As part of its public information policy, Solent is committed to providing easily accessible information. As part of this, the University meets its legal requirements in regard to the Freedom of Information Act (2000) by publishing the following information.
1. What we are and what we do
1.1 Legal framework
Every educational institution (universities, as well as further or higher education institutions) has a legal basis, which forms its legal status. This legal status can have been obtained in a variety of ways such as by Instruments and Articles of Government, Charter or an Act of Parliament. The articles of Government can be found under the Education Reform Act 1988, s.40
The statutes and legislation conferring corporate status of some HE ‘corporations’ is also publicly available: see the Education Reform Act 1988, the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 and the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998, available at the Office of Public Sector Information.
Legal framework information relates to how Solent University was established and its standing from the point of view of the law. Details of our framework of governance can be found in the Governors’ handbook
The University’s principal officers consist of the Chancellor, the Chairman of the Board of Governors, the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellors, and the Chief Financial and Operating Officer.
1.2 How Solent University is organised
Solent University is organised into schools and services – view our university structure page for more detail.
1.3 Location and contact details
This information can be found on our find us and contact us pages.
1.4 Related organisations
The University's financial statement identifies organisations that the University has responsibility for and/or works in partnership with, and companies which are wholly owned by the University. Please contact us for a list of organisations sponsored in recent years.
1.5 Student activities
The University provides student activities through its sports clubs, Students' Union and library.
2. What we spend and how we spend it
2.1 Budgetary and account information
The University’s financial statements provide budgetary and account information.
2.2 Financial audit reports
The University’s financial audit reports are also included in the annual financial statements.
2.3 Capital programme
To support ongoing development of its core business, the University actively invests in both the estate and equipment. In order to aid financial planning, ensure that investment is in accordance with the University's strategic plan and is affordable, capital spending requirements are assessed over a three- to five year period.
The University's recent submission under the Capital Investment Framework 2 has resulted in capital funding from HEFCE for 2012/13. Together with capital expenditure from the University's own reserves these funds will be used to develop the estate, enhance the student experience and adapt to the changing nature of student learning. A significant proportion of the funds have been used to refurbish student residences, classrooms and the library.
During 2011/12, amounts capitalised as land and buildings during the year totalled £6.7m and additions to equipment were £2.0m.
The University continues to invest heavily in the development of its estate to ensure that its learning and teaching facilities remain modern and up to date, and fully support its pedagogic aims and objectives. Significant building projects completed during the 2011-2012 academic year include:
- Test Park, a £3.7m outdoor sports facility that includes teaching facilities, which support academic sports coaching courses as well as providing extensive recreational sports facilities for Football and American Football.
- A new Media Academy (completed in September 2012), to create a base for the Universities Solent Skillset Media Academy. This £1.8m development in the John Everett Millais building provides state of the art teaching facilities including a new TV studio, dedicated video and games design facilities, nine photography studios, and a 3D design lab.
- Total refurbishment of classrooms and social spaces on two floors of the Reginald Mitchell Building costing over £800k to provide modern teaching space including renewed IT media resources.
- Continued upgrading of student accommodation. Maintaining the University’s residential accommodation is a key element of underpinning the student experience and this year’s projects of approximately £2m in total have included new kitchens and showers at Southampton and Warsash and upgraded fire detections systems to the Southampton halls.
- Southampton School of Art, a £1.1m city centre teaching facility for art and design students, completed in August 2011.
The University is also planning a major redevelopment of the 1960’s East Park Terrace campus following the successful strategic acquisition of two parcels of land adjacent to the Southampton City campus in 2010. Following very constructive and positive discussions with the City Council, the University undertook an extensive EU compliant tender process and has engaged a professional design team consisting of internationally renowned architects and engineers and project manager to deliver new buildings by 2016.
2.4 Financial regulations and procedures
The University’s financial regulations and procedures provide information on financial framework, principles, procedures, regulations and instructions. They are available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org
2.5 Staff pay and grading structures
The University’s staff expenditure for each year is displayed within the annual financial statement. The University’s grading structure consists of 10 grades, with 51 spinal points.
2.6 Register of suppliers
Solent University’s register of suppliers provides a list of suppliers who currently hold contracts with the University; these contracts have gone through a formal tendering process and have been held since August 2010 to July 2011.
2.7 Procurement and tender procedures and reports
Solent University’s procurement and tender procedures provide pricing guidelines for the University.
Procurement, tender procedures and reports for Solent University
Goods, works, or services should be purchased ensuring value for money, at the right price, right specification and right time, whilst complying with European Union procurement guidelines.
