When feeding back to your reps and your Student-Staff Committee (SSC) it is important to note what sort of topics that they will be able to bring up and discuss. As a general rule, your SSC will focus on academic issues. These might include:
- Assessment e.g. deadlines or balance between exams and coursework.
- Feedback e.g. is the feedback provided adequate? Is it being returned within the agreed upon timeframe?
- Curriculum content e.g. the structure of the module or reading list.
- Resources e.g. the availability of specialist software or the accessibility of PowerPoint slides.
- Student support/guidance e.g. Personal Tutors and peer mentoring.
- Career development e.g. opportunities to develop graduate skills or network with employers.
- Social initiatives e.g. organising cultural events.
What kind of feedback isn’t discussed at your SSC?
- Problems with your academic performance or the performance of another student.
- This is an issue to raise with a module tutor, module leader, or personal tutor.
- Complaints about the conduct of another student or staff member.
- Finance, housing or visa issues.
- Your first point of contact for these issues is Student Services. You can find out more by visiting their website or visiting Level 2 Kings Gate Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm (except Wednesdays, 10am-5pm).
- For advice on finance and housing issues you can also visit the NUSU Student Advice Centre.
- Wellbeing issues.
- If you are concerned about your wellbeing or the wellbeing of another student, please visit the Student Health and Wellbeing website.
- You can find mental health emergency and out of hours help here.
- Avoid mentioning individual staff members by name when providing negative criticism. Instead, focus on the specific aspects which you believe need to be addressed.
- Be respectful and mindful in your language when giving feedback and participating in discussions.
- Consider giving feedback about the positive aspects of your course. In these instances, of course, it’s fine to mention individual lecturers by name!
Not all of the issues that you raise can be solved immediately and, in some cases (e.g. the heating in lecture theatres) they might be beyond the control of the School. Nevertheless, it is always worth giving feedback so your Reps can explore potential solutions with staff. Moreover, while you might not see the benefits of all the improvements made based on your feedback during your time at Newcastle, these changes could benefit future students.