year out’ opportunities, vacation work and ad hoc work experience or learning opportunities elsewhere that are organised by students themselves are not within scope. Where ‘year out’ activities organised by students themselves are common practice as part of a given programme, clear guidelines for students should be set out by the Schools. 

Although many of the general principles for the different types of opportunities are the same, they are described under the separate headings of ‘student work placements’, ‘student exchanges and study abroad arrangements’, ‘student elective placements’ and ‘research degree programmes that involve students working in premises within another organisation’ within this CoP for ease of reference. 

It is recognised that a wide range of opportunities fall within the scope of this CoP, and that not all activities will fall neatly under each of the headings. Where this is the case, a proportionate approach should be taken to assessing, approving and reviewing placement and study abroad activities whilst ensuring that the principles of the CoP are followed. 

Applicability and definitions 

For the purpose of this CoP the term student work placements encompasses all student work placement activity organised by the University and includes: insight days; work shadowing; internships; vacation placements; work-based projects; practice placements; and credit bearing placement modules, including year-long sandwich placements. Note that the UK Home Office makes a distinction between definitions of ‘work placements’ and ‘internships’ as part of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) regulations, and advice should be sought from the University’s Immigration Compliance Office on restrictions that may apply to international students. For non-credit-bearing study abroad opportunities (e.g. overseas summer schools) organised by the University, the general principles described in Section 2 (student work placements) should be applied. 

The University offers Erasmus+ and international student exchange programmes, each of which have slightly different administration and process requirements. Occasionally there are also credit-bearing study abroad opportunities for individual students which do not involve reciprocal arrangements between institutions. The same general principles apply to all study arrangements at external organisations which contribute to an award of the University of Dundee, and for the purpose of this CoP all such study arrangements are referred to as student exchange programmes

Elective placements are student-selected periods of study, research or clinical experience spent away from the taught degree programmes in certain professional disciplines. These are compulsory components of the respective programmes. They are similar to student work placements but students tend to play a greater role in choosing, vetting and organising their placements. 

Restrictions 

Careful consideration must be given to implications for students from outside of the EU where there may be restrictions due to visa stipulations. Work placements must be permitted under a student’s current visa and form an integral and assessed element of the programme. The placement provider is required to monitor attendance and report any issues to the arranging School. Records must be maintained and accessible to the Immigration Compliance Office in the event of an audit. 

With regard to student exchange programmes, whilst these are permissible under current Home Office rules, restrictions may apply that could include entry to another country and students must ensure that they have the correct immigration status for the country where they will be studying. Students should be referred to the International Advice Service for support. 

The Immigration Compliance Office must be made aware of all international students undertaking exchange programmes or work placements so that the University can adhere to Home Office reporting requirements. 

When planning the addition of a new placement activity to an existing programme, designing a new programme with an integral placement element or reviewing existing provision, programme developers should seek advice from the Immigration Compliance Office. 

Remuneration for placements or internships 

The University is signed up to the actions described in the Universities Scotland (US) ‘Making it Happen’ document on Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education. Within the spirit of this US publication, substantive work placements or internships should normally either be paid or credit bearing as part of the curriculum. 

Student work placements 

The School Board (or designated subcommittee) has responsibility for oversight of work placement activities within the School specifically to: 

For activities that fall outside of the University’s School structure oversight of placement activity should normally be provided by the ASC/Careers/EIS hub within its internal committee structures. 

  • ensure adherence to this CoP
  • oversee the development of more detailed procedures reflecting the nature of placement activities within the School
  • oversee management of placement activities within the School and 
  • ensure appropriate monitoring and review of the suitability of placements and the student experience. 

Schools must ensure that systems are in place to provide students with detailed information about their placement and the expectations for placement learning before the placement starts. Students should receive guidance in writing and have the opportunity to participate in briefing meetings. 

Establishing and approving placements — general principles 

Schools must have defined procedures for approving proposed placement activities. These should be recorded and include explicit consideration of the following: 

  • the significance of placement learning in the student's programme of study 
  • the appropriateness of the placement setting, including consideration of health, safety and welfare of students 
  • opportunities for students to achieve and demonstrate the intended learning outcomes where relevant
  • the capability of the placement provider to fulfil the University's expectations and legal responsibilities in relation to the Equality Act (2010)
  • the capability of the local unit (i.e. the School/programme team) to manage the placement. 

Particular consideration must be given to the means of enabling and supporting participation by disabled students in any placement requirements or opportunities associated with a programme of study. The University's Disability Services provides guidance and support in this respect. 

