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The future is bright: new approaches to representation. Jane de Vekey, Research & Information Manager Matt Wall, Representation & Democracy Manager The.

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Presentation on theme: "The future is bright: new approaches to representation. Jane de Vekey, Research & Information Manager Matt Wall, Representation & Democracy Manager The."— Presentation transcript:

1 The future is bright: new approaches to representation. Jane de Vekey, Research & Information Manager Matt Wall, Representation & Democracy Manager The Students’ Bournemouth University

2 Our aim today… Outline us and our representation system Talk about our journey to use research to better represent the student experience Show you our wins… And what we’re still finding tricky… (you might have ideas) How can you use research at your institution?

3 Why does SUBU think research informed representation is important? Because, if nothing else, students’ unions should be: democratic – “Democracy is not just voting every 5 years and watching Big Brother in between and wondering why nothing happens. Democracy is what we do and say and where we work and live” Tony Benn based on collectivism with evidence to back it up

4 History and context of our work… CHERI report of 2009 to HEFCE on student engagement A disconnect between surveying and student representation A lack of motivation at student level to participate in representation Our desire to be able to show “how many students think this or experience this”… eventually leading to top issues to work on…

5 Where did we start from? SUBU is… Medium size HE SU – with just half million block grant. No building – “In Poole House, above Dylan’s Bar” Not rich and no new money on the horizon. Strong values, strong leadership: ‘High trust’ – no blame! Open and honest Focussed on ‘realising potential’

6 The challenges as we saw them… Quality Assurance v Quality Enhancement Students as Consumers v Students as Partners Individual Engagement v Collective Engagement Student Involved v Student Led ‘Anecdotal’ Voice v Representative Voice

7 The challenges as we saw them… Quality Assurance v Quality Enhancement Students as Consumers v Students as Partners Individual Engagement v Collective Engagement Student Involved v Student Led ‘Anecdotal’ Voice v Representative Voice

8 What was important for us? Create a representation system that: is simple and usable for the student is evidence-based – using feedback and research informs student-led representation from top to bottom enable partnership working between SUBU and BU enables and empowers students to be partners in the development of their experience leads to impactful positive change for all students at BU

9 Getting the framework right… Agreed with the university that there would be just 3 levels to the student voice at BU. This is now enshrined in University procedures: the individual voice the Student Representative voice – speaking up on collective issues for their cohort the SUBU voice – speaking up for all BU students

10 So how does research fit into this? Led by SUBU – Arrivals Survey, token box, research on specific issues, How’s SUBU for you… Led by students – Student Opinion Survey owned by Student Reps at course, faculty and institution level, Speak Week feedback, You’re Brilliant! Awards, Student Experience Forums - #PurpleArmy! Research & Info support – background research around HE issues, NSS analysis, meeting pre and debriefs for FT and PT Officers & SUBU staff, evidence based reports for meetings…

11 How do we get to research informed representation? The ‘easier’ bit: SOS feedback (mostly academic focus) – similar questions to NSS but relevant now and for all levels! – quantitative & qualitative (comments for Keep, Stop, Start) – easy to know how many students said what reported by Reps (800) at course and faculty level meetings reported by FT Officers at institutional level meetings

12 How do we get to research informed representation? The ‘trickier’ bits for us: Student feedback from (most) sources discussed at SUBU’s weekly student issues meeting with FT/PT Officers plus some SUBU staff – issues recorded – priorities decided – progress reviewed

13 How do we get to research informed representation? The ‘trickier’ bits for us: Haven’t cracked the “Big Issues Tracker” yet… Do you have something like this? Letting students know what we’re working on and what our wins have been – closing the loop or ‘You said, this happened’ – how do you do it?

14 How has research helped improve the student experience? Escalation/sharing of themes, issues and best practice Generating ‘Top issues’ for students from all feedback The university expecting timely student feedback and reacting at all levels, including support service like library, estates & IT Change led by student feedback and Union research.

15 Taking it forward… Review where you get your student feedback from – how do you make the most of it? Online survey accounts Rep training & development Issue campaigns Token boxes Student ideas submission National Student Survey Data, PTES, PRES University internal surveying Go out and talk/listen to students / Listening Campaigns Student Issue Meeting/ Hedgehog What other innovations?...


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