Research conducted by the University of York Students’ Union has outlined key improvements that should be made to the collegiate system.
The report calls for an increase in funding and resources for colleges, for a more consistent and clearer role to be outlined for colleges, and for more time to be invested into improving the collegiate system.
It is hoped that these targets will work towards the attainment of YUSU’s “vision for the collegiate system”: a stronger community; greater support for college members; greater leadership and direction in colleges.
Tim Ellis, YUSU President, stated: “YUSU has made some key recommendations to the University on how we can help build on the community, support, and also the accountability of the collegiate structure, and we are hoping this might be the start of a new look at the role that Colleges play at York.”
He added that “colleges are one of the main things that set York apart as a University… it was felt necessary to have an in-depth look at the support and prominence that has been given to them.”
The report identified the key strengths of the collegiate system to be welfare support, the social networks it helps form, and the sense of belonging and community spirit it affords.
It outlined the general weaknesses of colleges to be their potential to force students into groups, and to leave students out owing to the location of the college.
The growing number of students in each college was recognised as a problem that undermines support and a sense of community spirit.
York is one of few universities in the UK, alongside Oxford, Cambridge and Durham, to use the collegiate system. It has developed six more colleges since the completion of Derwent and Langwith in 1965.