Student Staff Ratio / Class Sizes
Both of these points are being addressed through the university’s preparation for the Teaching Excellence Framework. I have ensured the Union are getting an input in our university’s submission. Myself and the President are working to lobby our VC to take a public opinion on the TEF and whether he intends on increasing fees. Once this statement is made, the amount of fighting by the union will be clear.
This is being implemented by the university over the coming academic year due to it passing Senate before I began my role. Therefore my aim now is to minimise the effect on students. I have reached out to the staff member heading it up to involve Union and Course Rep representation in the department decision making.
We are going to begin creating these over the summer, ready to launch in roughly November 2016, so watch this space! I personally am also hoping to run some of these sessions!
Diversity Careers Fair
Firstly, name change: Diversity Day 2017. This will be in Term Two, to coincide with LGBT* History Month, Diversity Week, and International Women’s Week. This will be a collaborative effort between the sabbatical officers and the part-time officers, and should have a good list of very reputable speakers, so make sure you look out for it!
Jobs students want / Lobbying for part-time jobs / Employability needs of students
The President and I are meeting with the Employability and Careers Centre over the coming weeks to look at making their services more tailored to students. I am also including a question on the Promise One Survey to find out students’ dream job and industry to find out what job students want!
I have made our intentions as a union clear to our PVC Education, and am meeting with departments and faculties over the coming weeks to assess timeframes. I have also picked up a lot of work surrounding anonymous marking, and plagiarism checking, and so in future will refer to these three topics as ‘Assessment Methods’.
Printing Costs / Printing Allowances
I have met with the IT Department, to look at how we can work to reduce the printing cost to students. I will be discussing this with departments, and will update after that.
Graduation Grants Accessibility
With Graduation 2016 taking place this month, this project will be starting in August.
Publishing Course Costs
I have researched the legal framework, and have reached out to other unions nationwide to make this a national campaign. I have also made the university aware of their compliance duties surrounding this and how we as a union are going to proceed.
I have travelled to the University of Derby with some university staff, to see some of the work they are doing surrounding attainment gaps. I have taken some of their good practice which we will implement here in the Autumn, and have been pushing the university to do the same! I have also lobbied successfully to have 3 sabbatical officers, a part time officer, and a deputy director added to the University’s steering group on attainment gaps.
I have also been looking at some new projects that I have identified since writing my manifesto, including some LGBT* work with our officer, and some inclusionary work aimed at our mature, part-time and postgraduate presence at university, because we’re all included in the SU family!