Note that a disabled student's consent must be obtained before disclosing their disability to a placement provider. The only exception to this is where a health and safety risk has been identified following an individual risk assessment. 

Appropriateness of placements — risk assessment 

The University’s Health and Safety Policy extends to activities undertaken by students as part of their studies outside of the University. There is therefore a duty to take steps to ensure, as far as reasonably possible, that students are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. The establishment and approval of placement activities must include a risk assessment that is recorded and held by the School. The School must ensure that the risk assessment: 

  • is overseen by a member of staff who is competent to do so 
  • is guided by relevant, complete and up-to-date information
  • considers the health, safety and welfare of the student in the placement situation 
  • considers the requirements of individual students, particularly in relation to the Equality Act (2010) 
  • considers any insurance limitations
  • contains details of any specific actions required to reduce risks

The University’s Safety Services website provides health and safety related resources to support the development of student work placement and exchange activities. 

In developing risk assessments and risk mitigation strategies Safety Services and the relevant School Health and Safety Officer can provide guidance and support with regard to health and safety, Disability Services can provide guidance and support with regard to disabled students, the Head of Equality and Diversity can provide guidance and support with regard to equality and diversity, and the Finance Office can provide guidance and support with regard to insurance. The types of areas to be considered as part of the risk assessment are as follows: 

  • work factors (e.g. working with hazardous equipment or substances, community work with high-risk individuals/patients, working in companies with inadequate health and safety policies, working with young children or vulnerable adults in an unsupervised environment)
  • regional factors (e.g. crime, civil disorder, terrorist threat, war zone, lack of medical facilities, limited means of communication, culture) 
  • travel (e.g. difficulties in reaching remote areas, travel requirements as part of the placement, driving others in unfamiliar vehicles, high risk local transport facilities)
  • environmental factors (e.g. very hot, high UV, very cold, communicable disease risk)
  • individual student factors (e.g. health, culture, disabilities, language)
  • insurance limitations (e.g. for certain world regions, limited placement provider’s insurance) 
  • crisis management 

Appropriateness of placements — intended learning outcomes and assessment 

Placements that are integral to programmes of study should have clearly defined intended learning outcomes, and these should be part of the intended learning outcomes of the relevant module(s) and programme of study. 

The nature of the placement, the planned student learning activities, and the support provided to students, should provide students with adequate opportunities to achieve the intended learning outcomes and to demonstrate these through assessment. 

There should be clarity about how achievement of the intended learning outcomes in the placement will be assessed. This should include consideration of the consequences of failure to secure a placement, or to complete the placement, or to achieve the intended learning outcomes within the placement. 

The ways in which students will be supported in transitioning into the work-based learning environment, building on their learning from the workplace experience, and transitioning back into academic study should be transparent to both students and staff. 

Management of placements by the School 

The School must identify a member of University staff to take responsibility for managing each placement or group of placements. This individual (termed the ‘placement manager’ for the purpose of this CoP) must be competent to do so and should be provided with support and development opportunities to establish and further develop their capability to manage placements. 

The placement provider 

The responsibilities of both the University and the placement provider should be defined in writing, including their respective responsibilities for any arrangements that need to be made for students with protected characteristics (Equality Act, 2010). 

There should be an evaluation of the capability of the placement provider to address these responsibilities. If there is evidence that a work placement provider is unable or unwilling to meet the University’s expectations of responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010), the placement arrangement should not normally be progressed. The University may be deemed to be aiding a discriminatory act if a student with protected characteristics is subsequently treated less favourably by the placement provider or if the placement provider fails to make reasonable adjustments to meet a student's disability-related needs. 

There should be clearly defined points of contact and lines of communication between the School, where the placement manager will normally play a key role, and the placement provider. This should include opportunities for the placement provider to: 

  • raise concerns or complain about any aspect of the placement, including an individual student's performance or conduct; and 
  • make suggestions to the School about how the placement activity could be improved. 

