Class 2: How we deliver our functions & services

Information about our work, our strategy and policies for delivering functions and services and information for our service users.

See all courses offered by Inverness College UHI.

Recruitment and admissions

Our prospectus, website and pre-entry information are designed to provide clear guidance on course choices and entry requirements. Information is also available on the provision of additional support which may be required for a student to take up their studies. Applicants who do not meet the standard entry requirements will be able to discuss their circumstances with a member of the Guidance Team or a subject specialist. If an applicant requires support to complete their application, this can be provided by a Guidance and Progression Officer.

Applications for all courses are recorded and acknowledged by our Admissions, Funding and Progression team. The team will also inform the applicant of the decision made on their application.

Students receiving an offer of a place in the forthcoming year will be invited, where appropriate, to join summer events to help build their confidence, improve their study skills and meet other students before the start of their course.

See also information on recruitment and admissions to the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Fees and charges

Inverness College UHI follows the Scottish Government guidelines on determining fee status for all students. Information on our tuition fees and associated charges is available on request.

HE students should apply to SAAS to have their tuition fees paid. Information can be found on the SAAS website. Most full-time FE students will be entitled to an automatic fee waiver. Part-time study and short-term full-time courses will normally incur a fee however students may be eligible for a fee waiver depending on their personal circumstances e.g. students in receipt of benefits or on a low income. Skills Development Scotland also operate Individual learning accounts which some students may be eligible for to assist with fee payments.

Students are given details of fee status and information about funding at the time of offer. More information on all forms of finance is available on request.

Bursaries and funding

Inverness College subscribes to the Scottish Funding Council policy for bursaries and education maintenance allowances (EMAs). This policy sets out the conditions on which bursaries and EMAs may be awarded and sets the rates for the calculation of each award. The policy encompasses the improvement of learning and skills in Scotland; fair access, participation and progression in and through further and higher education; and the creation and transfer of knowledge.

The further education bursary fund is cash limited and students who are eligible for support are not automatically entitled to this support.

For higher education students, the Student Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) processes student loans.

Students experiencing financial hardship may apply to the college discretionary and hardship funds.

Induction

All students are enrolled prior to commencement of their programme of study.

Following enrolment, all students have a comprehensive induction programme which introduces students to the college and to their course. All students are provided with a student handbook.

The college induction covers many things, such as: the layout of college campuses, where to find key staff for support, guidance, funding and finance, where to access help with study skills, how to use the facilities and resources in the Learning Centre as well as sports and other recreational facilities etc.

Each course will have its own induction which will cover topics such as getting to know people on their course, getting to know more about the course and what to expect, an understanding of the demands of study and how the course will be assessed/examined.

Examinations and assessments

The college follows the examination and assessment guidelines as laid down by the various awarding bodies such as Scottish Qualification Authority and City and Guilds.  Students are provided with information about examination and assessment arrangements by academic staff and at the start of external examinations by invigilators. For Further Education students the appeals procedure can be found in the student handbook.

Information on arrangements for Higher Education examinations can be found in the UHI assessment guidelines. This document also contains the appeals process for Higher Education and regulations for progression.

Learning support provision

Additional support

At the college we welcome all students with disabilities, specific learning difficulties, or other support needs. We will make every effort to remove potential barriers to access and achievement. Students are encouraged to disclose any additional support need at application, enrolment, studies advising interviews or directly to the Additional Support team at any point in their time at college. The team uses information supplied at application or enrolment to help us to provide services for students. We will contact students who disclose, to see whether we can provide any help.  Whether the offer of help is accepted; or the measures agreed continue to be used, will always be the student’s decision.

Personal learning and support plans (PLSPs)

All students with additional support needs are entitled to a Personal Learning and Support Plan. This is developed and agreed with the student and details the support measures we will provide. These may include provision of specialist learning support; adaptations to methods and materials; adjustments to assessment and exam arrangements; access to specialist technology; assistance to apply for the Disabled Students’ and minor changes to the teaching environment.  Support Plans are regularly reviewed with students and up-dated as necessary.

Disclosure of data

All personal information provided by or about an individual will be treated in accordance with the principles of   the current Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulations when it comes in to effect on 25th May 2018. Confidentiality will be respected and measures are taken to prevent unauthorised disclosure. In common with all universities and colleges, we are required to send anonymous data about disabilities to the Scottish Funding Council and other Government agencies so they may collect data for future planning of education provision. Further information regarding our processing of personal data can be found on the college’s website under the Data Protection tab at the foot of the home page or by clicking on the following link. https://www.inverness.uhi.ac.uk/about-us/data-protection/data-protection.

