What are Big Wins?

When it comes to the decisions that affect your academic experience, NUSU is here to ensure the student's voice is heard right across the University. Based on student feedback, our student Reps & Officers are able to secure University-wide changes to benefit students - we call these our Big Wins.

 

 

More Big Wins:

You have received extra Print Credits if you are a final year UG and PGT student

Due to campaigning by your current NUSU Sabbatical Officer team, if you are a UG, not studying medicine or dentistry, or PGT student you should have found an extra £10 in your print credits during the Christmas break.

You received extra funds for food on campus if you are student from care

To help with the costs of attending University, your NUSU President, Katie Smyth, helped secure £2,000 for care leavers to spend at eat@Newcastle outlets across campus.

You will have access to free dissertation binding

Thanks to your NUSU Sabbatical Officers, for this academic year all UG & PGT students will have access to free dissertation binding.

You now have access to free sanitary products across campus

To help tackle period poverty and the stigma that surrounds it, following last year’s announcement, your NUSU Sabbatical Officers have been working with the University to get eight vending machines distributing free sanitary items up and running across campus.

You will have access to a Student Support Plan (SSP) if you are a Postgraduate Research student

Following postgraduate student consultations, your Postgraduate Officer, Karina, and the Student Wellbeing team are drafting a new SSP designed for the Postgraduate Research Student community for this February with the aim of a new PGR SSP to be implemented across the University coming the 2020/21 academic year.

You will have microwaves in University libraries

Due to the hard work of Pablo, your current NUSU Education Officer, Microwaves are coming to University libraries. More details to follow soon!

You now have an online induction, to help with the transition to University

Inspired by previous NUSU Campaigns, such as Bridging the Gap, the University and NUSU co-developed Newcastle Beginnings, an online induction for new students designed to help you settle in and give you a head start with your studies.

You will now have 30 minute break times in the Library

You have extended opening hours at the Urban Sciences Building

You are now recognized on the PEC policy if you are a Student Carer

You are not automatically deemed fit to take an exam if you sit it

You have improved access to the University if you are a disabled student

You can contact your Student Reps through the University’s app

Your Big Wins:

At NUSU we work in partnership with the University to ensure that you have a fully functioning Academic Rep system in place that will help achieve the changes that you want to see in your Course and School. Click on your School to find some of the wins they have achieved for you.

2018/19

  • Secured a new kettle, microwave and a fridge for students.
  • Secured the installation of a lightbox in the photography room.
  • Timetables are now displayed on all the PODs.
  • Set up a student-led Blackboard page with Reps as admins to post SVC updates, minutes and agendas.
  • Put up Student Voice ‘You Said, We Did’ boards in Architecture studios.
  • Gained funding and support for student-run initiative ‘SIGNAL’ to give the School a greater connection to the world outside of University.
  • Following student complaints that professional printing and binding the Strategies into Action background and strategy reports was too expensive, students next year will only need to submit a black and white stapled copy, provided they submit a colour online copy.

Previous Years

  • Worked with Estates to fix heating issues in the Urban Sciences Building.
  • Architecture SSC have created an anonymous mental health blog for students to post their experiences.
  • Secured more opportunities for Geography and Planning students to take design modules next year.
  • Made peer evaluation compulsory for Planning group work.
  • Reduced the teaching bookings in the Planning studio so it more available as a social space.
  • Suggestion boards erected in Architecture.
  • New coffee machine in Kofi Bar.
  • New kettle for the Planning social space.
  • Secured remarking for Stage 3 module following unusually low marks.
  • The Planning SSC made it easier to access peer evaluation forms for group work, and made it clear to staff that students would like more opportunity to use peer evaluation.
  • HASS has offered more Introduction to Learning and Teaching workshops.
  • Improved facilities at Urban Science Building studios, such as kitchen, door locks and heating.
  • The School seminar series is under new direction and the seminars have become more interesting, varied and have better attendance by staff.
  • An automatic lock down system was introduced to tackle space allocation problems.

2019/20

  • Secured a commitment from Head of School to explore greater interdisciplinarity and more careers events.

Previous Years

  • The Head of School is exploring options to help with making the Careers Service more visible within the School.
  • One of the main rooms in the Culture Lab had no heating throughout autumn and winter. After bringing this to the attention of the lecturers at SSC meetings and to the head lecturer of the course, the heating has been fixed and external heaters were also brought in in case students were feeling cold.
  • Secured places on the Culture Lab workshop induction sessions for all students to help them with their projects for this term.
  • Communication of clarifications regarding the impact of industrial action on dissertation feedback.
  • Due to PG SSC deliberation, a proposal to move a hand-in deadline from 4pm to 12pm was dropped.
  • There were improvements in the Fine Art technical workshop, placements of daylight bulbs, electrical sockets and extensions.
  • Ensured that PGRs can retrospectively claim on conference expenses incurred during the summer when claim rules were changed.
  • Cleaned and reorganised the PG Office in the Music Studios.
  • ReCap now installed in the Ballroom.
  • A temporary common room for MA Art Museum and Gallery Studies was setup.
  • A working group was established to seek student input on improving online feedback.

Previous Years

  • New laptops are to be made available to students as a short-term relief to the IT shortages.
  • Lab D is now open as scheduled and the feedback from this is good. This has taken the pressure off lab facilities and it has been used for the CMB3001 final year module this term

2018/19

  • Set up a Student Engagement Steering Group which joins the Combined Honours society, mentors, peer support schemes and Course Reps together to discuss logistics and promote active student engagement.
  • Produced an Inclusivity document to promote good practice on the programme.
  • Designed Post Graduate Workshop to help Combined Honours students investigate PG opportunities.