School register of placement activities 

Schools must maintain a record of all placement activities. This should include the following information: 

  • the local unit (discipline/programme) within the School associated with the placement activity
  • the designated placement manager
  • the name and nature of the placement provider
  • names and contact details for the placement provider 
  • the nature and duration of the placement e.g. location(s), types of activities 
  • the responsibilities of the placement provider 
  • the responsibilities of the student while on placement 
  • the responsibilities of the School/local unit in relation to the placement
  • copy of the written agreement with the placement provider
  • details of any other organisations involved
  • list of names and ID numbers of students involved in the placement 
  • statement of the reasonable adjustments agreed with the placement provider, where applicable 
  • the student's written consent to disability disclosure, where applicable

Student information and briefing 

Students must be provided with briefing information prior to commencing their placement activities. This should include written guidance and the opportunity for a face-to-face briefing. The following areas should be covered: 

  • discussion of planned learning activities, intended learning outcomes and how they will be assessed (where relevant)
  • the ways in which the placement learning will contribute to the student’s developing skills and attributes
  • the risk assessment and recommendations regarding health, safety, welfare and personal insurance cover for the student
  • the student's responsibilities, rights and entitlements in the placement setting
  • language and cultural considerations (for international placements)
  • accommodation arrangements (where relevant)
  • contact information — for both the University and the placement provider; 
  • guidance on how to raise concerns or make a complaint during or following the placement; and 
  • any specific individual requirements (e.g. health, culture, protected characteristics) and how these will be accommodated within the placement setting. 

Briefing processes should include opportunities for individual students to discuss any aspect of their placement with the placement manager in a confidential setting if required. 

A record of the briefing meeting should be agreed between the student and the placement manager. Placement managers must maintain a record of all student briefings. 

Monitoring of placement activities 

Schools must ensure that arrangements are in place for monitoring and review of placement activities on an annual basis. The monitoring and review process should include opportunities for considering feedback from all participants and stakeholders including the students who undertook placements; the University staff associated with the placement; and relevant staff of the placement provider. 

Evaluation of the effectiveness of student placement activity is part of the University’s annual programme review process and should include a commentary on: 

  • student numbers and achievements (including, where relevant, identified learning gain) on placement activities 
  • feedback from stakeholders
  • any changes introduced in placement management and any proposed changes to improve placement activity in future years 
  • any aspects of good practice in placement activity that were considered to be particularly effective 

Schools with programmes offering placements should include a commentary on the effectiveness of student placements in their annual learning and teaching enhancement reports as part of their consideration of student employment and employability. 

The University’s Periodic Programme Review (PPR) process provides the opportunity to formally evaluate the effectiveness of student placement activities over a 5-6 year period. 

Staff professional development 

Staff involved in placement activity should have the appropriate knowledge and skills to undertake the role. They should also have opportunities to develop their own knowledge and practice. The Head of the Academic Skills Centre (ASC) should be contacted for academic staff development opportunities. Staff development needs that relate to the support of disabled students should be directed to the Head of Disability Services. 

Student exchanges and study abroad arrangements 

Responsibilities 

The School Board (or designated subcommittee) has responsibility for oversight of student exchange programmes within the School specifically to: 

  • ensure adherence to this CoP; 
  • oversee the development of more detailed procedures reflecting the nature of student exchange programmes within the School; 
  • oversee management of student exchange programmes within the School; and 
  • ensure appropriate monitoring and review of the suitability of student exchanges and the student experience. 

Whilst the Global Programmes Office provides information and support around student exchange programmes, Schools must ensure that systems are in place to provide students with detailed information about their chosen university and the expectations for their learning before the exchange activity starts. Students should receive guidance in writing and have the opportunity to participate in briefing meetings. 

Establishing and approving exchange programmes — general principles 

Schools must have defined procedures for approving proposed exchange programmes. These must be recorded and include explicit consideration of the following: 

  • the appropriateness of the exchange programme, including consideration of health, safety and welfare of students, and opportunities for students to achieve and demonstrate the intended learning outcomes 
  • the capability of the external organisation to fulfil the University's expectations and legal responsibilities in relation to the Equality Act (2010)
  • the capability of the local unit (i.e. the School/discipline/programme team) to manage the exchange arrangement; and 
  • the significance and match of the exchange programme in a student’s programme of study 

Part of the process must include a preparatory visit to the proposed partner organisation to undertake due diligence and make an assessment of any risks. The outcome from the visit must be recorded using the forms provided by the Global Programmes Team and copies held by the School and the Global Programmes Office. 

Particular consideration must be given to the means of enabling and supporting participation by disabled students in any exchange programme requirements or opportunities associated with a programme of study. The University's Disability Services provides guidance and support in this respect. 

Note that a disabled student's consent must be obtained before disclosing their disability to the external organisation. The only exception to this is where a health and safety risk has been identified following an individual risk assessment. 

A written agreement between the University and the participating organisation must be in place ahead of the exchange activity taking place. 

