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Blog: Education Council Update

The first Education Council of the year took place on Wednesday, and there was a hot topic up for discussion in the shape of the proposed academic restructure.

Last year the the functionality of the new library was the key talking point, with the Emily Wilding Davison building just opening, and this year was no different in having a significant issue that provided an opportunity to engage in lots of discussion.

As you will be aware, the University is currently in the process of formulating a new academic structure. This essentially involves the dissolving of ‘faculties’ (where departments sit under) and replacing them with ‘schools’ – meaning that processes can be made more consistent and the current gap between the College Executive and departments can be bridged.

Having highlighted to the College the importance of being transparent with students on the restructure, Deputy Principal (Academic) Professor Katie Normington, joined us in Medicine to present on the restructure. The presentation outlined the reasons behind the restructure, the benefits to students as well as the potential risks and how these can be mitigated.

Attendees then had the opportunity to ask questions to Katie and we had some excellent questions ranging from queries over joint honours students to the availability of specialist staff and how academic representation would work in this new structure.

Due to our other commitments to conduct in Education Council, we quickly ran out of time to cover everything so we took other questions that were handed in at the end of Council; we will be going through these questions and will be publishing a summary in order to answer all of the queries.

Elsewhere in Council we discussed assessment methods. When running to be your VP Education, I outlined that I wanted to assess how we get assessed. This was primarily driven from an innovation point of view, and an aim to best prepare all students with the skills to be prepared for life after university. We had some great brainstorming to get the conversation started and I will be looking to send out some documents in order to gain more insight into what you as students want from assessments.

I also gave my officer update which included topics ranging from study spaces, academic societies, assessment methods and academic representation.

Lastly, we also filled the last position on Education Committee in electing our PGT Rep! This position sits with me, as your VP Education, on various college committees and ultimately seeks to represent all PGT students across the university. I am sure you will join me in congratulating Charlotte Gautheir on being elected to the role.

Our next Education Council will be the much anticipated Course Rep Conference on Wednesday 30 January. Look out for our quick summary of questions regarding the restructure coming out next week and as ever, if you want to come and have a chat about the restructure or anything else academic, then please come up to the SU and see me or feel free to pop me an email.

Jack O'Neill // Vice President Education