Pricing guidelines are as follows:
- Purchase of works, goods or services up to £5,000 (including VAT) [£20,000 for contracted building work] should be made from approved Solent University suppliers. No formal documentation is required.
- Purchases of works, goods or services of between £5,000 [£20,000 for contracted building work] and £20,000 [£50,000 for contracted building work] (including VAT) and evidenced by at least three written quotations.
- Purchases of works, goods or services over £20,000 [£50,000 for building work] (including VAT) will be subject to a formal tender exercise.
- Purchase of works, goods or services over £156,000 [£3.8m for building work] will be subject to an OJEU procurement exercise.
Solent University’s contract list contains all contracts which have gone through a formal tendering process.
3. What our priorities are and how we are doing
3.1 Annual report
The University’s annual report is made available within the annual financial statement.
3.2 Corporate business plan
The University’s mission and strategy page outlines the University's vision, plans and objectives.
3.3 Teaching and learning strategy
The University’s Teaching and Learning strategy outlines our mission, objectives and performance indicators in delivery of teaching and learning.
3.4 Academic quality and standards
The Academic Services department is the custodian of the University’s academic standards and regulatory framework, and produces its quality assurance policies and processes.
3.5 External review information
Information on Solent University’s external review process is laid out in our academic handbook.
3.6 Corporate relations
The University’s corporate relations are set out in services to business and employers.
3.7 Government and regulatory reports
The University’s pages on governance identify which professional, statutory and regulatory bodies accredit our courses.
4. How we make decisions
Individual copies of minutes and papers of all boards and committees may be made available on request. However, in some instances information from committee minutes will be exempt from disclosure where it contains personal data, information that may damage the commercial interests of the University, or that may threaten the health and safety of specific individuals.
4.1 Minutes from Governing Body Council/Senate Academic Boards and Steering Groups
Minutes of the Board of Governors’ meetings are publicly available. Minutes from the academic boards are currently only available in hard copy on application. Applications for hard copy documentation should be made to the Information Management & Compliance Officer at email@example.com
4.2 Teaching and Learning Committee Minutes
While Solent University does not have a teaching and learning committee, minutes from the University's academic standards and development committee are available in hard copy on application. Applications for hard copy documentation should be made to the information management and compliance officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
4.3 Minutes of staff/student consultation meetings
The Student Liaison and Experience Committee operates as a channel of communication between the Board of Governors and the Students’ Union. Its remit relates to the non-academic aspects of the student experience. It also receives quarterly and annual Students’ Union management accounts, and advises the Board on these, as appropriate.
Minutes to the Student Liaison and Experience Committee are publicly available.
4.4 Appointment committees and procedures
Appointment committees and procedures can be found within Solent University’s Governors’ Handbook.
5. Our policies and procedures
5.1 Policies and procedures for conducting university business
Policies and procedures on conducting university business can be located within the Governors’ handbook.
5.2 Procedures and policies relating to academic services
University procedures and policies relating to academic services can be found within the academic handbook.
5.3 Procedures and policies relating to student services
The student handbook outlines the University's student policy and procedures, covering matters such as assessments, queries and appeals as well as academic misconduct.
5.4 Procedures and policies relating to human resources
Human resources procedures and policies cover information on the University’s strategy and management, rather than information relating to individual members of staff, which is exempt from disclosure as personal information.
5.5 Procedures and policies relating to recruitment
Human Resources provide a comprehensive recruitment, selection, and appointments service. The purpose of Solent University's recruitment process is to appoint employees who have the relevant skills, qualifications and experience to make a positive contribution to the University. All appointments are made in accordance with relevant employment law and professional practice.
5.6 Code of conduct for members of governing bodies
The code of conduct for members of governing bodies can be found in the University’s Governors’ handbook.
5.7 Equality and diversity
Solent University has an active equality scheme and ethics policy.
5.8 Health and safety
The board of Governors and directorate consider the health and safety of the employees and students of Solent University to be of paramount importance and are committed to continuing improvements in standards of health and safety. This commitment is outlined in the University’s health and safety policy.
5.9 Estate management
The executive summary of the University’s estates strategy outlines the key objectives for East Park Terrace, Warsash, sports, estate investment, sustainability and the environment.
5.10 Complaints policy
For complaints relating to this publication scheme please see our complaints procedure.
Solent University also holds a student complaints policy.
5.11 Records management and personal data policies
The University’s records management and personal data policies include data protection procedures, data protection policy, email usage policy, internet usage policy, IT security policy and maintenance of records.
5.12 Research policy and strategy
Solent University’s Research and Enterprise strategy can be found within the University’s academic handbook.
The research policy and strategy does not include the actual results of data from research undertaken. It should also be noted that in some cases information that reveals identity of those involved in the research process may be exempt from publication for health and safety reasons.