Appropriateness of exchange programmes — risk assessment 

The University’s Health and Safety Policy extends to activities undertaken by students as part of their studies outside of the University. There is therefore a duty to take steps to ensure, as far as reasonably possible, that students are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. The establishment, approval and renewal of exchange programmes must include a risk assessment that is recorded and copies held by the School and the Global Programmes Office. The School must ensure that the risk assessment: 

  • is overseen by a member of staff who is competent to do so 
  • is guided by relevant, complete and up-to-date information
  • considers the health, safety and welfare of the student in the exchange arrangement
  • considers the requirements of disabled students
  • considers any insurance limitations
  • contains details of any specific actions required to reduce risks 

The University’s Safety Services website provides health and safety related resources to support the development of student work placement and exchange activities. 

In developing risk assessments and risk mitigation strategies Safety Services and the relevant School Health and Safety Officer can provide guidance and support with regard to health and safety, Disability Services can provide guidance and support with regard to disabled students, the Head of Equality and Diversity can provide guidance and support with regard to equality and diversity, and the Finance Office can provide guidance and support with regard to insurance. The types of areas to be considered as part of the risk assessment are as follows: 

  • practical environment (e.g. laboratory or studio work that involves handling hazardous equipment or substances) 
  • regional factors (e.g. crime, civil disorder, terrorist threat, war zone, lack of medical facilities, limited means of communication, culture)
  • travel (e.g. difficulties in reaching remote areas, travel requirements as part of the exchange, high risk local transport facilities) 
  • environmental factors (e.g. very hot, high UV, very cold, communicable disease risk)
  • individual student factors (e.g. health, culture, disabilities, language)
  • insurance limitations (e.g. for certain world regions)
  • crisis management

Appropriateness of exchange programmes — academic fit 

The exchange programme should have intended learning outcomes, academic standards and credits that are in alignment with the intended learning outcomes of the relevant degree programme. An assessment of the academic fit and comparability of academic standards must be made as part of the preparatory visit. 

The nature of the exchange programme, the planned student learning activities, and the support provided to students, should provide students with adequate opportunities to achieve the intended learning outcomes and to demonstrate these through assessment. 

There should be clarity about how achievement of the intended learning outcomes in the exchange programme will be assessed and graded. This should include consideration of the consequences of failure to complete the exchange programme or to achieve the intended learning outcomes. 

Management of exchange programmes by the School 

The School must identify a member of University staff to take responsibility for managing each exchange agreement. This individual (termed the ‘link coordinator’ for the purpose of this CoP) must be competent to do so and should be provided with support and development opportunities to establish and further develop their capability to manage exchange programmes. 11 Approved by the Learning and Teaching Committee, November 2017. 

The external institution 

The responsibilities of both the University and the external institution must be defined in a written agreement that has been signed by both parties.2 The written agreement must identify a link coordinator from each institution. The agreement must also include the respective responsibilities of each organisation for any arrangements that need to be made for students with protected characteristics (Equality Act, 2010). 

The University’s authorised signatories are described in the Schedule of Delegation and Decision-Making Powers. 

There should be an evaluation of the capability of the external institution to address those responsibilities. If there is evidence that an external institution is unable or unwilling to meet the University’s expectations of responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010), the exchange arrangement should not normally be progressed. The University may be deemed to be aiding a discriminatory act if a student with protected characteristics is subsequently treated less favourably by the external institution or if the external institution fails to make reasonable adjustments to meet a student's disability-related needs. 

There must be clearly defined points of contact and lines of communication between the School, where the link coordinator will normally play a key role, and the external institution. This should include opportunities for the external institution to: 

  • raise concerns or complain about any aspect of the exchange arrangement, including an individual student's performance or conduct 
  • make suggestions to the School about how the exchange arrangement could be improved. 

Registers of exchange arrangements 

Schools must maintain a register of all student exchange activities. This should include the following information: 

  • the local unit (discipline/programme) within the School associated with the exchange programme 
  • the designated link coordinator
  • the name and nature of the external institution
  • names and contact details for the external institution 
  • the nature of the exchange programme
  • details of any other organisations involved 
  • list of names and ID numbers of students involved in the exchange programme 
  • statement of the reasonable adjustments agreed with the external institution, where applicable 
  • the student’s written consent to disability disclosure, where applicable

The Global Programmes Office will maintain a register of all student exchange agreements and hold copies of the written agreements. 

