Policy Inquiry: PGT Student Experience

Have your say in our survey as we launch a brand new Policy Inquiry into the postgraduate taught (PGT) student experience at Royal Holloway.

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 brand new policy inquiry into the PGT student experience.

What's this all about?

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 – an in-depth, research-informed process that generates a high-quality Student Voice Report on a particular topic. Involving students in investigation and deliberation, the end goal is a range of recommendations presented to the College that will have a substantial and long-lasting positive impact on the student experience at Royal Holloway.

One group of students that are commonly overlooked are PGT students. With the majority (82% as of December 2021) of students at Royal Holloway doing an undergraduate degree, and with the vast majority of elected representatives coming from an undergraduate background, it is easy to focus efforts on this area. But this doesn’t mean that others should be ignored.

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. As of yet, we haven’t done an awful lot for PGT students at all. 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 also told us that we need to be doing more – so this is what we are doing.

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.

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 of the drivers of the community, is that of the PGT student.

The aim is for this policy work to result in a document that clearly details the PGT experience here at Royal Holloway and some key recommendations for moving forward in order for us to support you.

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 in regards to teaching, learning, organisation, assessment and feedback.
  • Communities and belonging.
  • The differences in experiences of 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 Friday 18 March and is open to all PGT students. We will be giving away two cash prizes (£100 and £50) to two randomly selected respondents.

Complete the survey

We have already begun doing some external research on this topic and identifying some of the key national trends, as well as some areas of good practice. This will result in us shortly publishing a policy inquiry briefing document based on the student experience of PGT students.

Next up we will be organising focus groups, more information on this to 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.