Students and staff should be able to enjoy the benefits of social networking whilst understanding the standards of conduct expected by the University.

Good practice guide: social media

The University recognises that social media has the potential to support and advance learning opportunities and collaborative working both within the University between current students and staff and externally with our partners, alumni and prospective students.

The University also recognises that students and members of staff may wish to use social media for personal use.

It is important to recognise that the use of social media can pose risks which impact on the wellbeing of students and staff and the reputation of the University.

The social media for employees' policy and social media guidance is intended to minimise these risks, so that students and staff can enjoy the benefits of social networking whilst understanding the standards of conduct expected by the University.

The guidelines should be applied to all use and all forms of social media where there is potential impact on the University, whether for work-related or personal use, whether during working hours or otherwise, whether the social media is accessed using the University’s IT facilities and equipment, or equipment belonging to members of staff or any other third party.

Students and staff should apply the same standards of conduct online as they are expected to apply offline. In summary: Think before you post!

University response to misuse of social media

The University’s response to any misuse of social media in a personal capacity will be reasonable and proportionate to the perceived offence; the nature of the postings/comments made and the impact or potential impact on the University.

Social networking sites may be referred to when investigating possible misconduct/gross misconduct.

The University may require staff to remove social media postings which are deemed to constitute a breach of these standards and failure to comply with such a request may, in itself, result in disciplinary action.

Where students or staff access social media for work-related purposes or personal use using the University’s IT facilities and equipment, the University’s IT regulations will apply.

Using social media at work

The University recognises that members of staff may occasionally wish to use social media for personal use at their place of work, by means of the University’s computers, networks and other IT resources and communications systems. Such incidental and occasional use of these systems is permitted, provided that:

  • it is not excessive
  • does not disrupt, distract or is intrusive to the conduct of University business and/or work colleagues (for example, due to volume, frequency or cost)
  • such communications do not bring the University into disrepute.

Where appropriate, in accordance with the IT regulations and where the law permits, the University reserves the right to monitor use of social media platforms and take appropriate action to protect against any misuse that may be harmful to the University.