What an incredible semester it's been for the student voice! We've made some incredible changes to the student experience thanks to the contribution of student panels, our fabulous reps, Execs, officers, members of the student voice team and everyone who has completed any feedback. One of the biggest achievements of the semester has been the introduction of the no-detriment policy for taught students at the University this academic year. It's been a long process; with a lot of back and forth, as we continuously raised in meetings with the University Senior Management team how everyone has been, and continues to be, impacted differently by Covid-19 and highlighted the increased need of more support.
Here is a brief summary of just some of our achievements from Semester 1.
What has been achieved?
- End of Term and Beyond Q&A - provided students with the opportunity to ask University Senior Management questions about the end of the semester and the student travel window. To find out more and watch back the online event click here.
- International Q&A - We also held an online event for international students to ask University Senior Management the questions they were wanting to know. For more information and to watch back the Q&A click here.
- No Detriment policy - Lobbied the university to provide a no detriment policy for taught students this academic year, to minimise the impact of Covid on assessment
- Academic Rep elections and training - Held Academic Rep elections and training, so far there are 402 Reps elected and 352 have been trained
- Informing the development of Blended learning - The Academic Advisory Panel have shared opinions on their experience of the Bath Blend, which has informed the work of Resilient Curriculum a Project Group in the University overseeing the move to blended learning.
- Personal Tutor guidance - We have worked with the University to provide Personal Tutor guidance, to improve support for students
- Lecture capture guidance - We have informed and pushed for lecture capture guidance to be in place for this academic year and have seen a huge increase in recorded lectures.
- Faculty Forums- Our fantastic Faculty Reps have been holding Faculty Forums for Academic Reps to share emerging issues and ideas.
- Lobbying for enhanced IPT - since the start of the semester we have been highlighting what students find valuable in terms of In person Teaching (IPT) in order to enhance this experience. We have also supported Faculty Reps in the School of Management to make positive changes for IPT in the School.
- Captions software - Worked to ensure captions software is available for students with access needs, improving accessibility of the Bath Blend provision.
- ?Inspera trials- Made sure students had the opportunity to trial the new assessment software Inspera before roll out for exams.
- Postgraduate study space – Lobbied the University when the decision was made to repurpose the 10W study spaces for teaching to ensure that postgraduates were able to access equitable space and facilities in 8W.
- Postgraduates Who Teach (PGWT) survey- Worked with University College Union (UCU) on a joint survey, the results of which has led to discussions between The SU and UCU on how we can work together to support Postgraduates Who Teach (PGWT).
- Doctoral extensions – Continuously lobbied the University and represented doctoral student concerns about extensions and funding in recognition of the impact of Covid-19 on research.
- Doctoral Communications – University communications to doctoral students has taken on a new significance this year, and we’ve consistently lobbied for improvements in information and guidance on funding, financial support, extensions, access to labs and offices and impact on research. We’ll continue to lobby, and help prioritise doctoral students in decision-making and the communication of University plans.
- Doctoral degree conferment – following doctoral students raising concerns with the time taken to get conferment of their doctorate, we have raised this with the University who have agreed to look at what changes to the process are possible.
- Doctoral SSLCs- after concerns were raised that some meetings were not happening The SU worked with the University to ensure that these meetings will be supported and scheduled in the new year.
Top Ten priorities
Focusing on ten key priority issues identified through student feedback and working with senior staff to create action plans and track progress in these areas throughout the academic year:
- Commit to sustainable investment practices and divest from all companies with links to the fossil fuel industry.
- Create and commit to a specific action plan for decolonising the curriculum.
- Enact a universal Trans Policy, developed with students and staff.
- Provide additional, sustainable staff resource to ensure the delivery of Mental Health First Aid training to at least 10% of students and staff.
- Ensure good supervision practice through provision of training to all supervisors.
- Enhance case management of Report and Support to provide a swift and effective resolution to cases.
- Introduce a policy for all students to be able to access recordings of all their lectures.
- Produce clear guidance and communication with our placement students to ensure that impacts due to Covid-19 are mitigated as much as possible.
- Design a specific support plan for students from low-income backgrounds in order to provide jobs and support in light of Covid-19.
- Create a list of additional costs from the University experience and look to reduce these costs on an annual basis to ensure equity of experience.
Anti Racism work
- an anti-racist forum formed a report in Summer, now there is a Student Anti-Racism Action Group to hold Uni to account on actions within this report with student reps in it. New Race Equality Task Force to be set up alongside new Exec chair role. See more details here.
Black History Month- advertised 16 events on our BHM webpage (including central SU events, local events and student group events). Including a ‘How to be an anti-racism activist & ally’ workshop we put on with guest speaker Osaro Otobo, which had almost 50 sign-ups.
Prayer Room - Following student feedback and work by the Islamic Society a larger space for the Prayer Room was sourced and opened.
University of Sanctuary- Being awarded the university of sanctuary recognising the work that the SU and university has done to provide support for refugees and asylum seekers, largely thanks to students lobbying work.
Additional support for students - introduction of two new roles within student services that will help with some of the main concerns raised at Mental Health Summit earlier this year. One role will be auditing the service to identify gaps and what isn't going as successfully as well as ensuring the Student Minds Mental health Charter is met and the other role will work specifically on the development of NeverOK expanding the campaign to include areas such as racism.
Once again we want to thank you all for using your voice and making a difference.