Student information and briefing 

All students should be provided with briefing information prior to commencing any exchange programme. This should include written guidance and the opportunity for a face-to-face briefing. The following areas should be covered: 

  • discussion of planned learning activities, intended learning outcomes and how they will be assessed and recorded on their academic transcript
  • the risk assessment and recommendations regarding health, safety, welfare and personal insurance cover for the student
  • the student's responsibilities, rights and entitlements in the external organisation
  • language and cultural considerations 
  • accommodation arrangements
  • contact information — for both the University and the external organisation
  • guidance on how to raise concerns or make a complaint during or following the exchange programme
  • any specific individual requirements (e.g. health, culture, protected characteristics) and how these will be accommodated within the exchange programme 

Briefing processes should include opportunities for individual students to discuss any aspect of the exchange programme with the link coordinator in a confidential setting if required. 

A record of the briefing meeting should be agreed between the student and the link coordinator. Link coordinators must maintain a record of all student briefings. 

Monitoring of exchange programmes 

Schools must ensure that arrangements are in place for monitoring and review of exchange programmes on an annual basis. The monitoring and review process must include opportunities for considering feedback from all participants and stakeholders including the students who undertook exchange programmes; the University staff associated with the exchange programmes; and relevant staff of the external institutions. 

Evaluation of the effectiveness of exchange programmes is part of the University’s annual programme review process and should include a commentary on: 

  • student numbers and achievements on exchange programmes
  • feedback from all stakeholders
  • any changes introduced in exchange programmes and any proposed changes to improve exchange programmes in future years
  • any aspects of good practice that were considered to be particularly effective this year

Schools should include a commentary on the effectiveness of student exchange programmes in their annual learning and teaching enhancement reports as part of their consideration of collaborative arrangements. 

The University’s PPR process provides the opportunity to formally evaluate the effectiveness of student exchange/study abroad activities over a 5-6 year period.

Due diligence and risk assessment review 

Due diligence and risk assessment appraisals must be formally reviewed on a periodic basis (normally every 3-5 years). The review should be undertaken prior to the renewal of the written agreement between the partner organisations. 

Staff professional development 

Staff involved in student exchange/study abroad activity should have the appropriate knowledge and skills to undertake the role. The Head of ASC should be contacted for academic staff development opportunities. Staff development needs that relate to the support of disabled students should be directed to the Head of Disability Services. The Global Programmes Manager and the Director of Quality and Academic Standards can provide advice on due diligence and credit recognition. 

Student elective placements 

General principles 

Similar principles to those described above for student placements should apply, and Schools must ensure that they have proper oversight of the appropriateness of elective placements and risk assessments even if School staff are not directly involved in the vetting of the suitability of the elective placement. 

Research degree programmes that involve students working in premises within another organisation 

Overview 

Certain research degree programmes may offer single students the opportunity to work in the premises of another organisation. The nature of such opportunities varies and may include industrial placements or periods of research in another university, either in the UK or overseas. For the purpose of this CoP these are collectively described as research degree placements. Although the approach taken by Schools to oversee research degree placements should be proportionate to the scale and scope of the activity, the principles described below should be followed. 

Responsibilities 

The School Board (or designated subcommittee) has responsibility for oversight of research degree placements within the School. 

Schools must ensure that systems are in place to provide students with detailed information about the research degree placement before the activity starts. Students should receive guidance in writing and have the opportunity to participate in briefing meetings. 

Oversight of research degree placements — general principles 

Schools must have defined procedures for approving proposed research degree placements. These should be recorded and include explicit consideration of the following: 

  • the appropriateness of the research degree placement, including consideration of health, safety and welfare of students, and opportunities for students to achieve the goals of their research degree programme; 
  • the capability of the external organisation to fulfil the University's expectations and legal responsibilities in relation to the Equality Act (2010); 
  • the capability of the local unit (i.e. the School/research team) to manage the research degree placement; and 
  • he significance of the research degree placement in a student’s research degree. 

Particular consideration must be given to the means of enabling and supporting participation by disabled students in any research degree placement requirements. The University's Disability Services can provide guidance and support in this respect. Note that a disabled student's consent must be obtained before disclosing their disability to the external organisation. The only exception to this is where a health and safety risk has been identified following an individual risk assessment. 

