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One down, Eleven to go…

Looking back, being 4 weeks into post feels about right – but being 1/12th of the way through my term feels very weird! It certainly puts into perspective how little time we all have to influence the Student Experience, how hard we need to hit the ground running, and how quickly it all flies by.

This month certainly started with a bang – the White Paper. You may have seen our response, and I’ve since been involved in conversation with the University about how to respond formally, as well as been talking with the Press. We’re currently writing our own consultation piece for the Government, focussing on both the issue of Finance in Higher Education, as well as the real meaning of the Student Experience. Hopefully we’ll have a draft ready by mid-August, so keep your eyes open!

With regards to the job as Academic Affairs – there’s simply not enough words to explain how broad the role is; employment, academic experience, technology, the library, graduate attributes, new course projects – the list is seemingly endless and its been a real test to try and get my head round the whole of my remit as a Sabb, and stay on top of everything. That said, its been incredibly exciting; the University is really keen to have students participate in their decision making process, and its been really rewarding to be a part of shaping the future of education here at Southampton.

There are 3 main projects, outside of the White Paper, that I’ve been working on this summer so far: reinvigorating the Course Rep system, entering a bid to renovate Library space, and helping the University deliver services like careers advice and bursaries in a more visible fashion. Hopefully next term will see Careers Destinations have monthly drop-in sessions within SUSU, and the Bursary team will be around in Fresher’s Week – in case you might be eligible for one of the many bursaries the University runs.

Frustratingly, many staff members take holiday now, as its the summer, but this month I’m looking to really kick start my campaign to get Careers Fairs into every Faculty, looking into our provisions for Postgraduates, as well as start planning for the student statement for the University’s Institutional Review that takes place next year. Think OFSTED, but for Universities.

Add to that all the training, conferences, the team goals and planning for next year – its been a hell of a month! I hope the rest of the year is just as fun! If you’ve got any questions or issues, please e-mail me at vpacademic@susu.org

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