Previous Years

  • CH students have increased access to the University buildings (Business and Psychology).
  • Created a position of CH Employability Ambassador.
  • Forums for students to discuss essays and tips for writing have been arranged on Monday afternoons.
  • Greater amount of printing credits have been secured for the next academic year.
  • Hosted a CH Forum “Making the most of your CH Degree” to talk about employability and encourage students to meet their SSC representative.
  • Provided feedback for the VLE Survey currently in preparation.
  • Provided feedback to the ReCap working group.
  • Have achieved a consultation with students to assess whether CH students feel there is a discrepancy between marking criteria across modules and schools, and looked at data to see if this is truly the case. Once this data is analysed it will hopefully be used as a springboard to run a university-wide campaign next year.
  • Have met with the schools of History and Geography to discuss a proposed preference system of module selection to make the pre-registration process fairer and less stressful for all students.

2018/19

  • More exam papers were made available to Stage 3 students due to the raising of points that some were unable to be taken from the venue.
  • Increased awareness of, and traffic to, the online library guides for Computing.
  • Secured investigation of modules requiring students to bring laptops, as this should not be the case.
  • Secured much better distribution and training of demonstrators based on negative feedback in previous semesters.

Previous Years

  • Git has been installed on library computers for student use.
  • Additional signage placed on quiet rooms.
  • Secured more past papers and sample papers for UG students, as well as sample dissertations which achieved a First Class mark.
  • There were temporary solutions applied by the school to address the lack of 24-hour access.
  • Scarecrow posters against thieves were placed on the building.
  • Introduction of an online form whereby students can contact their Rep anonymously, which has led to an increase of interaction with students and their Reps.
  • Creation of a wallpaper which is to be deployed across computers in the USB, stating the names of reps along with their role, and a link to the rep contact form.
  • Ensured student voice is heard as the University works on new employment policies that are friendlier to international students.
  • PGR Sub-Committee agreed to change the email to students to invite them to provide comments/feedback to the Graduate School Administrator regarding their Annual Progression experience. The Graduate School Administrator will log comments for review by the Dean.
  • Secured 24-hour access to the School’s computer cluster after substantial work within the SSC.
  • The SSC has become heavily involved in the planning of induction weeks, to ease the transition of future new students into the programme. New ideas for these induction events proposed by the student body have since been adopted by the School.

2018/19

  • Secured timetabling changes to make lecture titles more inclusive where the Dental Surgery Course shares teaching with the Dental Hygiene and therapy course.
  • Members of the Dental School SSC participated in the first workshop as part of the pilot for the ncl+ ‘Professional Learning through Student Representation (Dentistry)’ award. This award has been in development between the Dental School Rep and the Staff Facilitator alongside NUSU over the last year and a half.
  • Recruited three new EDI reps. These reps will work alongside the SSC to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusivity is involved across the all Dental and related degrees.

Previous Years

  • Maximising student participation of the Dental Learning resource Centre (DLRC) – a computer space under-utilised previously be students. Discussions with staff have enabled covered drinks to be allowed in this space, which students had previously reported had prevented them from being able to use the space to study for extended periods.
  • Anatomy revision sessions now available to Stage 1 Bachelor Dental Surgery students, lead by Stage 2 students.
  • Pericoronitis management request was added to Identity.
  • Students are encouraged to use DLRC as a study space – there is new signage and access to drinking water.
  • Working group of students has been established to assist with National Dental Wikipedia project.
  • Ensured a new policy for accessing medical records outside of previously allowed times. The new system has had a massive positive response from students, and it isn’t affecting the staff involved negatively.
  • EvaSys issues have been ironed out with regards to timing and lines of questioning
  • New furniture and facilities within the common room
  • Action into securing more equipment on clinic – from instruments to cameras
  • A more monitored distribution of nurses across the clinics to increase the clinical activity seen by patients
  • New computer facilities specifically for Dental students have been made available in the Dental school allowing improved access to computers.
  • Unwanted Recap recordings of seminar rooms issue has been resolved. ReCap recording from seminars would not be uploaded unless approved by the academic lead of the session.
  • The PEC (Personal Extenuating Circumstances) form policy has been altered to make it more accessible and easier to understand by students.
  • Following concerns raised by students regarding being locked out of the Dental School and being unable to collect their belongings if a clinical session overruns, the time which the doors of the Dental School are locked has been altered to meet the needs of students.

2019/20

  • Organised a social event for PGT students, with another planned for next Term.

