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Departmental Staff-Student Consultative Committees

contact: Rob Traynor, Secretary to the UCL Joint Staff Student Committee

Policy

Policy

1. UCL Regulation for Management 12.3 provides as follows: 'In each academic Department[1] there shall be at least one Staff-Student Consultative Committee (SSCC). Each Staff-Student Consultative Committee shall meet at least twice in each academic year. The Head of the Department or equivalent shall ensure that the constitution and the procedures of this Committee are acceptable to the staff and the students of the Department or Faculty[2]. The minutes of each meeting of each such Committee shall be forwarded to the Chair and Secretary of the UCL Joint Staff Student Committee (JSSC), for receipt on behalf of the JSSC.’ The minutes should also be forwarded to UCL Union (stars@ucl.ac.uk).

2. The JSSC also requests that Departments/Divisions:

a) ensure that Staff-Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) agendas and minutes are produced and circulated to a standard, time-frame (it is recommended that a two week time-frame for production of the minutes from the date of the meeting is a reasonable expectation);

b) ensure that SSCC agendas include a standing item “matters arising from the minutes”, to ensure that feedback on action points raised at previous meetings is reported;

c) record in the minutes of each meeting of the SSCC the names of those in attendance, giving titles and, for student members, year of study;

d) record in the minutes any action to be taken and by whom;

e) ensure that the minutes are signed by at least one student member of the SSCC;

f) ensure that the minutes are displayed within the Department and are available to the students on-line;

g) submit the minutes of the SSCC to Departmental Teaching Committee (DTC) meetings (or equivalent) for consideration and where necessary, further action;

i ) ensure that the SSCC is aware of the existence and terms of reference of the JSSC;

j) ensure an appropriate level of administrative support from departments to SSCCs to ensure that they operate to a consistent level and standard[3]

3. A template for a suggested SSCC Agenda can be found here. A checklist of items to be considered by SSCC can be found here.

4.The JSSC submits an annual summary to the UCL Academic Committee of the operation of the above arrangements.

5.JSSC has agreed the following constitution and terms of reference for SSCCs.

Constitution

  • Head of Department (or Deputy)/Programme Director/Senior member of academic staff;
  • at least one member of staff responsible for undergraduate students;
  • at least one member of staff responsible for taught Masters students*;
  • at least one member of staff responsible for research students*;
  • at least one undergraduate student representative from each year of study;
  • at least one taught Masters student representative*;
  • at least one graduate research student representative*;
  • at least one part-time student representative, where appropriate;
  • one member appointed by UCL Union.

NB All students serving on a departmental committee (including SSCCs and DTCs) are known as Student Academic Representatives, or StARs. The number of Student Academic Representatives elected by an academic department should not exceed the number of student places available on the relevant departmental committees.

* Not required where there is a separate committee for graduate students.

Terms of reference

  • to discuss follow-up action resulting from previous SSCC meetings, in particular any matter which was referred to the DTC meeting;
  • to make students aware of the Student Academic Representatives (StARs) scheme and the training offered by UCL Union (http://uclu.org/student-academic-representatives-stars); 
  • to comment upon the outcome of degree programme and course evaluation questionnaires and any consequent follow-up action;
  • to receive notification of any Departmental changes with respect to teaching, admissions, and assessment;
  • to comment upon any significant changes to Departmental policy which would have a direct consequence for teaching, admissions, and assessment;
  • to comment upon safety within the Department;
  • to comment upon physical resources within the Department e.g. computer/library facilities etc.;
  • to make students aware of the Departmental Equal Opportunities Liaison Officer;
  • as part of UCL’s Annual Monitoring (AM) and Augmented Annual Monitoring (AugAM) processes to (i) receive and consider the Head of Department’s overview of the AM and AugAM reports and (ii) identify student related issues for further discussion by the DTC;
  • to receive and consider copies of the annual reports of the Chairs of Boards of Examiners;
  • to comment, at least once each session, upon the Personal Tutoring system;
  • to comment on feedback to students on their assessed work to: (i) make students aware of the related UCL Service Standards and (ii) identify student related issues for further discussion by the DTC;
  • to receive, where possible and as part of the Internal Quality Review process, the Department’s Self-evaluative Statement and the Internal Quality Report;
  • to report to the DTC concerned by submission of minutes of each meeting of the SSCC to the officers of the DTC.

