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Education Officer Blog

Hey everyone, my name is Jack and I am your elected Education Officer for this year. My role is to support your studies and ensure that you get the most out of your experience at Keele. I am responsible for a number of projects including Student Voice Representatives, whereby your opinions can be acted on at both a course and school level. My role also includes making sure that your voice is heard and acted on, as well as providing change to university processes including Exceptional Circumstances.

I studied psychology at Keele before being elected. As a student I got involved in a lot of societies, volunteering opportunities, and as a student voice representative. Outside of my degree I enjoy playing video games, and watching horribly scripted reality TV.

Talk to me about:

  • Become a Student Voice rep
  • Issues on your course of study
  • Accessibility of resources

 

Email me at su.educationofficer@keele.ac.uk or contact me on social media below:

Facebook logo: Click here to be directed to Elliott's Facebook profile

Want to find out more about my plans for this year?

 

Mari's last UGM Report

 

 

This is it! My *final* UGM report for my final UGM! It’s been a crazy two years and I’m so thankful to every single one of you who ever bothered to read these ??

 

Final manifesto specific updates:

As I’ve been winding down in preparation for the next Education Officer Jack Medlin to take post,  I thought it would be beneficial to outline for the final time, which of my manifesto pledges were achieved. In my first manifesto for the election in 2019 and in my second manifesto for re-election in 2020 I pledged...

When

Pledge

Success?

2019 and 2020

To improve timetabling

Every Keele student has experienced issues with their timetables and it’s an obvious one for any Education Officer candidate to pledge. 

 

In my first ever Senate on the 16th of October I asked the Vice Chancellor about this and I was met with the answer that timetables were released for most students 3 weeks before term time. However I had also polled students in the Student Life page and found that this was far from true. I wrote a blog post about it here!

 

Rather optimistically I believed change was coming and following on from this I worked with Helen Galbraith to get the university to publicly commit to the “3 weeks before term time” date (which at the time, was a significant win - and I wrote another blog post about it). However as I’m sure you’re all well aware, timetabling remains a significant issue at Keele, and I wish my successor luck in pursuing this.

2019 and 2020

To increase the use of lecture/ content capture

Admittedly, Covid-19 really helped me out with this one. Though before the pandemic, I did a significant amount of work polling students to illuminate where lecture/content capture wasn’t taking place. 

 

I formulated the data into a list of modules that weren’t using lecture capture and an anonymised list of reasons students had been told as to why lecture capture wasn’t being used. This led to many 1-2-1 conversations, the creation of some staff guidance and more explanations to students on when and why lecture capture wasn’t in use or suitable. 

2019 and 2020

To amplify and empower the student voice

This one is more subjective than the rest I’ve listed here, but I do feel I have achieved this by being a persistent nuisance in university meetings, and achieving some of the non-manifesto related wins that no one could have predicted (Safety nets, rent rebates, saving the Music department etc...)

2019

Improve online learning resources

Again, Covid-19 really helped me out with this one, I brought webcam guidance to these FEC meetings and I helped produce staff guidance around online engagement.

 

But not related to the pandemic, I also worked with the timetabling team to make timetables more legible, when module level issues have been raised with me they have been quickly resolved by the school and my latest work on the Student Data Charter should ensure clarity on any data driven services going forward.

2019

Fight tuition fees and hidden course costs

Over the past two years I’ve been part of numerous in person and online tuition, student support and rent rebate based movements. Whilst not strictly tuition fee based securing rent rebates for this academic year and last year was a significant win.

 

In instances where hidden course costs have been raised I attempted to tackle these at school level and working with Anne Loweth I got the universities stance on Hidden course costs restated in the hopes of reducing these. At FECs I have also highlighted potential hidden course costs in new modules and where these could not be removed entirely, ensured they were clearer to students. 

2020

Improve access to funding

After struggling to remove hidden course costs in my first year (and instead settling for making the costs clearer rather than hidden) in my second year I focussed on re-establishing KeeleSU’s Aced bursary, to ensure that students' studies weren’t limited financially. In terms of legacy the Aced bursary has always been supported by a successful elected officer KeeleKeyFund application, but this year I ensured that going forward the funds will be guaranteed without Education Officers needing to be involved in the process, meaning that bursary will be available every year.

I also worked alongside student services to advertise the Covid support funding and ensure that every student would be eligible.

2020

Improve personal tutoring

This is another pledge that most Education Officer candidates make as most Keele students are aware of the disparity between different tutors, and knowing that Helen O'Sullivan was beginning a personal tutoring review it made sense to include this. However *not* knowing she was about to get a job at Chester, progress on this manifesto aim came to a halt quite quickly as the “ASI - Phase 2 project group” meetings have been paused until the next PVC Education is in place after my tenure has ended. That said, I am hopeful that my successor will be able to feed into this and deliver real change.

2020

Move 10am deadlines!

This (alongside maybe the Safety Nets) is probably going to be the only thing Keele students will remember me for. This was by far my most popular achievement among the student population during my tenure.

Team strategic aims:

Anti-racism:
Since our last UGM in March our March and April monthly updates have gone out and we’ll be recording some EDI module content tomorrow!

Accessibility:
The Data Charter that will come up as a discussion item during the meeting will hopefully ensure that any future data driven services will be accessible.

Climate emergency
Nothing major to report here, sorry Holly!

Value for money
At USVC last month we got confirmation that rent rebates would be extended until the 17th of March.

Mental Health
Nothing major to report here, sorry Miles!

Outstanding UGM motions:
I have no updates on the “Computing for all courses” or the “Covid communications” motions since the last UGM on the 15th of March but my previous update on these from February can be found here, and there are no major updates on the “Safety Net” or “Save Keele Music” motions as these are complete!

Library use and opening hours:  
A new proposal has gone to the Covid secure group and I am due an update on this next week (so if there’s anything major to report I’ll be sure to edit this blog post and update you!)
In terms of other library updates more study spaces have been added and they are currently trialling late night Thursdays, so please use these as if these are popular enough they’ll bring back more late night slots sooner!

Other projects:

Data Charter:
I couldn’t leave this out because it’s been my single biggest piece of work since the last UGM. Since March I have been writing various drafts of the data charter discussion item. I’ll talk you through it during the UGM but the latest draft can be found here.

Misc:
I’ve also been working with the university to define the specifics on Safety Net 4, reviewing Keele’s degree algorithm and did an instagram takeover!

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