Previous Years

  • Late stage PhD students will be allowed to apply for permanent desks in PGR suite.
  • Elements of EDI and environmental awareness will be introduced in the induction training. Re-induction training will be made available to the returning students.
  • Made advanced data analysis training available for PGT students in the summer.
  • A designated noticeboard will be provided in the King George Building to signpost students to internal and external wellbeing and welfare support, and students will be made aware once it has been curated. This is in an attempt to help students in spite of long wait times for counselling services, and to provide info for students with additional information needs, such as life in the UK, school entry for international students with children, etc.
  • Estates have been made aware of the extensive issues surrounding the Postgraduate Suite in the King George building, especially issues of heating, the smart card reader being broken, the need for a clear up of possessions left by former students etc. Since raising these issues a social clean-up initiative has taken place to create a nicer working environment, and reminders have been sent from the head of PG Research that the area is a quiet zone and a hot-desking area. Whilst some changes cannot be implicated for various reasons, some positive change has and continues to take place.
  • Head of School has agreed to communicate with staff with regards to the grading system and how it can be effectively communicated to students who do not fully grasp how work is marked, especially mature or international students.
  • ECLS PGR social events now run every month in King George Building. These have been very successful so far and we have had good feedback from students.
  • Stage 2 BA Education students will be assigned two readings per session and will lead the discussion of the readings.
  • EDU1001 lectures will have a 5 minute break in the middle of the sessions and the students will be provided with example essays for the module.
  • Stage 2 Education students will have more local school placements close to the University for their Careers module.
  • Cross-course social trips incorporated into induction week.
  • Second year BA Education students have agreed with their lecturers that every lecture will be ReCapped and available on Blackboard for every student on our course to access, as well as lecture PowerPoints being added to Blackboard before each lecture to assist students with their note-taking.
  • Second year Education students have successfully set up the peer-mentoring scheme for the course, and have assisted the first year students through their first semester at Newcastle University – we hope to continue this scheme throughout the following years.
  • 2nd year BSc formative assignments are to be reconsidered with a possibility to return to the old assessment system where they would contribute to the clinical mark.
  • The print credit system has been explained to all students in a detailed email. Costs of each printer have been highlighted and it has been stated that the costs reflect school budget and amount of time spent on placement by each student group.
  • Successfully implemented a new feedback system that has been developed in consultation with students to alleviate concerns around assessment and feedback.
  • Additional lessons on statistical analysis were provided.
  • Computer for quick printing has been installed in Fozzie room.

2019/20

  • The Head of School has agreed to appoint ‘Mental health first aiders’.
  • The Director of Postgraduate studies has agreed to send out emails to students about free flu shots as the flu season approaches.
  • The Director of Postgraduate studies will make sure that fraudulent essay proofing services are mentioned during induction talks and in talks related to plagiarism. Academic staff will also be briefed about the possibility of such services targeting students.

Previous Years

  • Issues with office spaces for visiting researchers and PGR students have been resolved at the Stephenson Building.
  • It has been confirmed that Muslim students who wish to celebrate Eid could fill out a PEC form to get an exam deferral if the exam coincides with Eid.
  • Introduced a new method of assessment for the Project and Professional Issues module. Previously, grades were scaled according to the peer marking assessment. It is now scaled according to the demonstrator’s assessment.
  • Students will now be informed through emails by the Engineering Finance Team of their research account balances.
  • Proper designation has been put on the gender neutral toilet in the Armstrong building.
  • The GSC promised to set up a committee to address the issue of relationship between supervisors and PGR students.
  • Electrical and electronic engineering students will be informed on the PEC procedure at the beginning of Semester 1.
  • Advisory lecture providing information about different streams and projects available in 3rd year has been made available to Stage 2 Mechanical Engineering students.
  • A chilled water tap has been installed in the common room.
  • Drop in sessions have been organised by PGR administrators to help support students with their Annual Progress Review and/or viva.
  • Administrative staff have been made aware of sexism/unconscious discrimination occurring within the school and they are looking to deliver training for this to all students.
  • Because of constant work by reps over the past couple of years, once again PC availability has been increased, as has the number of PCs with specialist programmes such as AutoCAD.
  • Deadline of a key Stage 3 assignment deemed to be too close to the January exam period has been changed following SSC consultation.
  • Greater clarity has been provided to staff around students’ level of training around certain essential software, which has led to amendments of assignment rubrics and a commitment from the school to improve the training provided for the software in question.
  • A microphone has been installed in the Isaac cluster.
  • CEG is to become a test school for the IT Skills resource that has been created in the Faculty of Medical Sciences but is looking to increase its scope across the University.
  • Course Reps created a poster with all the reps and their roles which is up permanently and we are planning where it could go to be more visible and improvements that could be made for next year as well as adding a PG rep poster.
  • Successful survey into communication between staff and students identified that emails were the preferred method of communication.
  • Began the process of getting water fountain installed in the common room with interim solution of drinks in the vending machine.
  • A Maths Aid Champion role has been introduced. The purpose of this role is to promote the services offered by Maths Aid to the students within the department and provide a link between the students and Maths Aid for feedback and suggestions.
  • Creation of a ‘yearbook’ style portfolio of all undergraduate opportunities, activities and achievements within the school to celebrate the positive activities within the school, rather than the SSC just being a problem-solution meeting.
  • Working group created to look at whether some modules can be revised or how they are delivered altered.
  • Estate management has been contacted regarding the uncleaned white boards in the lecture theatres and they have agreed to look into this issue
  • IT department explained that the CAD PCs will be have different colour background in order to differentiate them
  • Extra printing credits for third year students that allows them to print around 200 extra pages for free.
  • The EEE Taught School Rep promoted the importance of the National Student Survey to final year UG students.
  • Due to campaigning by the Undergraduate School Rep in Electrical and Electronic Engineering there are now more demonstrators within laboratory sessions which have greatly improved the quality of the lab sessions.

2018/19

  • ReCap of Stage 3 modules will be available to Stage 2 students to help them with their module choices.
  • Following the FECs discussions around the subject, the ReCap policies have been clarified to both members of the staff and the student body, this has allowed for students to both recognise their rights in terms of the material for their course.

