I’m pleased to announce that from autumn this year, postgraduate research students (PGRs) will have access to free printing! This has been achieved with the support of academic faculties, and after much wrangling over budgeting and finance was finally announced yesterday.
Last year the University (and specifically, CIS) moved to standardise the printing provision in departments across the University, resulting in the removal of many free departmental printing services for postgraduate researchers. Stopgap measures were introduced to provide limited free printer credit to reduce the impact on PGRs, but for many students the combination of research and teaching duties meant this was not enough to cover the costs integral to their role in the department.
Continuing Sabrina's (last year’s Postgraduate Academic Officer) lobbying on this, I have been working with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) and the wider University Education Committee on a proposal to move PGR students onto the staff printing system. In effect, this will provide them with free printing, and reflect the similarity of needs between academic staff and research students in terms of the resources required to carry out their work.
Yesterday at Senate, the University announced that it has agreed to implement this proposal from autumn this year. This means that not only will those PGRs who had free printing taken away from them get it back, but students of those departments that did not previously have free printing facilities will soon have access. This is a great win for postgraduate researchers, and forms an excellent stepping stone to work on tackling other study costs incurred by students in the coming year.