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Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

In this section:

Prior to embarking on a placement, departments should ensure that students are made aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Students’ Rights

Students have the right to expect that opportunities will be available to enable them to achieve the learning outcomes established for a placement by the relevant Warwick department. Departments are responsible for making students aware of the learning outcomes, identifying and making students aware of opportunities for skills training which will enable learning outcomes to be met (i.e. language skills, personal development planning) and by establishing a Learning Agreement between the department, the student and the placement provider.

The student needs to be in a position to understand the risks and to make informed judgements. You and the placement provider can help by providing general information about the placement and information on health and safety factors to the student before the student accepts a placement. The student should be encouraged to seek out further information and to consider the risks associated not only with the placement provider but with the environment in which they will live and socialise. The amount of information that the student will need in advance will depend on the extent to which the placement is unusual, complex, or involves significant risk.

In all cases the student should also be provided with the following information:

  • instructions about the general requirements and arrangements for the student to report any concerns about their health and safety while on placement.
  • extra information on any additional issues or concerns highlighted by the risk assessment
  • a copy of your expectations of the student, the placement provider, and your department with regard to their specific placement.

As placement students continue to be registered Warwick students, they have the right to access student support services available within the University.

The Institute of Education’s Initial Teacher Training Service Level Agreement (SLA) sets out the trainee's entitlement to quality, time, planned provision, feedback and monitoring, and any additional experiences in which they can be involved (e.g. extra assignments and learning opportunities, work shadowing and extra-curricular activities). This is balanced by a School (placement provider) entitlement to information, written guidance, support from University tutors and the partnership office, training of mentors and feedback.

Students' Responsibilities

Generally, the student has the following basic set of health and safety responsibilities, though these may need to be amended so that they are relevant to the placement.

Their responsibilities to the Placement Provider:

  • Abide by all rules regarding health and safety requirements, and other practices and procedures of the placement organisation.
  • Carry out the work or study programme specified by the placement provider under the supervision of the specified supervisor(s).
  • Inform the placement provider of any health concerns or disability that may require adjustments.
  • Report any concerns about health and safety at their placement to their placement provider

Their responsibilities to the University / Department:

  • Attend briefing sessions and access all provided information.
  • Inform the Placement Learning Co-ordinator of any personal factors (e.g. health, disability, linguistic or of differing national expectations) that may affect the level of risk or may require adjustments.
  • Consult with the Placement Learning Co-ordinator prior to seeking any changes in the terms and duration of the placement.
  • Report any incidents in which they are involved and any health and safety concerns that are not addressed by their placement provider to their Placement Learning Co-ordinator.

Most departments impress upon students their role as representatives of the institution and responsibilities towards placement providers, customers, clients, patients and employees. This is generally mandated by professional body requirements for students on the MBChB, MA/Diploma in Social Work and Initial Teacher Training courses and is good practice in all placement learning contexts.

'Students have a responsibility to meet the norms and expectations for professional conduct in the particular field of work or study that they are undertaking through the work-based or placement learning including those students who are on an overseas placement. For example, students on a health-related practice must conduct themselves and practice within an ethical framework'

QAA Code of Practice Section 9: Placement Learning

Where a placement may provide the student’s first experience in a foreign country or work environment, it is also important to inform students of their responsibilities for managing both their own learning and professional relationships, recording progress and achievements and for alerting the placement provider and University to problems with the placement as soon as possible.

Additional Responsibilities identified by Departments

The 'Year in Italy' handbook produced by the Department of Italian Studies clearly sets out the student's responsibilities in preparation for, during and upon return from years abroad. These include:

  • Attendance at meeting and workshops in preparation for the year abroad
  • Respect for and adherence to guidance offered by the Italian Department
  • Completion of paperwork for the host and home Universities
  • Conduct of preparatory arrangements for the year abroad
  • Engagement in Correspondence with the host institution
  • Provision of information to the Italian Department of address abroad
  • Contact with the International Office/ERASMUS Co-ordinator in the host institution
  • Respect for the laws and culture of the host country
  • Responsibility for their own learning
  • Timely completion of assignments
  • Submission of assignments and feedback forms to the department within deadlines
  • Response to communication from the department or University
  • Attendance at the Easter Venice visit
  • Notification to the department of any emergencies or major problems
  • Arrangements for return to Warwick
  • Participation in a debriefing upon return

The Department of French Studies defines similar expectations, including 'You are expected to take responsibility for your own learning in developing your command of both spoken and written French, and for the development of your knowledge of the culture, history, traditions and social circumstances of the country in which you are staying'.

The School of Comparative American Studies and Department of History require students to sign a 'Study Abroad Declaration' stating that they will remain at the designated institution during semester dates, provide information required by the History Department, fulfil the requirements of the course, be available for interview by Warwick staff visiting the placement, comply with formal instructions relating to course regulations and inform the department of e-mail and postal addresses abroad.

The MA/Diploma Social Work handbook prepared by the School of Health and Social Studies sets out the roles and responsibilities for all parties involved in the placement; the tutor, student and practice teacher.