Posted on Tue 12 Mar 2019 at 15:47 by Jonathan Hall
Well somehow it’s time for another end of term report. Where did the last three months go? It’s been another highly productive term with lots of exciting project in the works, and I’m looking forward to making the most of my final four months as Education Officer.
What have I done this term?
Right to ReCap poster campaign has gone out for distribution across campus, letting students know the facts about the ReCap policy and encouraging them to challenge a lack of ReCap provision when they aren’t being provided with appropriate reasons for its absence. It’s important that this is a long-term campaign for NUSU, as we need to continuously promote student understanding of the ReCap policy. That way we can work better towards a campus where ReCap support ALL students learning where it can, and put an end to the old and tired excuses that have held it back all these years.
Robinson Library summer open hours
A key pledge of my manifesto was to extend summer open hours in the Robinson Library for Postgraduate Taught Students doing their dissertation. I’m pleased to announce that the library have agreed to look at extending the open hours over the summer by reducing the access time from 24 hours in the first week or two in Semester 1. This approach is due to very little-to-no usage of the building past 10PM in those weeks, so would not come at a disadvantage to undergraduate students. I’ve worked with all schools to find out the dissertation deadline dates across the summer and identify key weeks that the access hours should be extended. I’m now waiting on further data from the library on funding and current usage to work out the next steps in our approach.
I ran the Shout Out again this term to further boost awareness of reps and once again collect student feedback on the changes they want to see made. The campaign was again successful, but a lesson learnt was that it should not be as two week long campaigns. Instead, I would recommend to my successor that they run the campaign in November as a launch for rep awareness, and then sustain it as a long-term campaign throughout the year so that reps are continuously supported in a far more efficient way.
Student-Staff Committees (SSC’s)
I’ve been working with our team in the Your Voice office to make revisions to the University Student Representation policy to ensure that from next year, society representatives are given a role on SSC’s. Following a PGR focus group, I am also looking at introducing EDI reps onto SSC’s to allow for a specific representative to which students can raise issues relating to equality, diversity and inclusion on their course.
Additional Course Costs
I drafted questions relating to additional course costs which were included in the annual NUSU survey. When the survey closes we will start to analyse the responses to support our Value for Money paper which I will take to University Education Committee (UEC).
Cutting the Costs
Raff and I planned a week dedicated to cutting the costs on campus. Unfortunately this had to be postponed until May due to issues with the Freebie Fair. However, we still ran deals in the shop and of course, 50% off at Shijo for a whole week!
Week off after January Exams
A paper is going round for consultation across the University on how the Shape of the Academic Year could be changed. One of the strongest options is the original NUSU proposal to bring in a week after January exams by taking a week from the Easter break, and that continues to be the priority that I will push for when it comes to decision time.
- Helping to moderate the NSR debates for Postgraduate and Education Officer
- Secured NUSU representation on the University Placement Development Group which I now sit on.
- Visited the London campus to hold a focus group with students and reps.
- Consulting with the University on the development of the new online induction programme for 2019 UG students.
- Carried out further consultation across the University on PG issues and areas of focus for the new PG Sabb.
- Begun the Shortlisting Process for the TEA’s, which received a record number of 443 nominations this year!
- Attended the NUSU Student Summit.
- Had a good chit-chat with Maisie Williams.
What has been you biggest achievement??
That easily has to be the work started on extending the summer library hours. But I’ll be pushing to secure many big wins next semester including getting society and EDI reps introduced to SSC’s, lobbying for a week off after January exams, and tackling printer credits.
What could you have improved on?
I originally hoped to have moved further along with the Value for Money report by now, as I’ve had little time to support further research with the high workload this term.
What do you plan to do next term?
- Complete the ‘Value for Money’ and take recommendations to UEC.
- Collaborate closely with the Student Advice Centre to ensure that any proposed reforms to the University PEC procedures do not disadvantage any students who are protected by the current system.
- Analyse the printer credit reports to prepare proposals for redistribution of credits.
- Attend the Wonkhe student conference and Post-18 review Seminar.
- Run Cutting the Costs in May.
- Compile a strategy for increasing the visibility and awareness of Academic Reps.