Maia's Manifesto

Your VP Education, Maia Jarvis, gives us the run-down on her manifesto aims and what she's hoping to achieve for students this year, including improving your academic experience and making sure your thoughts are heard.

Image of VP Education Maia Jarvis in front of some trees

Hi everyone! My name’s Maia and I’m your Vice President Education. I’m so excited to work with you this year to make teaching and learning the best they can be and turn your feedback into concrete change.

I am working on several large projects this year that aim to improve your academic experience and I will be consulting academic reps throughout the process to make sure your thoughts are heard. My manifesto is based on my experiences as a former Music and English student and Performing and Digital Arts School Rep, where I heard the concerns of students across the College. Here are the main projects I will be working on this year:

Personal Tutoring

As I’m sure many of you know, the Personal Tutoring system lacks consistency: some students have incredibly supportive Personal Tutors and others have minimal or no interaction with their Personal Tutor, which needs to be fixed. As a Joint Honours student, I experienced both ends of the spectrum and I would love to see everyone receive comprehensive support from their tutor. This year the College is conducting a review into the system and I will be lobbying for Personal Tutot meeting attendance monitoring, an investigation into whether timetabling meetings would improve staff engagement, and the creation of a Personal Tutoring Agreement or minimum standards to ensure students know exactly what support they’re entitled to. I would love for students to be able to chat regularly with their Personal Tutors about their studies as well as get references and career advice from them.

Peer Learning

This is probably my favourite manifesto point as I feel so passionately about peer learning and think it’s an amazing opportunity for all students involved: third years gain valuable skills for their CV and first years receive top tips from students who have been through it all already! In my third year, I was a Writing Mentor for the English department; it was so fun chatting to first years about their essay drafts and I would love to see more students involved in peer learning. I’m currently working with College senior staff to implement Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) next academic year; the sessions are run by paid student leaders who work with first years on course content in a friendly, informal setting. I am also working with the Centre for the Development of Academic Skills (CeDAS) to strengthen their relationship with School Reps; this will mean they can create sessions tailored to students’ needs and hopefully get some peer learning schemes off the ground!

Joint Honours Students

Your previous VP Education, Alissa Chohan, created the Joint Honours Insight Report, which identified the issues faced by Joint Honours students. This year I will lobby the College to implement the report’s recommendations which include making sure that Joint Honours students have a Personal Tutor in each of their departments (or, where this isn’t possible, a programme lead they can contact) and lobbying the Schools to generate an annual report scrutinising assessment deadlines. One exciting change to our academic rep system is that if you’re a Joint Honours student, you will be able to volunteer as a Joint Honours Course Representative – if you’re interested in ensuring these students’ voices are heard keep an eye on our website! I want all Joint Honours students to feel fully supported throughout their studies and I hope that increasing representation and implementing Alissa’s recommendations will help improve their experience.

I’ve really enjoyed getting started on my manifesto over the summer and can’t wait to get your input now that term has started!