Appropriateness of research degree placements — risk assessment 

The University’s Health and Safety Policy extends to activities undertaken by students as part of their studies outside of the University. There is therefore a duty to take steps to ensure, as far as reasonably possible, that students are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. The establishment and approval of research degree placements must include a risk assessment that is recorded. A copy should be held by the School. The School must ensure that the risk assessment: 

  • is overseen by a member of staff who is competent to do so
  • is guided by relevant, complete and up-to-date information 
  • considers the health, safety and welfare of the student in the research degree placement
  • considers the requirements of disabled students
  • considers any insurance limitations
  • contains details of any specific actions required to reduce risks

In developing the risk assessment and risk mitigation strategy Safety Services and the relevant School Health and Safety Officer can provide guidance and support with regard to health and safety, Disability Services can provide guidance and support with regard to disabled students, the Head of Equality and Diversity can provide guidance and support with regard to equality and diversity, and the Finance Office can provide guidance and support with regard to insurance. The types of areas that should be considered as part of the risk assessment are as follows: 

  • practical environment (e.g. laboratory or studio work that involves handling hazardous equipment or substances) 
  • regional factors (e.g. crime, civil disorder, terrorist threat, war zone, lack of medical facilities, limited means of communication, culture)
  • travel (e.g. difficulties in reaching remote areas, travel requirements as part of the exchange, high risk local transport facilities)
  • environmental factors (e.g. very hot, high UV, very cold, communicable disease risk)
  • individual student factors (e.g. health, culture, disabilities, language)
  • insurance limitations (e.g. for certain world regions, limited placement provider’s insurance)
  •  crisis management

The external organisation 

The responsibilities of both the University and the external organisation must be defined in a written agreement. The agreement should include the respective responsibilities of each organisation for any arrangements that need to be made for students with protected characteristics (Equality Act, 2010). 

There should be an evaluation of the capability of the external organisation to address these responsibilities. If there is evidence that an external organisation is unable or unwilling to meet the University’s expectations of responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010), the arrangement should not normally be progressed. The University may be deemed to be aiding a discriminatory act if a student with protected characteristics is subsequently treated less favourably by the external organisation or if the external organisation fails to make reasonable adjustments to meet the student's disability-related needs. 

There should be clearly defined points of contact and lines of communication between the School and the external organisation. 

Recording research degree placements 

Schools must maintain a record of all research degree placements and hold copies of the written agreements between the organisations. 

Student information and briefing 

All students must be provided with briefing information prior to commencing any research degree placement. This should include written guidance and the opportunity for a face-to-face briefing. The briefing should normally be provided by the student’s supervisor who should keep a record of the briefing. The following areas should be covered: 

  • discussion of the planned research
  • the risk assessment and recommendations regarding health, safety, welfare and personal insurance cover for the student; 
  • the student's responsibilities, rights and entitlements in the external organisation
  • language and cultural considerations (where relevant)
  • accommodation arrangements (where relevant)
  • contact information—for both the University and the external organisation
  • guidance on how to raise concerns or make a complaint during or following the research degree placement
  • any specific individual requirements (e.g. health, culture, protected characteristics) and how these will be accommodated within the research degree placement. 

Incoming student exchanges and placements 

General principles 

The provisions noted above refer to outgoing placements and exchanges. Similar general principles apply when the University accepts students from another organisation as exchange students. The University has a duty of care regarding the incoming student's health, welfare and general quality of learning and experience. 

The responsibilities of both the University and the external institution must be defined in a written agreement that has been signed by both parties.3 The written agreement must identify a link coordinator from each institution. The agreement must also include the respective responsibilities of each organisation for any arrangements that need to be made for students with protected characteristics (Equality Act, 2010). 

The University’s authorised signatories are described in the Schedule of Delegation and Decision-Making Powers. 

Schools should oversee incoming exchange activities within the School. This should include consideration of the following areas: 

  • that proposed incoming exchanges are consistent with the School's mission, strategy and policies and within the academic capability of the School 
  • that incoming exchanges are planned to provide an effective student experience 
  • definition of expectations and intended learning outcomes for the student 
  • definition of the University's responsibilities
  • definition of effective points of contact and lines of communication with the incoming student's home organisation; 
  • language and cultural considerations (for international placements) 
  • accommodation arrangements (where relevant)
  • personal insurance cover for incoming students
  • any specific needs of individual students (e.g. disability, health, culture) and how these will be accommodated
  • any reasonable adjustments that need to be made to meet an individual student's disability-related requirements. 

Schools should have processes in place to ensure that they take a systematic approach to the monitoring and review of the quality of the student learning experience for incoming exchange students. 

Schools must maintain a register of incoming exchange activities. 

Schools must ensure that assessment grades achieved by incoming exchange students are recorded appropriately and timeously so that academic transcripts can be issued by Registry and communicated to the partner organisation by the Global Programmes Office. 

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