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Helping your students to shape their education

20 September 2018

Let them know about academic representation and how to make themselves heard.

A group of UCL students who attended the Global Citizenship Programme

With a place as large as UCL, there’s never a shortage of opportunities for students to enhance their experience and play an active role in the university. However, with so much going on, often the challenge lies in directing them to the right place. 

The new Student Opportunities Guide gives you the low down on the ways in which they can get involved. Many of you have requested printed copies to hand out during inductions and first year undergraduates will receive a copy if they live in halls of residence.  

We hope you and your students find it a useful resource.

Some questions to think about alongside the guide include:

Do your students know/understand......

...the role of an Academic Representative and how to put themselves forward?

To help you spread the word, the Students’ Union website hosts staff resources, which include promotional materials and videos for new students, role descriptors, and guidance and information for staff.

You can contact the team at reps@ucl.ac.uk.

Publicity materials may get overlooked in the busy induction period so it’s worth sending out deadline reminders for expressing an interest in the role.

...that alongside representational roles, they can use their personal perspective or expertise to make a change at UCL?

Student Quality Reviewers, ChangeMakers and Student Panel Members all have an opportunity to get more involved and work with staff ‘behind the scenes’ to help shape education at UCL.

Many of these opportunities involve comprehensive training and skills development.

Your students can find an overview of these initiatives in the Student Opportunities Guide

...how student involvement and feedback in the previous academic year helped lead to change? 

How will your students know about the positive changes they helped drive if you don’t tell them?

Think about how what kinds of communication channels might work best for your students (or ask them!) such as Moodle pages, webpages, posters and banners.

Download You Shape UCL templates from the Teaching and Learning Portal to help close the feedback loop.  

Staff-student Consultative Committees (SSCCs) are a great place to talk about what’s changed and discuss future plans. 

...what opportunities they have to connect with staff and other students?

There are lots of ways you can engage your students and help build a sense of community in your department, using informal meet ups or more formal schemes.

Successful examples from around UCL include:

  • termly round table discussions over lunch
  • pre-lecture coffee mornings
  • Meet the Researcher schemes.

You can find more ideas through case studies on the Teaching and Learning portal