5.13 Charging regimes and policies
The University holds charging regimes and policies on:
6. Lists and registers
6.1 Any information we are currently legally required to hold in publicly available registers
Information which needs to be displayed in publicly available registers, under current legal requirements, is provided within the annual auditor's report. The auditor's report is currently displayed within the University's financial statement.
6.2 Asset registers
The University operates out of two campuses, in Southampton city centre and Warsash; it also has halls of residence in both locations. The net book value of freehold and long leasehold land and building can be found in the University's financial statement.
6.3 Disclosure logs
The University’s disclosure logs list the requests for information Solent University has received and the responses provided under the Freedom of Information Act 2000:
Download the 2015/16 disclosure log
Download the 2014/15 disclosure log
Download the 2013/14 disclosure log
Download the 2012/13 disclosure log
6.4 Register of gifts and hospitality provided to senior personnel
The University's policy on the receipt of gifts is set out in its financial regulations, point 3.5.2 Orders for work, goods and services.
Solent University's policy on accepting gifts and hospitality for governors is set out in the code of corporate governance and the Governors’ handbook.
6.5 Any register of interests kept in the University
The Governors’ register of interests is available online.
The register of interest for the Vice-Chancellor’s Group is available here.
7. Services we offer
Courses available at Solent University are displayed and detailed in the courses section of this website, and in our undergraduate and postgraduate prospectuses.
7.2 Services for outside bodies
Services for outside bodies are outlined in items such as our Mission statement, student experience satisfaction survey and our teaching and learning strategy.
7.3 Course content
The Solent University Solent Online Learning site provides course and unit documents, which include unit descriptors and programmes specifications.
Each degree programme is split into years and then units. Each year of a course will consist of a number of units which are either core or optional. A description of all units taught on each course, organised by academic year, is available on Solent Online Learning.
The programme specification provides the aim of the programme/course and sets out its intended learning outcomes. These documents are also organised by academic year for the Schools.
7.4 Welfare and counselling
The University's student hub offers welfare and support services, and the hub’s pages on the University portal contains links to all other aspects of student welfare such as where to obtain funding advice and study assistance.
7.5 Health including medical services
The University’s student hub also holds a list of doctor and dental surgeries providing medical services in the area.
The careers and employability team provide advice and information for students and graduates looking for work. They also provide a section for employers where they can advertise vacancies to students.
7.7 Spirituality and reflection services
The Spirituality and Reflection service page gives details and information about the spirituality and reflection facilities at the University and provides contact information for places of worship throughout the city. There is also an extensive list of useful websites, as well as the Spirituality and Reflection statement of service.
7.8 Services for which the University is entitled to recover a fee
Guidance and information regarding the University’s fees and costs can be found on the fees and finance page.
7.9 Sports and recreational facilities
Solent Sport provides sports facilities and courses at the East Park Terrace campus. Solent Sport also offers a wide range of activities for both staff and students.
7.10 Museums, libraries, special collections and archives
Solent University is home to the Mountbatten Library.
7.11 Conference facilities
The University’s conference facilities are located within the Spark building on the main campus in the centre of Southampton. The facilities on offer include reception, meeting rooms, audio visual facilities and hospitality.
7.12 Advice and guidance
The University has a dedicated area for the support of students, the Student Hub. The Hub provides support in both practical and personal issues including student affairs, mental health and funding.
7.13 Local campaigns
All the University’s local campaigns can be found by using the search box on the Solent University homepage.
7.14 Media releases
The University’s news archive provides details of any media releases.
If you have any questions regarding our publication scheme please contact the Information Management and Compliance Officer on:
Tel: 023 8201 3229
Complaints concerning requests for information
It is important that this publication scheme meets your needs. If you find the scheme difficult to understand, please let us know. We also welcome suggestions as to how our scheme might be improved. Any questions, comments or complaints about this scheme should, in the first instance, be directed to the publication scheme co-ordinator below:
Head of Student Records and Compliance
East Park terrace
Tel: 023 8201 3085
Fax: 023 8023 3475
Complaints concerning the operation of the publication scheme
If you are in any way dissatisfied with the handling of your complaint, please contact:
The Vice Chancellor
East Park Terrace
If we are unable to resolve any complaint, you are entitled to contact the Information Commissioner's Office, the independent body who oversees the Freedom of Information Act:
Information Commissioner's Office
More information about the Freedom of Information Act is available on the Information Commissioner's website at www.ico.org.uk
The information herein was correct at the date of publication. Solent University cannot guarantee that this information will not be changed after the date of publication. Solent University is not responsible for the information contained in any external links used throughout the publication scheme.
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