Sensitive data

Some of the information students share with staff is defined as ‘sensitive’ or falls under the definition of “special categories of data” under the new EU General Data Protection Regulation. This includes details about health and any disability, including specific learning needs. We will ask for explicit written consent before passing on any sensitive data (except in the case of emergency health need if a student is temporarily unable to give this). We will always ask a student to sign a document providing consent to our sharing their information, detailing whom we may share it with, before we disclose any ‘sensitive’ information, unless there is a legal requirement for us to share it.

Extenuating circumstances

If information about health or other personal circumstances is disclosed by a student claiming extenuating circumstances, this will be used purely for that purpose and will not be otherwise shared.

Retaining personal data

The Additional Support Service will retain information shared with staff and records of the support provided for one further year after studies are completed, in line with the college’s records retention schedule. This information will be remain secure and will not be shared without written consent.

Contacting the additional support team

Members of the public who wish to enquire about the service can call the Additional Support Manager direct on 01463 273526, can email to additionalsupport.ic@uhi.ac.uk or can be referred to the team by the Information Desk staff on 01463 273000. The Text phone number is 01463 273180.

Written enquiries should be addressed to:

Additional Support Manager
Inverness College UHI
1 Inverness Campus
Inverness
IV2 5NA

Support structures

All students have a named Personal Academic Tutor who plays a key role in enhancing the quality of the learner’s experience. The role focuses on academic guidance, but also identifies problems at an early stage and may involve referring students to other support areas of the college.

Students have ready access to the Guidance Team for help with questions on funding, accommodation, personal issues, careers and progression opportunities.

The college also provides a counselling service for students. The counsellor is professionally qualified and has substantial experience of working with students. All of the help and support offered remains confidential and is a free service for students. Any problem, no matter how big or small, can be brought to the counsellor. Common concerns for students include academic pressures, panic attacks, family and relationship difficulties, eating disorders, issues with self-esteem and confidence, depression, anxiety and bereavement.

In addition to these services the college works in partnership with a range of agencies from the public, private and voluntary sectors to meet the needs of individual students.

At present the college does not have a chaplaincy service.

Inverness College UHI does not have a formal medical support service however fully trained first aiders are available to cover accidents and emergencies.

Progression

Students can progress through further education courses (SCQF levels 3-6) on to higher education courses (SCQF levels 7-12) within the college and these routes are outlined in the college prospectus. We deliver a number of access programmes at levels 3 and 4 and a broad range of Highers for students preparing to enter university level study. For more information, please see the progression diagram in the college prospectus.

Careers services

From helping students make initial career choices to pointing out relevant career opportunities, the Guidance Team are trained, friendly professionals who can help students in every stage of career choice and development. Services include CV workshops, interview techniques and help with filling in job application forms.

Higher Education students also have access to the wide range of resources and services provided by the UHI Career Centre.

Student welfare

The college aims to support students through their studies and their student lives. Confidential and professional support is available through the Guidance Team who are available at all college campuses at various publicised times to help students with a range of needs: course progression, funding, health, housing, personal matters, careers, job searching, study support, debt management, immigration, relocating and counselling.

More details are available on the student advice services page on the college website.

Student accommodation

The on campus student residences are run by City Heart. The Admissions Team send out information on the residences to all students at point of an offer of place being made. In addition to this, City Heart attend our Open Day events to promote their services and to provide tours of the residences. The Guidance Team provide support to students on all housing matters.  The team have a list of accommodation available in Inverness. The Guidance Team can support students through the process of selecting, securing and funding accommodation.

Student discipline

The student code of conduct includes cyber conduct and academic misconduct. These are highlighted at induction, and as necessary throughout the course. Disciplinary action may be taken against students who breach the code of conduct. For gross misconduct, the college reserves the right to withdraw a student from his/her course as a disciplinary measure without previous warning.

Read the College’s Student Disciplinary Procedure.

Student complaints

The college complaints policy and procedure clearly identify the people to whom both formal and informal complaints can be made. The quality department provides information to students, the Student’s Association, staff and the public about how to make or handle complaints in leaflet format.

Awards ceremonies

Each year the College holds a Prize Giving ceremony, normally in June and a Graduation Ceremony, normally in late September/early October

Student facilities

Library facilities

The Learning Centre is on the 2nd floor of the main campus. It is open to all staff and students and has a wide range of books and other learning materials. Access is provided to the UHI online resources (e.g. library catalogue, journals and ebooks) via the computers.  Wi-fi is also available for those who wish to use mobile devices.

