Jan 26 2020
I’m Kate, your VP Education at the Students’ Union. A key aspect of my role is ensuring your academic interests are being represented to the College and over the last few months we’ve made lots of improvements, as a result of listening to your feedback on these issues.

This is the second academic year that we have seen the benefits of the revamped academic representation system, our reps now have a much wider range of impact with greater representation this year due to the new school structure. Reps have been working with your departments to make class sizes smaller so you receive more attention from your tutor, enhance the quality of your online resources, make lectures more accessible, and organise revision sessions.

This academic year has also seen the introduction of our newly formed Collectives at the Students’ Union. Eight Collectives have been established to give underrepresented groups a platform to have their voices heard, these groups have hit the ground running, organising activities, events and campaigns for the rights of the students that they represent.

We have also introduced the new Education Executive, a committee of student representatives responsible for shaping and directing the improvement of education and academic experience at Royal Holloway; from determining annual priority campaigns and areas of work such as teaching, assessment or resource provision, to shaping academic events put on by the Union such as the Academic Rep Conference which is being held on Wednesday 29 January and open to all students to attend.

Alongside all this, a number of policy inquiries have been launched this year to better understand issues affecting students through detailed primary research. Our Student Voice Report on BAME Inclusive Student Experience is launching this week, with policy inquiries on the PGR Student Experience and Careers Support underway at the moment. These policy inquiries allow us to understand your experience better in order to improve how we represent you to the College.

Amplifying your student voice is a fundamental part of the work we do at the Students’ Union, thereby alongside electing over 330 academic reps we have also been getting involved in course (re)validations, departmental reviews, and inputting into the development of the College’s new strategy.

This year has already seen some fantastic wins in improving online resources at Royal Holloway. Following feedback directly from student voices, we worked hard last academic year to increase lecture recording provision. This has seen a near six-fold increase in the number of sessions being recorded compared to the same period last year, with 55% of all lectures in the autumn term recorded. This year has also seen an increase in online submission rates, allowing you to submit your assignment from the most convenient place for you!

To focus on the areas that matter to you, we need to hear from you, so please do get in touch with anything that I can help you with!

Another way you can use your student voice is through completing your student survey. These surveys are one of the main ways that the College and Students’ Union gathers feedback to inform changes that improve your student experience.
Kate Roberts

VP Education
Students' Union