What are course reps?
The course reps are students that have been elected to represent you with any issues you might have regarding your course. If you ever have a problem or question they're there to help you out.
Why do we have course reps?
They are an important part of ensuring that the University is providing quality education for you and every other student.
How many course reps are there?
There are over 200 course reps throughout the University, covering both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
How can they help?
Course reps can help make your voice heard and raise any issues or problems you may have with your course. The course reps sit on the Student & Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) which discusses a range of topics - this is their chance to raise your views directly with their departments of the University and seek a resolution.
Can anyone become a course rep?
Yes! Elections are held during the course induction at the beginning of the academic year, so any student can stand.
How are the course reps connected to the Students' Union?
The Students' Union, with support from the University, runs the course reps system as part of our wider drive to improve the student experience here at Essex. The Students' Union provides training for all of the course reps which includes planning for meetings, communication, leadership skills and much more.
becoming a course rep
Why become a course rep?
A course rep has to put in a lot of hard work and it’s a big responsibility, so what’s in it for you?
Well firstly you will be helping others.
You get to meet more people and really make a difference to theirs and your education.
You get to have your views listened to and taken seriously and you will have a real input on decisions that are made that will affect all students
You will have greater involvement in the Union.
You will have the opportunity to build a good working relationship with the staff on your course
You may use the opportunity to gain new skills. These skills are commonly called transferable skills, key skills, graduate attributes, employability assets or graduate capability; presented with a portfolio of learning of a C.V. they may be attractive to employers.
How do I become a rep?
Your department will organise the election of representatives for every course that the university offers, and these are usually held in the first few weeks of term.
Make yourself known to your departmental administrator and get your classmates to vote for you.
Then attend training, which gives you an opportunity to meet other reps and find out the main student issues
what issues do I address?
You pay a lot for your education and therefore have to make sure you are getting the best value for money possible. Each course will have different issues and concerns, but as a brief guide, below are some of the questions that are asked on a regular basis.
Course content/structure - Is there enough time allocated to each topic? Is the content included in that course relevant? Should there be any structure improvement for example the topic order, longer/shorter introductions?
Teaching methods - Should there be more lectures? Less classes? More handouts? Or less use of overheads?
Facilities - Are your classes too crowded? Are your classrooms adequately equipped?
Resources - Are the book supplies in the library sufficient? Are there computers with the relevant software installed? Is the use of core textbooks adequate?
Assessment - Are the methods of assessment clear? Are you receiving assessments back in time to use feedback for other work? If feedback useful?