Top Ten Background

Your feedback, through the Student Opinion Survey (SOS), Academic Council and Ideas to Action helps us identify ten key issues affecting students at the University.

The “Top Ten” issues will be the focus of our work and campaigning. This year we will work with the University on the following issues:

  • Campaign for sustainable student recruitment policies in relation to housing availability
    • Improve communications between the University and the SU on student recruitment and communication
    • Create a clear plan for what emergency provision will be put into place if students are unable to find somewhere to live
    • Implement a policy that landlords/letting agents are only able to advertise properties for the next academic year after a certain date
  • Make it easier for students to locate available study space
    • Improve the interface of the room booking system to make it more effective and user friendly
    • Increase the publicity of available study space across campus
    • Ensure available computers are easy to locate

    Latest update

    Our paper has been accepted by the CSSU*, with the following results:

    • A group has been set up to look at how best to inform students of the free space on campus
    • Student Records/Timetabling have agreed to create a webpage where students can see free rooms on campus
    • A new mobile-compatible student portal system where students will have access to all the information they need at the click of a button is being investigated. We have had in two companies who have demoed their products, which allow students to access Moodle, Samis, emails, calendar, free rooms, free computers and more in one central place.
  • Improve University and Students’ Union provision for students outside of term time
    • Secure extended opening hours of on campus eateries and shops
    • Develop a comprehensive programme of events that will take place during the non-teaching weeks
    • Ensure vital on campus services such as counselling are readily accessible during the non-teaching weeks

    Latest update

    Our paper has been accepted by the CSSU*, with the following results:

    • The Parade Bar has agreed to extend their opening hours in non-term time on Fridays from 5pm to 10pm
    • Fresh Grocery Store will open on University holidays from academic year 2018/19
    • The SU has also been working to improve activities provision, and resultantly the PGA will run a monthly pub quiz over summer, and some student clubs will run non-term events (e.g. Mountaineering)
  • Secure a physical expansion of the gym
    • Secure a physical expansion of the gym
    • Ensure that student feedback is gathered in the design of the new facility
    • Ensure student memberships will be prioritised over those of the public to maintain satisfaction

    Latest update

    Our paper has been accepted by the CSSU*, and the finances to build the new gym have been confirmed.

    Since confirmation of the build, student feedback has been sought from the athlete forum and an all student survey with over 1,400 responses. The survey is looking at what students want from the gym. Will Galloway, our Sport Officer, will be sitting on the panel with oversight of the final decision and continue to pressure the University to ensure students’ needs are considered throughout.

  • Ensure that students receive constructive assessment feedback that helps them learn
    • Work with the new Centre for Learning & Teaching to conduct a student led review of current feedback methods
    • Make recommendations as to how current practice can be improved
    • Establish minimum standards of detail to be provided to students on their written assessments

    Latest update

    Our paper will be taken to the CSSU* on 27 April, which will detail minimum standards of feedback students should receive. In preparation, we have:

    • Undertaken research into what students want from feedback, sourcing examples of good, bad and ideal feedback.
    • The Education Officer led a talk with staff about feedback, to gather information on what staff feel about it and some of the reasons why it doesn't always deliver what students want.
  • Campaign for the curricula to reflect the diversity of the student body
    • Work with the Centre for Learning & Teaching to examine course content
    • Work with the Diversity & Support groups at the Students’ Union to determine best practice in this area
    • Incorporate work into the University bidding for the Race Equality Charter Mark
  • Reduce waste across campus
    • Reduce the amount of food waste that occurs and encourage better redistribution of leftover food
    • Improve publicity of reduced price food in campus outlets and shops
    • Increase the usage of sustainable food containers and increase the education surrounding the recycling opportunities on campus
  • Ensure the personal tutoring system is effective for students and staff
    • Conduct a review of the current personal tutoring system, highlighting areas of best practice and pinpointing areas for development and improvement
    • Create a useful agenda of topics to be covered in personal tutor meetings
    • Ensure the necessary signposting information and FAQs are in place for tutors

    Latest update

    Our paper has been accepted by the CSSU*, and a Task and Finish Group has been set up, chaired by the Education Officer and the Chair of the Senior Tutor Forum. This group is leading a review of the current personal tutoring system and will produce a proposal for University Learning and Teaching Quality Committee for 6 July. The proposal will look at 2 things:

    • Enforcing the frequency of tutoring sessions by using a new Student Notes system to keep track of tutorials.
    • Ensuring the tutorials have a structure and a purpose to them to look at academic performance, skills, signposting etc.

    This proposal will be implemented for the start of the next academic year.

  • Tackle postgraduate isolation
    • Create more opportunities for postgraduate students to engage with their peers
    • Review the expectations of postgraduates in terms of joining student groups
    • Improve the signposting of support services for postgraduates

    Latest update

    Our paper has been accepted by the CSSU*. Our next key actions are:

    • The re-submission of a staff post application to improve our offer of peer mentoring for postgraduates
    • Student Services will provide courses on mental health and wellbeing for research postgraduates
    • The University and SU will be working together to improve the offer to part-time postgraduates
  • Secure an extension of the Library
    • Campaign for the necessity of a physical expansion of the library
    • Create more space within the existing building through improved storage efficiency of books and investment in e-journals
    • What is the CSSU?
      The CSSU is a combined decision-making body, comprising members of the University Council, University Senate and the Students' Union. It is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and includes a range of key senior University staff alongside some members of University Council and University Senate.