Previous Years

  • The SELLL conference Connections is being organized; staff have been very supportive and it was noted at the last SSC that staff are highly encouraged to take part.
  • There are plans underway to replace the printers in the PG basement with a new colour printer/photocopier.
  • A SELLL PHD-student mentoring program is being set up.
  • New students will be advised where to find necessary information such as timetables at the induction desk and during the introductory lecture. A session on using Blackboard introduced to 2018/19 induction week.
  • SSC minutes are now emailed to all the students, as well as available on the school website.
  • The school has agreed to turn heating on in the PG Suite on the weekends for the rest of the year until a more permanent solution (as it involves heating the whole building at the moment) can be sought out.
  • There will be PG Speaker Series this year and topic covers both literature and linguistics.
  • Produced a survey relating to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion to all students in the school, which received a 25% response rate. Although the response rate could have been greater, the survey has captured useful feedback which will inform concrete changes in Semester 2.
  • The student-led Equality and Diversity Committee has made a lot of progress and the group is continuing to collect more student surveys in order to understand students’ perception regarding curriculum diversity.
  • PG PC cluster has been refurbished with new computers being equipped, providing a superior learning atmosphere.
  • The exact architecture of the new student common room was decided on in one of the Student-Staff Committee meetings. There were around 10 different floor plans available, and the focus was on asking the students what our thoughts were.
  • The Undergraduate Student-Staff Committee ran a Coffee Morning every 2 weeks outside the common room. Free hot drinks and biscuits were provided by the School, staff and students mix (more than 50 people each week) and it has been a great platform to launch book exchanges and for SELLL societies to sell tickets for events e.g. Christmas Ball.
  • Student appointed to be the project leader of the school café. It is hoped that this will create more of a community feeling in the SELLL building.
  • UG SSC appointed a Course Rep to be project leader for SELLL online academic journal.
  • School Rep asked by Head of School to undertake research about SELLL students’ attitudes to assessment and feedback. School Rep will chair sub-committee where findings are investigated, with the aim of improving assessment and feedback provision.
  • Introduction of designated feedback afternoons, in which students can access their exam scripts and get feedback on them

2019/20

  • Developing a mentor project to aid next year’s MRes students in settling in.

Previous Years

  • Following issues raised about the teaching of Clinical Skills, there have been ‘Teach the teacher’ sessions arranged with Clinical Teaching Fellows to ensure everyone is receiving the same information/learning procedures in the approved way, as per OSCE mark schemes.
  • Started work on a quarterly Physician Associate newsletter which will be distributed across the NHS Trusts in the region and to GP practices.
  • LSE access has been reinstated for intercalating Medics
  • Cross institute cooperation for the purchase and storage of new display boards
  • New students will be advised where to find necessary information such as timetables at the induction desk and during the introductory lecture. A session on using Blackboard introduced to 2018/19 induction week.
  • SSC minutes are now emailed to all the students, as well as available on the school website.
  • Student Reps were able to secure improvements in the structure of practical computer session for Genomic Medicine programme

 

2018/19

  • In response to the Geography Students concerned about how their feedback is used, a pilot scheme has been established to list all the changes to Geography modules made in response to student feedback and publishing them on Blackboard. Posters are displayed in Daysh Building showing what staff have done in response to student feedback through the SSC.
  • New social space established in Daysh Building 1st floor for all the students from GPS and APL.
  • Secured more detailed practical sheets in Physical Geography.
  • Developed a ‘hand over sheet’ for when there is a change in dissertation mentor.
  • Secured more guidance for computer lab practicals in Physical Geography.
  • Secured more emails about career opportunities for HaSS students.

Previous Years

  • Edited attendance monitoring emails so they are more concise and more likely to be read by students.
  • QGIS has been installed on library computers.
  • All PGR students now access to colour printing.
  • More textbooks for 2081 Research Methods are now available in the library.
  • Following student feedback, emails are now being sent as reminders for seminars featuring guest-speakers, and information to this effect has been added to Blackboard regarding modules.
  • Students expressed the desire to have staff office hours publicised more clearly, which has now been implemented. Extremely grateful feedback has since been received from the students.
  • Through working with other PGRs in Politics and the Head of Department, PGRs giving lectures as normal TAs and PGRs giving lectures as module leaders, will now be paid the same rate. This means TAs who aren’t module leaders will still be paid the same rate for the same type of work (at SLTSEC).
  • Worked with Combined Honours School Rep to ensure fair treatment of Combined Honours students taking Geography modules.
  • Continued interventions on the inadequacy of the HaSS Research Training programme for PGTs have now been fed through to the Internal Subject Reviews, and subsequently will be presented to a forthcoming Faculty Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee (FLTSEC) meeting. The Chair of the HaSS FLTSEC is now aware of the issue.
  • The University’s Quality in Learning and Teaching department (QuilT) will now consider whether students should have the right to delete information that has been recorded by the forthcoming e-portfolios system. This had not been considered before, and the officer from QuilT agreed to take this back and discuss it with his colleagues.
  • PGRs provided with access to the university online research repository. Open Access officer will allow students access to pre-prints of articles in the repository if PGRs contact him directly.
  • A PGR Teaching Assistant handbook will be produced following concerns raised by PGR reps.
  • Marking pay rates have been changed to ensure fairness for Teaching Assistants required to mark longer pieces of work and use Grademark software.
  • Staff responded to concerns raised by undergraduate Course Reps regarding the transition between specific first year and second year modules by agreeing to redesign the second year module in time for the 2015-16 academic year

2019/20

  • For modules with several staff members marking essays, assessments marked via Turnitin will include the initials of the marker, so that students know who to approach to discuss their feedback.

