There was a lot covered in the latest Student Staff Liaise Committees (SSLC) meeting, as your student representatives continue to tackle your concerns and issues.
First up was the return to campus in September. Many of you have expressed a wish for online lectures to continue but the university made it clear that ARU London is a face-to-face university – a point that was made to all students during the application process. The move to study online was in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and now, in line with government rules and regulations, universities can continue their ‘usual’ delivery. Therefore, Zoom will no longer be an option from September 2022 and classes will need to be attended in person. However, lectures will be recorded and uploaded to the VLE to support students who occasionally cannot attend lectures due to unforeseen circumstances. Senior management are also considering a query about increasing a travel bursary.
Another issue brought to the meeting was assignment feedback, with Course Champions highlighting the dissatisfaction of some students who receive a lack of explanation of their grades. While it was questioned whether students could challenge their grades, the university made clear that only the process can be challenged and not the grades themselves. The Heads of Schools reassured that the marking system is robust and includes internal and external marking; lecturers get regular training on the quality of feedback.
Meanwhile, the university raised the point that only 20% of students read their feedback. It has been advised that you take the time to read feedback thoroughly to avoid confusion about grades, and to use the points made to improve future assignments. In case of any questions, students can reach out to their module leaders or the Director of Studies.
Also discussed was the concern about low grades in the Sustainability in Career Development module. An investigation conducted by the Director of Studies proved that feedback given to students was reasonable and objective. Therefore, it was suggested that students should give greater attention to the module to avoid disappointment in their grades.
While some lecturers were praised for their professionalism and exceptional dedication, the university acknowledged complaints about the lack of support from some lecturers. They have asked that you report any cases of dissatisfaction straight away so they can take action to improve your learning experiences.
Other key points raised by senior members of staff:
- Assignment deadlines are set at the beginning of the trimester to help you plan ahead and manage your assignments alongside other commitments
- Use the time at the end of the lectures to discuss assignments with the lecturers
- Postgraduate students that are struggling to manage on the course can seek help from the Director of Studies to reorganise their course to a two-year part-time programme. In the meantime, there is the option for students to apply for a deadline extension
- Students should be spending at least 18 hours studying independently, which includes additional reading and preparing for assignments. Class-based learning takes up 12 hours of the week, but you should dedicate time outside of lectures to successfully pass your modules
- The extension of sockets in the East India campus leans to the building maintenance regulations. They are aiming to solve the issue via recharging points in student communal areas
- The query about prolonging library opening hours is under review. Currently, the university has no resources to maintain the library during night hours and there are staff safety issues that make it impossible to extend opening time now
- Kortext will still be available to students after graduation; the university will send an email on how to access the website after the deactivation of student email addresses
- The university thanks everyone who participated in the surveys throughout this academic year and encourages continuous feedback to improve your learning experience
You can tell it was a productive week for your student reps! Reach out to your Class Reps and Course Champions if you want to know more details about the SSLCs outcomes. Thank you to all student representatives for such a brilliant job.