Arrangements for inter-departmental degree programmes

5. Degree programmes that are inter-departmental (with contributions from more than two departments) are required to have a separate, programme-based, SSCC. Regulations for Management 12.4 and 12.5 provide as follows:

  • 12.4 Subject to the provisions of Regulation 12.5 below, there shall be, for each combined studies degree programme operating within UCL and involving more than two Departments of UCL, an SSCC, which shall meet at least twice in each academic year. The academic staff responsible for the co-ordination of such a degree programme shall ensure that the constitution and procedures of this committee are acceptable to the staff and students involved in the degree programme. The minutes of each meeting of each such committee shall be forwarded to the Secretary of the UCL JSSC, for receipt on behalf of the UCL JSSC.
  • 12.5 Where the academic staff responsible for the co-ordination of a combined studies degree programme operating within UCL and involving more than two Departments of UCL consider that it will not be appropriate for a separate SSCC to operate for the degree programme in question, those staff shall ensure that the views of students following the programme can be expressed instead either through (i) the SSCCs of the Departments concerned, as prescribed in Regulation 12.3, or through (ii) an annual meeting which all students following the programme shall be invited to attend, or through both (i) and (ii).

6. JSSC has agreed the following constitution and terms of reference for programme based SSCCs.

Constitution

  • The Programme Co-ordinator;
  • The Programme Tutor(s);
  • at least one student representative from each year of study;
  • at least one part-time student representative, where appropriate;
  • one member appointed by UCL Union.

NB All students serving on a programme committee (including SSCCs and Teaching Committees) are known as Student Academic Representatives, or StARs. The number of Student Academic Representatives elected by a programme should not exceed the number of student places available on the relevant programme’s committees.

Terms of Reference

  • to discuss follow-up action resulting from previous meetings, in particular any matter which was referred to a DTC meeting;
  • to make students aware of the Student Academic Representatives (StARs) scheme and the training offered by UCL Union (http://uclu.org/student-academic-representatives-stars); 
  • to comment upon the outcome of degree programme and course evaluation questionnaires and any consequent follow-up action;
  • to receive notification of any Departmental changes with respect to teaching, admissions, and assessment;
  • to comment upon any significant changes to Departmental policy which would have a direct consequence for teaching, admissions, and assessment;
  • to comment upon safety within the Department(s);
  • to comment upon physical resources within the Department(s) e.g. computer/library facilities etc.;
  • to make students aware of the Departmental Equal Opportunities Liaison Officer(s);
  • as part of UCL’s Annual Monitoring (AM) and Augmented Annual Monitoring (AugAM) processes to (i) receive and consider the co-ordinating department’s overview of the AM and AugAM reports and (ii) identify student related issues for further discussion by the Teaching Committee;
  • to receive and consider copies of the relevant annual reports of the Chairs of Boards of Examiners;
  • to comment, at least once each session, upon the Personal Tutoring system;
  • to comment on feedback to students on their assessed work to: (i) make students aware of the related UCL Service Standards and (ii) identify student related issues for further discussion by the Teaching Committee;
  • to receive, where possible and as part of the Internal Quality Review process, the Department’s Self-evaluative Statement and the Internal Quality Report;
  • to report to the Teaching Committee concerned by submission of Minutes of each meeting of the SSCC to the officers of the Teaching Committee.

Details of Faculty practice (i.e. where there is deviation from Regulation for Management 12.3)

7. Faculty of Laws - This Faculty has one SSCC which reports to Faculty Board meetings. Any matters needing further consideration are referred to the Faculty Teaching Committee (FTC).

October 2014

[1] 'Department' here also refers to non-departmental academic units (e.g. Division, School etc.). For inter-departmental degree programmes see ‘Arrangements for inter-departmental degree programmes’ at Section 5.

[2] It is recommended that the SSCC does not exceed more than twenty student members. Where this is the case, departments should consider creating an additional SSCC, perhaps split by mode of study, programme or level. Distance learning programmes should consider holding the SSCC by conference call or using service providers such as Skype (a timed Moodle forum may also be appropriate). Students on their Year Abroad or on placement away from their department should raise any matters they wish with the student members on the SSCC, or with the SSCC Chair and Secretary and SSCC minutes should also be made available to these students.

[3] ‘appropriate' is here defined as ‘not a student taking the minutes but a member of administrative staff'.