Previous Years

  • Lecturers and module leaders to send out follow-up emails in case of rescheduled sessions to avoid confusion if the timetable is not updated.
  • Sensitive material warnings issued in module pre-selection for modules considered to be problematic.
  • Created a Resilient Working Group to address mental health issues relating to assessed assignments.
  • Introduction of standardised marking format.
  • Improved language provision through blended learning in the Language Centre.
  • Introduced polls on the University app which have so far received more than 130 responses regarding reduction in contact hours, seminar lengths for third years, and support for a student-run history journal. Plan to present poll findings at next History SVC.
  • History Student Voice blog set up, which Course Reps can freely contribute to. Posts so far have included explanation of the polls, the potential reduction in contact hours, the strike action and the proposed student history journal.
  • Set up a Facebook groups for HCA Reps.
  • The Faculty policy on publishing during PhD study is to revisited to provide clearer guidance as to what is considered self-plagiarism for students and to avoid discouraging publishing by students
  • A clear policy in HCA has now been established to deal with MLitt students using different referencing styles for their research assignments and taught modules they might be taking. The outcome is that they should follow the standard guidance for each department their individual assessments fall under.
  • Following student requests for improved careers events, the school liaised directly with the SSC to devise improved careers events moving forward. These include; an alumni event & a careers workshop for all HCA students in semester two and a compulsory CV check for dissertation students.
  • Discussion with the Union’s Education Executive has resulted in improvements to the system with timetabling and the University’s I.T. department, which should allow for improvements to be made to access to the timetabling system at peak times.
  • Pushed for the creation of a PGT Forum in the Faculty Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee in order to facilitate discussion of PGT issues solely.
  • The PG reps have established a hot-desk system in the postgraduate room in the Armstrong building to make more efficient use of study space, as well as storage for student belongings.

2019/20

  • Confirmed scholarships from external supporters.

Previous Years

  • Visit to the Clinical Research Facility was organised and circulated among ICM and through the reps, across the other Institutes.
  • Secured a committment from the Institute to purchse posterboards for local events.
  • With the fund available for prICM, a successful industrial visit to Leica was organised.
  • The first Inter-Institute charity Pub Quiz was successfully organised and raised £53.66 for AGEUK.
  • Staff and PGR Reps worked together to promote peer-led training workshops and video tutorials for laboratory and analysis techniques, as part of ‘open lab book’ intiative.
  • Received assurances that MyImpact will be introduced by April.
  • Better communication with students via the newly designed Rep section in the Newsletter of ICM, where we advertise events/actions and we ask for feedback
  • Establishment of PGR Q&A sessions to support students in getting the right answers to questions
  • Requested and already discussed details of an upcoming Clinical Research Facility visit in the RVI for ICM students around March.
  • Exam material reviewed
  • Assignment guidance for Stage 1 to be screened by Stage 2 students
  • Stage 1 and 2 students are now eligible for a travel bursary for patient visits.
  • The SSC hosted the Away Day on 19/01/2018, feedback has been incredibly positive and students appear keen that they continue. Also received positive feedback from Prof John Kirby (Dean of Postgraduate Studies) and other Institute staff representatives at the GSC March meeting. The Head of Institute has agreed that the institute will continue supporting these events in the future.
  • A major issue raised in past GSC pre-meets has been the FMS purchase of new poster boards so that students have access to free/cheap rental poster boards, on site, for student-led events. These have now been purchased through the ICM with the help of all school reps across the FMS.
  • SSC has worked closely with the social committee to make sure events cater for everyone (not all based around alcohol or nights out) and to ensure that everyone has access to information on events.
  • Introduction of a ‘buddy’/ mentoring system within the institute. New students have been offered the option to be paired with another PGR student who has agreed to help mentor a new student into the institute and help them with any initial problems or questions they have. The ‘buddy’ is the go-to-person for the new student, should their supervisors or other lab staff not be available.
  • Suggested streamlining online sources of information for students (Institute and Faculty webpages, Blackboard, S3P etc).
  • Acted as a connection between staff and students for the distribution of information regarding PGR support groups and other events that were relevant to the students by making sure the information (slides, ReCap) are circulated to people who needed them.
  • Arranged two successful social events for students from IoN campuses were able to join and mingle.
  • Confirmed assurance that MyImpact pages for PhD students will be ready for Spring.
  • By working closely with school staff, the Thesis word count of 80,000 words will now exclude footnotes and referencing, where before these were included
  • Secured the development of an Institute prize scheme for best research in progress to encourage students to share good practice and develop essential for presentation skills.

2019/20

  • Secured greater support and communication for returning and participating Erasmus students by keeping them on the Stage 2 mailing list and maintaining the same personal tutor.
  • Arranging a member of Student Wellbeing to come and give a talk to staff to increase their knowledge of dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.

Previous Years

  • Opening hours of law library to be revised to ensure student satisfaction.
  • New online resources available to law students: Westlaw and Lexis facilities, 250 textbooks and Statista (for market research). Online library newsletter released and well received by the students.
  • Phone installed in PGR room for students to contact police or campus security if required.
  • Additional seating added in areas like the mezzanine, outside the PGR room, in the stairwell and outside SR2 (Windsor Terrace) to increase social space, as common room space is limited.
  • After changes to rates of pay for PGRs who teach with little detail and not prior notification, Reps have negotiated a review of pay rates for various tasks over the previous three years to be shared with all PGRs so they can compare and have transparency and accountability for ongoing changes in rates of pay.
  • Collaborated with PGR Director on a report to the School on creating an inclusive research environment to encourage cooperation and awareness between PGRs and staff. These discussions have contributed to inclusion on staff away days, paper bag lunches, and consideration of PGR research profiles on staff pages, and a role for the Research Coordinator to discuss research groups and opportunities for us in the university.
  • Have had four kinds of recycling bins added to the PGR room to replace the one generic waste bin, and had old materials cleared from the room which had been left after installation of new furniture
  • Cleaning provisions for the microwave supplied by Eldon Society.
  • The Law Library and PGT cluster will adjust the opening hours to better meet demand.
  • PGR study room will be cleaned up and room will be used as quiet study area
  • The exam board will now provide the Law School with more paper during exams.
  • A University wide audit took place regarding postgraduate teaching opportunities following concerns raised by the Law PGR School Rep in 2014/15, something which will, potentially, have a positive impact on PGRs across the University.
  • Lectures devoted time to providing group feedback on mid-sessional exams, publicising the availability of exam feedback more widely, and undertaking a staff peer review of assessment and feedback by in the department

