Academic Review: A Year On

It may seem bizarre considering all the work and improvements that have happened since, but last year was the very first year Royal Holloway Students’ Union had a Vice President Education! This has enabled a greater focus on representing your academic interests in lobbying the College on academic issues and supporting the academic representation system.

Speaking of the academic representation system, you may have remembered a rather large piece of work last academic year called the ‘academic representation review’.

No? Forgotten what the review was about (it has been a long year)? Or new to the University and eager to hear what this was about?

Well, essentially, academic representation at Royal Holloway used to be incredibly hit and miss. Some departments would host full elections before having an advanced system of representation throughout the year. Conversely, other departments would have a limited structure of representation, often with students being selected to run, rather than elected. The review considered all of these inconsistencies and proposed 42 recommendations for change!

Implementing change

Before term began in September and now throughout the year, we have been implementing these recommendations so as to provide a strong foundation for academic representation this year and in the future.

One of the key recommendations was to form a list of ‘key contacts’ – whilst this has still been difficult at times and will be further enhanced with the new school system, the establishment of key contacts has greatly improved the communication amongst academic representation.

This has enabled our academic representation work to operate efficiently, quickly communicating with College staff in order to allow our reps to accomplish all the awesome impacts that have directly, or indirectly, improved your academic experience!

One of the other key improvements that has been made for the academic rep structure is the website! Previously, there was never a direct point of call for students, staff or the reps themselves! This year, however, we have built a resource hub that enables staff members to see relevant materials, students to see the impacts that their reps have done, and for reps to see their progress in our new recognition scheme!

 

Check out the Academic Rep hub

 

The academic review provided a range of different objectives and whilst we have been able to implement around 80% of them already, we have been hard at work to ready the implementation of more in time for next year.

As always, I would encourage you to utilise your academic reps to provide feedback on your experience at Royal Holloway as this is the best way to create positive change!

Jack O'Neill // Vice President Education