Throughout the first week of March, we’re shining the spotlight on big topics that are being discussed in the Higher Education sector including Tuition Fees, Race and Diversity at universities, and more. We want to give you the opportunity to share your experiences and generate ideas on how we can make education equal for all and lobby the University to make impactful change.
The first thing to stress here is that although it is named ‘Academic Rep Conference’, you don’t need to be a rep to join the great events we have planned. It is absolutely open to all students and we encourage anyone to attend! This is your opportunity to understand more about Higher Education key topics and input into key work being undertaken by the SU and the University, so take that much-needed break from studying and check out what we have in store for you!
Considering the whirlwind that has been the past year and the enormous impact that it has had on the wider Higher Education sector, we are dedicating our 2021 Academic Rep Conference to educating you on the current discourse happening across the sector, as well as giving you space to direct change.
To kick things off, guest speaker Jim Dickinson will be presenting a talk on the debate around tuition fees and value for money in universities. Why are students paying over £9000 a year for a predominantly online degree? Why are fees so expensive? Whose responsibility is it to ensure quality is upheld or to provide refunds? This is an excellent opportunity to hear a fantastic speaker and gain a real insight into one of the most contested debates in the Higher Education sector right now.
The experience of Joint Honours students is often something we know little about with the huge variations of subjects students can opt to take, from PPE and PIR, to Music and English or History and Philosophy. But what are the challenges that come along with being a Joint Honours student? From confusing switches in referencing, to assessment bunching, contradicting coursework feedback and a lack of communication between your two disciplines, this is an area that needs to be delved into further. Do you have issues with your joint degree that are yet to be resolved? Then this is an event not to be missed!
The experience of Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities is one such area and it is about time that the University and the Students’ Union ramp up their work and actions to create a more inclusive, safe and assuring environment for all students from all backgrounds. We must look to build trust that they are part of a supportive community, that not only promotes but genuinely cares, supports and embraces the cultures and difficulties that students from different backgrounds face.
There will be a range of whole group, and also smaller group discussions, to speak about what the SU and the University should be doing to improve key areas of the university experience. It will be a safe space for students to express anything they like, but there is no expectation for students to speak about any personal experiences should they not feel comfortable to do so. The thoughts of students under the term ‘BAME’ will vary, but this event is open to all students from all backgrounds to get their voice heard.
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