Previous Years

  • Following promises at previous SSCs, there is now a Teaching and Learning Committee for Philosophy.
  • Secured clarification on use of online sources for referencing and email etiquette between students and staff.
  • Worked with the department to secure an £15 extra printer credits for Stage 2 and 3 in recognition of the printing demands of a long project.
  • The department have produced a ReCap policy to address student queries.
  • Several lecturers have started providing summaries of their lectures as a substitute for PowerPoint/ReCap
  • New programme of Careers talks organised on the back of student feedback
  • School Rep thread added to Philosophical Studies blog, providing a platform for School Rep to let students know what they have been doing.

2018/19

  • Penthouse kitchen opened to undergraduate students on trial period, giving access to hot water and a microwave.
  • Each module will have its own exam scaling information sheet published, allowing students to more easily see how the marks were scaled.
  • Successfully requested the reinstallation of the television screens in the Curtis Auditorium for summer 2019.
  • Recruited more female students to the SSC. The School has also just employed two female observational astronomers and is working with Diversity by Design to help recruit next applied mathematician. All of this will be included in the School’s Athena Swan Silver Award bid in April.
  • After sharing feedback about lecturers not following Student Support Plans (SSP), the School is now working with Student and Academic Services to work on a new SSP template specific to each different school. The words ‘if possible’ have been removed from SSPs to try and prevent staff from interpreting advised support methods as optional.
  • Stationary provided for PGT students.
  • Organised a pub quiz event which was well attended by both PG students and staff. PGRs regularly go out for lunch on a Friday which enhances the feeling of community.

Previous Years

  • Some deadlines in Semester 2 have been extended to reduce the number of deadlines in one day.
  • Introduced an informal questionnaire at around week 2 to try and make up for the lack of responses in the evasys questionnaires.  The overall opinion from lectures and students was positive.   
  • The school is considering organising a Maths/Physics specific careers fair as a result of student feedback for more specific careers advice.
  • Begun a monthly social gathering for PG students.
  • Published a list of exams which allow/do not allow calculators following confusion in January.
  • Held a successful student engagement event, gathering lots of opinions and views, some of which were discussed in the SSC.
  • A student focus group was held to discuss the proposal of having block teaching for the Stage 4 MMath students. Staff and students agreed that this wouldn’t be suitable for the maths integrated masters, which was fed back to the faculty.
  • In recent exams, some papers have been printed in A5 booklets, which are difficult to read. The Chair of the Board of Examiners will consult colleagues with a view to implementing all papers being printed A4 size.
  • Held a successful student engagement event to help gather a large amount of feedback to ensure as many of the students’ views reached the SSC as possible.
  • From the Student-Staff Committee (SSC) meeting there were a lot of complaints about a particular module, mas3112, this module will be totally rewritten.
  • From the Union’s Education Executive Committee and the Faculty Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee meeting, we have managed to stress the importance of how necessary more work space is especially during exam periods. From this it was confirmed that more space will be organised.
  • It has been organised for next year that all Course Reps (in stage 1&2) introduce themselves in a lecture after the away day so everyone is knows who they are.

2018/19

  • Mentor system to be implemented to help new students on longer courses. Mentors to be identified among the past and intercalating students.
  • The election of SSC Chair and Secretary to be streamlined in the next year - potential candidates should contact Staff Facilitator prior to the meeting. Additional training for Chairs and Secretaries to be provided (outside of that provided by NUSU).
  • NCL Spark – networking platform allowing current students to contact alumni for mentorship and advice is to be promoted to students during the induction week.

Previous Years

  • Ensured that student reps will be involved in the planning for any changes to the common room but also for the ground floor student area in the development of new sports centre extension.
  • Opened discussion about current travel bursaries and the base units. Discussion about encouraging students to live in base units.
  • Gained assurances that students will be allowed toilet breaks between back-to-back 90 minute exams in future years.
  • Started to arrange a series of videos done by students in each base unit for students to accurately understand them.

2019/20

  • Organised meeting for MA students interested in Ph.D. studies.
  • Secured an agreement from the School to provide career sessions.

Previous Years

    • A dedicated page at the beginning of the handbooks breaking down dates and weighting of exams will be implemented from next year.
    • All lectures should be uploaded to Blackboard at the beginning of the semester.
    • Set a Student Rep notice board in the LRC along with a suggestion box.
    • Portuguese Level 4 module was restructured to better balance its workload.
    • A series of changes were made to module content, online resources, seminars and communications to tackle perceived disparities between various Level C language modules.
    • Gained assurances fromt he Head of School to investigate issues around Translation and Interpreting fee structure for students who changed pathway following student concerns.
    • Module leaders have produced a list of improvements to module content and delivery for 2018/19 based on student feedback.
    • Following SSC discussion, the School is considering a reading week for students to consolidate their work.
    • More classes in the Learning Resource Centre have been added for students.
    • New feedback sheet to standardise feedback across different languages.
    • Focus groups to be used to support the SSC in gauging student opinion.
    • Upon PGRs’ request raised in the SSC in Semester 1, a coat rack has been installed in the study room. Also, the School has directed the budget for replacing all computer chairs in the PGR study room to the Faculty for approval.
    • School Research Seminar, the PGR School Rep proposed to have current PGRs more engaged. The Head of School has agreed to take this into consideration when planning for next year’s seminars and invite more stage 2 and/or stage 3 PGRs to contribute research paper. The Head of School also warmly encouraged PGRs to think about presenting paper in next year’s seminars.
    • Issues around the delivery of a module were resolved through collaboration between the students and staff, facilitate directly through the SSC.
    • PGR student reps have helped form a PGR Teachers Forum in the School, which provides the opportunity for PGRs to raise and address teaching related issues directly with Head of the School and other relevant members of staff. The Forum runs twice a year.
    • A high National Student Survey response rate was achieved following a cheese and wine event for final year students.
    • Following suggestion from reps, staff provided a workshop giving advice and techniques on how to write an effective application for Northern Bridge studentships.
    • A room will be provided for PGRs who teach to meet with students privately rather than in communal areas.

