Policy Inquiry: PGT Student Experience

If you could change one thing about your experience as a postgraduate taught (PGT) student, what would it be? Let us know by taking part in our survey as part of our new policy inquiry into the PGT student experience.

If you could change one thing about your experience as a postgraduate taught (PGT) student, what would it be? Let us know by taking part in our survey as part of our new policy inquiry into the PGT student experience.

Take the survey

What is this?

In 2019, the Students’ Union reviewed its approach to how we develop proposals that lobby for improvements to the student experience. Part of this introduced the concept of a Policy Inquiry, which is an in-depth, research-informed process that generates a high-quality Student Voice Report on a particular topic. During our Policy Inquiry, we engage with students in investigation and deliberation, and the end goal is the creation of a range of recommendations presented to the University that will have a substantial and long-lasting positive impact on the student experience at Royal Holloway.

One group of students that is commonly overlooked across the sector is postgraduate taught students. Most students and elected representatives at Royal Holloway are undergraduates and, in the past, it’s been easy to focus our efforts in this area. But that doesn’t mean other groups should be ignored. Last year 11% of the student population at Royal Holloway was made up of postgraduate taught students, and it’s time we learn more about their experience.

This is why we are launching a Policy Inquiry into the PGT student experience.

What do we currently do?

In truth, not an awful lot. There have been a few Give It A Go events for PGTs but this is about as far as it goes. However, the Democracy Review told us that we need to be doing more, and it’s time to act.

The review also saw the establishment of the PGT Collective. As with all of the other Collectives, students can opt-in and join. The Collective then has the ability to put on events, run campaigns, and bring together a community of students on campus. However, engagement with the Collective has been minimal, failing to elect convenors to run it ever since it was created. The Collective will remain dormant until this Policy Inquiry is completed.

What are we looking at?

One area of the student experience that has been a growing area of concern both in terms of parity of experience and a lack of understanding about the drivers of the community is that of the PGT student.

The aim of this policy work is a Student Voice Report that clearly details the PGT experience here at Royal Holloway and lists some key recommendations for moving forward to support current and prospective postgraduate taught students at Royal Holloway.

More specifically, we’ll be looking at the following:

  • Motivations for undertaking postgraduate study.
  • Experiences of the induction period at Royal Holloway and the Students’ Union.
  • Satisfaction about teaching, learning, organisation, assessment, and feedback.
  • Communities and belonging.
  • The differences in experience between international and home students, as well as commuter, mature and part-time students.
  • Skills development and the relationship between study and future plans.
  • Expectations of the overall experience of students.

How are we going to do this?

We’ve just launched our first survey that will investigate your expectations, induction, teaching, and learning experience. The survey will be open until 27 November and is open to all PGT students. We will be giving away prizes to two randomly selected respondents. There will be one prize of £100 and one prize of £50.

Take the survey

We have already done some external research on this topic and identified some of the key national trends and issues surrounding the PGT student experience across the sector. We have now compiled a briefing document that consolidates all our research into one place.

Read the Briefing Document

Next up, we will be organising focus groups and more information on this will follow, but we’ll be in touch with the PGT community directly to invite you to these.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about this stream of work or want to find out more about how you can get involved in the process, please email our Student Voice team at voice@su.rhul.ac.uk.