Your Academic Reps have been hard at work, representing your academic interests and securing a wide variety of positive, student-led changes across the University. Below is a snapshot of what they have achieved during the third term of 2016/17:
Mechanical and Systems Engineering
- The predicted submission schedule will now be sent out earlier the year.
- MEC3014 Fluent assignment no longer in groups of MSc and Stage 3 students.
- From next year, students will be given more time to make stream choices
- Stage 2 course work is now more spread out across the year
- New bike rack installed outside Stephenson Building.
Geography, Politics and Sociology
- Increased amount of access to exam past papers, or specimen papers to be made if exam past papers are not available
School of Psychology
- Deadlines for dissertation draft feedback will be decided between supervisor and students at the start of the year, therefore allowing both individuals to plan accordingly.
- Fitness to Study programme has been brought to the forefront of TASC discussions due to the anxiety and worries that it has caused students
School of Biomedical Sciences
- The policy on recording attendance of students who had forgotten their swipe cards was considered and a policy was agreed that applied to the whole faculty rather than different rules for different courses.
- Philosophy Reps are writing a report on ReCap.
- Staff have promised to agree on a unified approach to referencing. Students have been concerned about differences in what is included in word counts as well as being asked to use different styles of referencing – in some cases within one module where it was taught by 2 members of staff. Staff agreed that this is a problem and they will ensure a more unified approach for next year .
English Literature, Language and Linguistics
- The School has taken the advice of the student-led Assessment and Feedback Research sub-committee on board. New cover sheets and ‘feed-forward personal tutor meetings’ were developed. The Student-led research report was also shown to the senior academic staff at University level. Next year, new marking criteria will be implemented and sessions for 'Doing the degree' will be delivered to students to explain the new marking criteria and how to make good use of the feedback for self-improvement.
- Student-led cafe has received lots of positive comments/feedback and it attracts lots of 'customers' from staff and students. The current cafe manager will continue to manage and administer the cafe next year.
- Student Representatives have been promoting the need for final year students to complete the NNS survey and final year students' engagement with the NSS survey has put our school in First Place (for Schools over 100 students) in terms of response rate. 192 of a possible 233 students responded, a response rate of 82.4%.
Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials
- The school are now ensuring that all timetabled teaching sessions are on doors of clusters at least one week in advance. Additionally around periods where clusters will be busy with final year students, an email will be sent out with details of when the clusters are in use allowing students to plan accordingly.
- The school is also in contact with estates services requesting additional bins for busy periods and also for cleaning staff to wipe down cluster desks and hoover the floor.
- Finally, after meeting with the Head of School he is going to try to make the school more involved with SAgE events so that someone attends to represent the school and give perspective students more information.
Mathematics and Statistics
- Stage Two students will be able to express a preference of subject area for their group project. This year students were assigned either Pure, Applied or Stats, regardless of whether they were on a Maths, Maths and Stats or Stats degree programme. Second years said they would like to be able to express a preference, if they had one. Staff agreed this was fair and it will be implemented next year.
- The idea of block teaching was unanimously rejected for Maths and Stats by students (as well as staff). After the focus group, this was also discussed in several SSCs.
- Exam papers will always be printed in A4 size rather than occasionally A5. After raising this previously, we were told in the most recent SSC that this would be implemented.
Mechanical and systems Engineering PGR
- The number of PGRs who responded to the PRESS survey has increased
- Reps formed a small committee of support to help new international PGRs
MRes Biomedical Sciences
- Exam week extended from one week to weeks so that students only have one exam per day
- Discussions underway about an alternative neuroscience practical for returning Newcastle students
PG Modern Languages
- New PGR students will now have a more formal introduction where they are introduced to staff, fellow students, and given a tour of study spaces