Student Partnership Agreement
The London Met Student Partnership Agreement (SPA) is an agreement between the students, the Students’ Union and the University. It clearly lays down the values and principles that define everything we do as a University to ensure you have the best possible experience as you complete your degree with us.
These values and principles will be embedded into the culture of London Met, ensuring all staff and students are aware of the SPA and are committed to working together as partners.
The SPA is made up of two key parts:
- Part One focuses on the values and principles, defining what the partnership means and how we agree to live out those values at London Met.
- Part Two focuses on areas that have been identified as priorities for developing greater working partnership. It should be noted that the University and Students’ Union are working on a huge number of projects at any given time. Part Two is not intended to be exhaustive or at the exclusion of other projects, but rather a commitment to focus attention on identified priority projects, bringing key staff and students to develop and see the project through to completion.
The SPA has been the culmination of engagement at every level of our learning community, and it incorporates other key strategies and documents that complement the partnership. This includes the Education for Social Justice Framework, the Student Success Strategy and the Students’ Union and University Strategic Plans. The SPA reflects the commitments in those documents, defining what our work will look like in practice.
Part One: Values and Principles
Building a partnership approach to how we do things at London Met requires us to define what partnership is, and what values and underlying principles we will use to guide the approach we will take.
We understand partnership to be:
“A commitment by all parties to a process of continuous, collective engagement. It is a way of doing things, rather than an outcome in itself. All partnership is student engagement, but not all student engagement is partnership.”
The shared values and underlying principles that students and staff said they wanted to see in the agreement were:
Fairness, Honesty and Transparency
- Adopting an approach in all matters where fairness is a key guiding principle, recognising the different experiences and journeys of all students and staff, and how this is critical for inclusive leadership and decision making.
- Committing to being open and honest, even when that may involve difficult or challenging conversations, as both an institution and as individuals. Respect for one another is at the heart of all that students and staff do together
- We are transparent, take responsibility and are held accountable for our actions and promises in everything we do.
Collaborative and Creative
- Engaging students at every stage of their journey with us and recognise them as equal partners in decision-making at every level of the institution
- Adopting a flexible and creative approach to the partnership, creating space and building meaningful ways for students to feel supported, engaged and enabled to take part as an equal voice.
Mutual Respect and Kindness
- Creating and maintain an environment where everyone respects the values, beliefs and ideas of each other, and feels valued for their achievements, abilities, qualities and contributions
- Committed to building a positive community where we demonstrate empathy and understanding for each other and where there are clear expectations about behaviours that ensure everyone feels safe, supported and valued.
Liberation and Inclusion
- Reflecting on our structures and teaching, both as individuals and collectively, to create an environment where all students can achieve their full potential.
- Committed to being fully inclusive, removing barriers and building a cohesive and harmonious community that sees difference as a strength.
Success and Achievement
- As an institution and as individuals, we are ambitious, setting high standards and striving for excellence in all we do.
- Creating an environment where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential and ensure students are equipped with the skills and opportunities to transform their lives and careers.
Part Two: Future Projects for consideration
The points below outline the specific operational projects we want to prioritise over the coming year as partners. These three project areas came through in the stakeholder engagement as clear priorities for 2021-22 academic year:
- Ensuring the provision of adequate support for students experiencing mental health difficulties.
- Adopting a holistic approach to promoting wellbeing and mental health for everyone at London Met.
- Undertaking a comprehensive review to ensure strong, robust and coherent student voice systems and processes.
- Empowering students to be active partners in their learning experience.
- Creating more opportunities for students to develop skills that are responsive to student needs.
- Ensuring greater student involvement in the creation and delivery of those opportunities.
Partnership projects will be reviewed annually through a partnership working group, to monitor progress and ensure current and future projects align with the widely felt priorities across the London Met community.
The SPA is a commitment to adopt approaches and behaviours that embed these values in the decisions we make as an institution, as well as the ways we engage students and staff in the activities we undertake. It's about engaging people at the beginning of the process and, in turn, shifting the power dynamic towards one of co-creation. In short, it is the commitment to do ‘nothing about you without you’.
This agreement sets out the default for staff and students to act in good faith in all aspects of life at London Met. Building on the idea of mutual respect and kindness, this is about ensuring professionalism, consideration and dignity for everyone - with all parties being a ‘critical friend’.
We are committed to fostering a strong community bond and mutual understanding that lets us move forward and find common ground, even when we disagree or feel that mistakes have been made. This is at the very core of what a true partnership model is. Partnership working will be critical to advancing difficult conversations that allow everyone to understand and empathise with the issues of the day.