There's been a lot of work happening this year.
This past year has seen a big jump forward in how the course rep system not only functions but how it showcases the reps themselves. It has seen the introduction of two end of year course rep awards, the introduction of a specific course rep group known as the Student Academic Representation Committee, the introduction of specific course rep socials, as well as increased opportunities for training and communication.
All of this has been largely to do with the fact that the Union now runs every aspect of student reps. In previous years the course rep system has been split between the university and the union, the Union mainly just facilitating the course rep elections. This meant that the union’s interaction with course reps was very limited and solely depended on the University’s input. However, at the start of this year support, training and development of student reps was moved over to within the Union. Meaning that every aspect of course reps is now split across three union positions, Head of Engagement, Voice & Campaigns Coordinator and Union President.
Having a combination of elected officers and employed staff members ensures that the rep system has a level of continuity but also drive to achieve greater and further successes each year. Constantly striving for improvements in all aspect of course rep life.
What've we achieved?
Course Reps Social
Course Rep social was newly introduced this year with the purpose of giving Course Reps opportunities to mingle and discuss ideas among each other, as well as provide valuable feedback to the Union. There have been 2 so far, which have both been great successes and I am keen to ensure that more of these type of events happen in the next academic year.
Course Rep End of Year Awards
This year the Student Opportunity Awards included two awards for student reps this year. There was a Course Rep of the Year nominated by students and an equivalent award nominated by staff. This is to fully recognise the achievements of Course Reps who have gone above and beyond in their role.
Student Academic Representation Committee
This was a brand new committee created this year, created with the purpose of trying to hear directly from you what the key issues are surrounding your student life. This committee has played a key advisory role this year with the new and extended work within the Course Reps system. If you are interested in being a part of this committee then please keep an eye out for the application form.
Thank you to those of you who have filled in our end of year evaluations, both internal and external. We are already using your feedback to develop additional training and support for next year’s Course Reps, and will design a full year of events and development opportunities over the summer to show you in October (if you run to be a rep again!).
We also worked with national partners including the University of Plymouth to undertake an external evaluation of our whole system and benchmark against other unions and universities: this will feed into a review of how our rep system is owned, managed and governed to make sure that we are giving you the right support and guidance to be as effective in your roles as you can be.
This year has been a great year to be a Course Rep: next year we hope to build on our successes and give you the best support we can offer.