P-E Blog | Students as Partners!
This week has been BUSY! There have been elections on campus to elect your new Liberation Officers and Sport & Socs Senators, it is the start of Academic Rep Training, and we've just completed our first BUCS Wednesday of the year.
This week I've hardly been in the office not only because I've been out and about chatting to you lovely lot but also because I've been at some really cool conferences. On Wednesday (yesterday) I was at the Annual Quality Matters Conference in Manchester and on Friday I am going to Newcastle with George and Annie!
But now I feel I must have a tiny little rant. At the #QM17 Conference yesterday there were lots of discussions around the impact of Student Voice and Student Representatives and how they make a positive change within their institutions - which is great. But one thing that struck me the most was the use of the term 'value for money', and the idea that students must get 'the most for their money'. In a way I agree, it should be transparent what the university spends student tuition on. But in another sense I wholeheartedly disagree. In this time where the HE sector is drawing increasingly nearer towards marketisation, I feel it is important now to state that I view students not as consumers but as partners in their educational experience. I was presented with a lot of research that shows both sides of the argument but I'm still sticking with my opinion.
By running a Student Representative system, we give an opportunity for staff to not only hear the views of their students but we also give students the chance to co-create and change their curriculum, be involved in the research that's carried in their institutions, and also sit on the high-level meetings that take place within the university. Here at York St John these ventures and experiences are open to all students, not just reps! So if helping to design your curriculum or any of these other opportunities sound interesting to you please give me a shout and I'll help you get involved any way I can!
Sidenote: If any staff are reading this blog and are interested in looking at the research I mentioned before. I have a copy of the 'Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change' in the SU if you want to have a read.