2018/19

  • Student Wellbeing will be included in the 2019/2020 induction week.
  • Extra copies of MSc textbooks have been made available in the library.
  • Taught module structure is going to be reviewed to prevent overlapping assessments (fully implemented by 2020/2021).
  • Secured a commitment to improve the time taken to provide feedback on PGR progression reports.

Previous Years

  • The logout period for LibSearch has been extended./li>
  • The PGR handbook as well as other admin information is now uploaded on Blackboard. The PGR Admin team is aiming to use this as a portal one-stop for all resources and information in order to reduce confusion amongst PGRs and time answering the same questions.
  • A compromise is being developed if a research summary page isn’t constructed. This may be a PGR Digital Representative in order to promote work PGRs are doing.
  • More GIS training will be incorporated into Earth and Environmental Sciences programmes, improving the students’ employment prospects.
  • New coursework submission instructions will now be available on Blackboard.
  • Reflective sessions will be added to the Introduction to Genetics module every 3 weeks. The revision session will now be scheduled after Christmas to give students more time to reflect on the material and bring specific queries.
  • The School is looking into sourcing lockers for the Agriculture students, in the meantime the students have access to lockers in another building.
  • Module leaders will be using templates on Blackboard to present the course content in a consistent way.
  • Log out period on LibSearch was prolonged.
  • Provisional budget accounts emailed to PGRs.
  • Access to agricultural rooms after 6pm for PGTs.
  • More demonstrators present for large teaching group modules.
  • Planning a new Postgraduate careers conference to take place on an annual basis.
  • Made key resources that are heavily demanded more easily available to students (specifically, statistics and economics text books for Stage 1 are now avaialble as e-books on a shorter loan period).
  • A research away day event was carried out for all new and continuing students. The day proved to be a real success as it gave students a fantastic opportunity to bond, but also to visit Cockle park, one of the Unviersity farms and understand some of the research opportunities within the faculty.
  • Arranged with head of school a presentation with all UG students about the effects and benefits of the new school structure.
  • Arranged visit for students to facilities in Blyth.
  • After raising concerns that some students had not been made aware of the identity of their personal tutor, students have received emails from the school office with details of their personal tutor and contact information
  • From issues raised regarding grades not being uploaded to NESS, the school office now ensures all grades are uploaded to NESS.
  • Secured a fridge & microwave in the school common room
  • Improved access for students to PC clusters used for teaching, if room is not at capacity.
  • More computers were secured for the Armstrong Marine Common Room.
  • New and improved timetable for next year with less teaching hours, balancing out school work with reading.
  • A new hand drying system in the 2nd floor toilets of the Bedson building.
  • The ENGAGE public chemistry demonstrations continued to prove to be a success.
  • An additional postgraduate social was organised in the form of a brewery tour for all PG students and staff, also functioning as a ‘welcome to the department’ event for three new staff members.
  • Difficulty of stage 2 inorganic lab assignment will be reviewed and marking criteria will be altered for 2016/17 academic year.
  • A new hand drying system in the 2nd floor toilets of the Bedson building.
  • The ENGAGE public chemistry demonstrations continued to prove to be a success.
  • An additional postgraduate social was organised in the form of a brewery tour for all PG students and staff, also functioning as a ‘welcome to the department’ event for three new staff members.
  • Difficulty of stage 2 inorganic lab assignment will be reviewed and marking criteria will be altered for 2016/17 academic year.

2018/19

  • Guidelines on study and meeting spaces available for booking will be available to students.
  • Induction timetables to be shared earlier for the incoming students, so they are aware of what to expect.
  • Personal Tutor system to be reviewed to ensure students are supported throughout the year and maintain a close relationship with their personal tutors.
  • Advertising of Stage 2 Business Management placements.
  • Organised extra-curricular workshops/courses following the lack of practical skills teaching on some programmes For instance, the Marketing degrees had a one week practical course in on SEO, WordPress, Google Analytics, Photoshop, and, after positive feedback, the practical course will be extended in Semester 2. The budget for these courses was secured following meetings with the School Learning and Teaching Committee and with the Head of School.

