During the course of the week, we’ll be running a number of events aimed to educate, inspire, and provoke conversations. Links will be made available below closer to the events.
Guest speaker Jim Dickinson will be presenting a talk on the debate around tuition fees and value for money in universities. Why are students paying over £9000 a year for a predominantly online degree? Why are fees so expensive? Whose responsibility is it to ensure quality is upheld or to provide refunds? This is an excellent opportunity to hear a fantastic speaker and gain a real insight into one of the most contested debates in the Higher Education sector right now.
Jim has over 20 years’ experience in the Higher Education sector, especially involving the representation of students. This includes being the former director of NUS (National Union of Students) and undertaking the role of CEO at UEA University, amongst many other things. He displays expert knowledge of the Higher Education sector and this knowledge will be invaluable in providing students with some in-depth information and context around the debate of tuition fees and the fairness and quality of value for money for students.
The Joint Honours student experience has, generally, been a bit of a mixed bag. In this session, Joint Honours students will be able to give feedback on key areas for development and help construct a pathway for change to ensure parity of experience. Covering any and all aspects of the Joint Honours experience, from communication to timetabling, deadlines to personal tutoring, this session is for students who are undertaking a Joint Honours degree (this can be anything from PPE, PIR to Music and English) and would like to make impactful changes to the course they are currently studying.
This session will be facilitated by Alissa Chohan, VP Education, and Maia Jarvis, School Rep for Performing and Digital Arts. This is a focus group for students to engage and have candid conversations about their experiences of being a Joint Honours student.
There’s no denying that the student experience has been massively different this year, but that doesn’t mean that problems that already existed have been changed radically by the current approach in providing education. The experience of Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities is one such area and it is about time that the University and the Students’ Union ramp up their work and actions to create a more inclusive, safe and assuring environment for all students from all backgrounds. We must look to build trust that they are part of a supportive community, that not only promotes but genuinely cares, supports and embraces the cultures and difficulties that students from different backgrounds face.
Alissa will be joined by other students, who are seeking to contribute to making long-term impactful change and holding both the SU and the University accountable, to co-lead this session. There will be a range of whole group, and also smaller group discussions, to speak about what the SU and the University should be doing to improve key areas of the overall student experience, including catering facilities and events, the academic environment, from the representation of staff and students to decolonising the curriculum, and the level of support services offered to those students who have faced tough experiences.
To follow this session, we will aim to present key ideas and objectives to SU staff and the University, but all comments and thoughts expressed will remain anonymous outside of the session. It will be a safe space for students to express anything they like, but there is no expectation for students to speak about any personal experiences should they not feel comfortable to do so. The thoughts of students under the term ‘BAME’ will vary, but this event is open to all students from all backgrounds to get their voice heard.
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