Support in using the Learning Centre is provided through a general introduction to the service and the Student Guide at the beginning of the academic year and one-to-one advice on request.  Tutorial sessions in using online resources are also available.

Students can access materials held in other UHI partner libraries and inter-library loans from the British Library can also be arranged.

There is a small subject library at the Scottish School of Forestry at Balloch.

The SkillZone offers workshops, one-to-one and small group support to enhance student learning across a range of essential skills.  The Essential Skills Officer can be contacted on 01463 273888 or e-mail SkillZone.ic@uhi.ac.uk

The Additional Support Service can loan assistive technology to students with additional needs and provide support in its use e.g. laptops with assistive software installed, word processors, sound recording devices and more.  The Learning Technologist is based in the Learning Centre and can provide further information on this service.  Contact 01463 273810 or ICLT.ic@uhi.ac.uk

Members of the public may use the Learning Centre by joining as external borrowers – this entitles them to study in the Learning Centre and borrow books.  It does not allow them to use the PC network or borrow books from other UHI Colleges.

Opening hours – Library and Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

Monday: 08:30 to 18:00
Tuesday & Wednesday: 08:30 to 20.00
Thursday & Friday: 08:30 to 17:00
Saturday: 09.00 to 13.00

For further information please contact the Learning Centre:

Telephone: +44 (0)1463 273248
Email: learningcentre.ic@uhi.ac.uk

Relationship with the Student’s Association

The student body voted to be part of the Highlands and Islands Student’s Association (HISA) in June 2017 which consequently led to the Inverness Students’ Association being dissolved. In Inverness we have four part time Executive Officers and we benefit from being part of the wider HISA body which represents students across the partnership.  The college also provides administrative support to the Student’s Association as well as a part time Student Engagement Officer.  The staffing of the students’ association and nature of the way the college and HISA work together will evolve over time with a view to student partnership being strengthened.

The college Students' Association is run by students for students, and represents their views.  To ensure the students voice is heard, legislation states that two students shall be appointed as Members to the Board of Management.   The Student‘s Association is also heard on a national level as they are affiliated to NUS.

Students are represented on a number of college committees and there are regular meetings between the Student President, the HISA Student Engagement Officer and the Head of Student Services.

Further information about the Student Association Constitution and the Student Executive Activities can be obtained from:-

HISA
Inverness College UHI
1 Inverness Campus
Inverness
IV2 5NA

E-mail: HISA.Inverness.Pres@uhi.ac.uk
Tel: 01463 273438/226588

Teaching quality

This section contains information regarding the management of teaching quality within the college, including mechanisms for reviewing and ensuring the quality of teaching provision.

Programme specifications

These are validated by the awarding body, and include all arrangements, including roles and responsibilities.

Programme approval

The College’s Academic Standards and Quality Committee is responsible for approving all new course proposals. Arrangements for programme approval are set out in the Quality Manual. Information can be requested from the Quality Unit (contact details below).

Student experience/satisfaction

The College undertakes two formal anonymous student satisfaction surveys per academic year which cover pre entry, learning and teaching, resources, support and pre-exit.

A number of themed student focus groups to obtain feedback on the student experience are held throughout the academic session. The Students’ Association are fully involved in this process. Progress on actions arising from student feedback is monitored by the Quality Department.

Assessment

Procedures for assessing student’s knowledge and academic abilities are detailed in the academic regulations. Regular internal and external audits monitor the effectiveness of our quality assurance processes for assessment.

Professional accreditation of courses by external bodies and validation

Details of the duration and accreditation of programmes by awarding bodies and of validated programmes are maintained by the Quality Department and located on a central database.

Quality assurance and institutional review

Internal and external audits take place throughout the academic year. External audits are conducted by a range of awarding bodies. Annual self-evaluation reports and action plans are prepared for each programme area.

The college offers a range of continuing professional development opportunities to staff, which can include peer observation and mentoring. Further information is available on request, although some exemptions may apply.

The college’s higher education provision is reviewed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) as part of the University of the Highlands and Islands provision. Reports on subject specific reviews can be obtained from the QAA website or by contacting:

Quality Unit
Inverness College UHI
1 Inverness Campus
Inverness
IV2 5NA

Email: quality.unit.ic@uhi.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1463 273000

Education Scotland reviews

The college further education is inspected by Education Scotland on an annual basis. Copies of college reviews are available on the Education Scotland website.

Information services

Computing facilities

Students and staff using the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and facilities must abide by the ICT Code of Conduct. The College is connected to the UK academic network known as JANET, and abides by the regulations of use as described in the JANET Acceptable Use Policy.