Hey! It’s that time of year where I update you on everything I have been up to as your Education Officer. It has been a busy time, full of some ‘fun’ surprises – who knew Omicron would occur, or that a second wave of strikes would hit.
Update on outstanding UGM (Union General Meeting) motions
Exceptional Circumstances (ECs)
We passed policy at our AGM (Annual General Meeting) highlighting some key issues in the EC system – however from some surveying (thanks to the ~300 responders!) we're in a tight spot where there is about a 50/50 preference between the old system and the new system.
I’ve managed to secure a full-scale review of the system through University Education Committee, from its policies all the way to the procedure of getting an EC, which will involve larger scale student consultation so keep an eye out.
Timetabling and Keep Wednesday Afternoons Free
Safe to say we were let down by the university. Despite getting reassurances by the Academic Registrar written down, there was still a huge delay for a significant amount of people in getting their Semester 2 timetabling. The university is now officially reviewing its’ internal deadlines to try and get timetables out before September for the 22/23 academic year and I will be fighting hard to ensure this is the case.
I’ve also had an abnormal number of students come to me with timetabled lectures on Wednesday afternoons. I’ve successfully been able to move some of these, and I have now discovered the root of the problem comes from an oversight. Last academic year, the timetabling team utilised Wednesday afternoons due to the pandemic, however they failed to take into consideration students would be back to playing sport this year.
Lucy, your AU and Sports Officer, will be investigating how many people have been affected by this, and I’ll be formally raising it as an issue at University Education Committee.
We made ourselves present on the picket line to support UCU and were also able to confirm you will not be assessed on any content missed due to strikes – this will also be the case for the upcoming wave of strikes.
Update on my manifesto pledges
If you have made it this far, congratulations! Below are a few more things I have been working on.
The two important things which have happened with assessments since I have been in role is the piloting of TESTA (Transforming the Experience of Students Through Assessment) which aims to reduce deadline bunching by ensuring modules are designed holistically.
I have also pushed successfully fought for longer open-book exams! The current proposal is going through faculties for consultation but will see online open-book exams be no less than 24 hours with a hope for 48 hours.
I have worked with Professor Kristyan Spelman-Miller, the Pro Vice Chancellor (Education), to set up the universities ‘Student Partnership’ workstream. Quickly, the key highlights of this plan include:
More opportunities to get involved in research for UG and PGT students
Principles for schools to follow in relation to listening to students
Full review of the SVR system looking at how it can be more effective
That was a lot, so if you read it all, thank you! If you have any questions, please do pop me an email over at firstname.lastname@example.org.