University Life – Have Your Say!

As a Russell Group University – as a Research-led University – it’s important that the University is continuously researching not just across the academic spectrum – but researching itself as well.

As  result, you now have the opportunity to have your say on what you think about your University experience – just go to your SUSSED accounts and look for an email from i-Graduate. The survey takes no more than 10 minutes – and is vital for both the University and SUSU.

The University wants to hear what you are enjoying about University life and what you think can be improved in areas such as living, learning and support, because over the time you spend here at University, they hope to make it better – but that’s not the only reason why filling out the survey is important.

A large part of what SUSU does is representation – ensuring that your individual views as students are heard by the University and dealt with. As a representative body, SUSU also wants to fight for students on the right causes, because on a daily basis, SUSU takes part in a whole range of discussions on how best to improve the student experience.

With your help in filling out the survey – we can put pressure on the University and work with them to make changes to your experience that will mean you will have a better time.

Those in final year of Undergraduate studies will not have an email with the survey – but that’s because you will have the National Student Survey to complete in January – which is the annual survey where you can hold the University to account, and ultimately have a huge impact on where the University stands in the UK League Tables.

Last year, students from across the University showed that feedback on assessment was not up to scratch. I’ve been fully focussed on improving feedback, with a set of projects currently underway to help develop feedback, and a large part of the survey being sent to non-final year students is based around understanding this issue.

And this isn’t the only way SUSU is attempting to find out more about what students think on feedback assessment; as of next week, the Southampton SIFE society (Students in Free Enterprise) will be conducting focus groups in each Faculty, paying £10 per participant, as well as paid interviews with students from specific courses.

More information about the SIFE project will be given on Friday – but if you’re interested in registering your interest for the focus groups or interviews, or want to know more about how I am tackling bad feedback, email me at

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2 Comments on "University Life – Have Your Say!"

  1. Sasha
    23/04/2012 at 4:30 pm Permalink

    So how much money were SIFE given by the University to do the job of the Students’ Union? I mean SIFE consultants were given money by the University to run focus groups on what students want from their University…

    Isn’t that the job of the Students’ Union to tell the University what students want… you know use your voice and all that…


  2. Sasha
    24/04/2012 at 1:04 am Permalink

    Thanks Jason for your positive feedback.

    We do tell the University what students want, and having both quantitative and qualitative evidence to support what we say is invaluable in helping press home the messages we give. What came out of the SIFE report was pretty much exactly what I wrote in my Feedback Benchmark which I presented to the University at the start of the year, and the report has helped me push for a wider acknowledgement of the Benchmark, as well as highlighting what students want from assessment and feedback. Faculties had to actually recognise the report in the Action Plans for the summer as well, which will hopefully lead to real change in the coming year.

    Also, the money (over £10k) was paid for by the University because they wanted to contribute to student enterprise. SIFE do fantastic things locally, such as wisemind working with local school children, and internationally, such as the Right Light and EnterpRICE – this sort of consultancy is vital to funding projects that have made them national champions for the second time.

    Finally, SIFE are a SUSU society – they are as much SUSU as anyone else – and the fact that they are conducting research on my and the University’s behalf, shouldn’t be a problem, especially when the project helps those involved develop key skills, as well as the wider community. If you still feel that this is an issue, please dont hesitate to share your views.

    In the meantime, you will be glad to hear that we are looking at supporting SIFE expand their fantastic consultancy work into local schools and colleges, with 4 places already keen to set something up because of the value-add of their work, on top of the projects here at the University.

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