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Cuts to student services have been criticised recently, with the most significant disapproval directed towards the closure of the Nurse Unit, which offered 24-hour support to students on campus.
“I think the Nurse Unit should not be closing; it will delay people from getting medical advice and making GP waiting times weeks rather than days,” said a Religious Studies undergraduate.
Pete Macmillan, LUSU VP (Equality, Welfare and Diversity) said: “The closure of the Nurse Unit will have severe consequences on student welfare.” He added: “I am encouraged by the reinvestment in mental health that has resulted from the closure of the Nurse Unit but do not feel that the process in which the new mental health advisers are being recruited necessarily represents value for money.”
This closure follows the disbandment of the Student Learning Development Centre (SLDC) over the summer. Students feel that they do not get enough academic support, believing that more money is put into building work than academia.
“More teaching staff. More contact hours and more academic help,” said a Psychology undergraduate when asked what services need to be invested in.
“I think there is a case to say that the university is investing in aesthetics rather than substance, although the Facilities Department is also facing cutbacks,” said Macmillan. “The worry with Facilities cutbacks is that the 24-hour college portering system will be cut back instead of a potential new building.”
The Base has recently been created to combine various student services including counselling, careers, disability, funding and international links. Questions have been raised about the practicality of having all these services in one place.
“The Base is a great idea in theory but in practice we are yet to see it work. The fact that someone coming in for counselling will have to go to the same information desk as someone accessing careers guidance is ludicrous,” said Macmillan