   Previous Years

  • Hosting a course forum within MSc Operations, Logistics, & Supply Chain Management has helped raise staff awareness of a number of major issues, which should be rectified by next year.
  • PGR students will now be able to have their own profile on the school website./li>
  • Module leaders will provide mentoring on PGR students who teach as part of a constructive feedback.
  • PGRs are now eligible to apply for workshop and training funding up to £400.
  • Planned a Chinese New Year celebration to celebrate diversity within the Business School.
  • International Business Management students received assurances from staff that in future years more personalised feedback for assignments attached to the year abroad modules will be provided.
  • NUBS hosted the first NUBS/DUBS (Durham University) event to promote PhD students collaboration. The event included networking and research presentations by both NUBS and DUBS students.
  • Certificate in Advanced Studies in Academic Practice Director increased the number of cohorts per year for International English Language Testing System (IELTS) training.
  • The conference funding policy for PhD students within NUBS was changed to allow for more flexibility for the PhD students to attend conferences to which their papers have been accepted, and will allow for co-funding of conference attendance by NUBS and the student (or an external organisation, such as the conference organisers).
  • Football table installed in the hub to help boost sense of community among students.
  • Set up a new committee – BSSC (Business School Student Chairs), to improve student voice, meeting at least once a term, with a Facebook group to hold topical discussions.
  • Field Work funding is now available.
  • EU conferences will now be considered as home conferences.
  • A new module on data analysis for 1st year PhDs was agreed and rolled out for 2014/15.

2018/19

  • Secured a change in the frequency of Logbook submission for students undertaking internships from weekly to monthly submissions. This would allow students to get more experience with their internships and not be distracted by the weekly submissions of the logbook.
  • There is now a choice of two workshop timings for students.
  • After making the School aware that some students were hogging study spaces by leaving their belongings overnight, the School made it clear to students that the security guards would clear any unattended belongings.

Previous Years/p>

  • Newcastle Research & Innovation Institute (NewRIIS) was opened on 1st December for the PGRs to have a place to work on their research. This institution serve as a place for the PGRs to carry out their research work and allow more interaction with one another which is a good improvement.

2018/19

  • Achieved an increasing engagement to different extracurricular activities through motivation and a timely distribution of information. It is evident that students are more aware of events organised by Student Services and NUSU due to a higher number of students attending compared to last year. In addition, there are 5 new societies, compared to previous years when there were none.
  • Solved issues regarding IT Support.
  • Within NU London, Student Representation arose concerns about the lack of visibility of Welfare Officer and Industry Engagement Officer. As a result, the Student Services Staff became more engaged with the students through emails and interpersonal interaction.
  • Secured a room where students can complete online interviews.
  • Students have benefited from the stronger efforts of Careers Services through increasing number of events led by professionals from different companies that appeal to the students (IBM, Accenture, HSBC, etc.), enabling networking opportunities.
  • Organised different activities each week (free pancakes on Pancake Day, lunch for Chinese New Year, International Women’s Day event).
  • Improved the facilities available to students in the University social spaces.
  • Secured module updates and guideline improvements implemented as per discussion in SVC.

Previous Years

  • Following student complaints, the layout of the library was restructured.
  • Better access to reading lists for modules.
  • The second semester timetable for International Business Management was adjusted to ensure that students had a day off.
  • A Python class was offered to NUL students, with further coding classes scheduled for 2018/19.
  • Quicker access to lecturers' full presentation slides.

2018/19

  • Launched the 'Food Club’ with help from the Student Association to help provide students with a cheap, healthy and tasty alternative for food in the form of a meal plan system
  • Pushed for new and improved tech resources in the NUMed Anatomy Lab (eg: the Complete Anatomy App now available for free for students, better cadaveric picture compilations, etc).

Previous Years

  • Elective study guides and application timeline will be distributed early in Stage 3. Elective information lecture will be conducted twice, in Stage 3 and 4.
  • Printers were insufficient due to increased demand and growing student populations. The University took action to upgrade and increase the number of printers.
  • Re-organisation of lectures in some core units.
  • Under-utilised space is being repurposed and there should be an additional 4 seminar rooms on campus in the next academic year.
  • A portion of the 2nd floor of the Learning Resource Centre is being fitted with study booths to accommodate more students in the library.

Previous Years

  • A new Stage 3 curriculum, in addition to an enhanced Dispensing component have been developed in co-operation with the BoS, SSC and wider student body. This has included a review of the placement structure. The formation of Student Voice Panels to be implemented in the next academic year as part of a development of student voice within the School.
  • Attendance in lectures no longer compulsory, whilst seminars, lab sessions, external sessions and placement will maintain compulsory status.

Previous Years

  • Law Exam has been rescheduled from the summer period to January
  • The PGR room and study room in KGVI have both been made available for UG students to use.
  • Clocks have been installed in the labs.
  • Gained assurances that quality control measures would be put in place regarding the new, shorter word count for Stage 3 coursework.
  • Ran a successful feedback campaign, gathering 99 individual comments. These comments were summarised and reported back to the school.
  • One of the main topics included an agreement from the Head of School that placements are often far away and expensive to travel to, which it was proposed may be addressed by taking advantage of the nearby RVI; hosting more placements there in the future.
  • >One of the main topics included an agreement from the Head of School that placements are often far away and expensive to travel to, which it was proposed may be addressed by taking advantage of the nearby RVI; hosting more placements there in the future.
  • The School is exploring a traffic light system to advise students on how they perform on questions relating to each discipline and will be followed up in Term 2.
  • Temporary access to PG PC Cluster has been granted to undergraduates as a short term solution to lack of UG study space.

2019/20

  • Spread out deadline dates as far as possible so that there are no two deadlines on the same date.
  • Incorporation of essay-based module for first year Join Honours students so that they do not feel overwhelmed by essay-driven Psychology modules in second year.

Previous years

  • Successfully convinced the Head of Psychology to look into the renewal and potentially refurbishment of the Common Room
  • Following student feedback, school staff will be reviewing an overlap in content in stage 2 modules.
  • Changes have been made to the heating in the School of Psychology lecture theatres to ensure they’re much more comfortable for learning.
  • The Psychology common room now has more computers and a printer.
  • ISS and estates have been informed about the lack of workspace that has been reported within the Faculty.