For the second time in two years, the Vice Chancellor was invited to come along to meet with Course Reps at Guild House and this year saw an increase of Course Reps in attendance.
Below are the issues that were raised by Course Reps on behalf of their groups and cohorts.
Rep Election System
The Course Reps were asked whether or not they felt that they new system worked. A few of the Course Reps raised the point that they were unable to nominate themselves on the system and then others indicated that they could vote for others who were not in their years, also that a few of the Course Reps were still voted for by in class elections. The VC indicated that the previous system was not working at other campuses and this is why the new system was introduced he also asked whether this was correct and indicated that it was. The VC asked advised that this was the first trial and of course there would be glitches in the system and we’ll see how it goes for the next elections.
Course Rep Meetings
From the Course Rep responses to the VC’s question, had they attended meetings it became apparent to the VC that meetings were being held too late in the Semester and that many of the Course Reps should have had the opportunity of raising issues at CMC meetings and such. The Students' Union indicated that the first CMC meeting for Adult Nursing had been cancelled on 5th November and re-scheduled for 20th December and that there was also a Faculty Forum meeting on 14th December.
Attendance Monitoring and timetabling
The tapping in system was raised and that when lectures are timetabled in room GUI012 for a 3 hour session, the students have to tap in at each hour as the timetable is showing 3 separate sessions and it’s very disruptive. The VC is aware of the concerns with regards to the system and a group is going to be set up to iron out any issues and concerns that people have with the system. A 2nd year Course Rep indicated that the pilot for this system took place at Peterborough and they didn't have to do this then.
First year Course Rep indicated that the Social Work students struggle with a week to view on the timetabling and maybe a month to view would be better. The VC indicated that maybe a Course Leader could speak to timetabling and get this issue rectified. Timetabling can alter things, albeit isn't easy but it can be done if it’s sensible.
Estates and Facilities
A 1st year Course Rep asked if we were able to have a cash machine on campus. Other students pointed out that there was a cash machine 2 minutes across the road from the campus. The VC indicated that it use to be that so many people would use a cash machine in a day to warrant one on campus and he will check to see if this is still the case. BS indicated that the long term plan is to have a cashless campus with the Ruskin cards. A Social Work Course Rep indicated that there were problems with the Ruskin cards when they first started so this may not work. The VC updated that students that there were “gremlins” in the procedure to start with, however this has been ironed out and the system in place is one of the best.
A first year Course Rep raised the point that there are not enough computers available for students during a break time or lunchtime. It was asked if the computers that are available in the Business Faculty could be used for students and the VC could not see why not. It was also asked whether or not the printer/s that was in the library be able to cope with the capacity that it has to handle.
A second year Course Rep raised that there are many students who would like to see a gym on the campus and how the University are looking to increase the number of opportunities that you have to stay fit and healthy through the Active Anglia initiative. The VC indicated that he would speak with Martin Beaver, who is running this and see what can be done.
A 2nd year Course Rep asked whether or not Graduation would take place in Peterborough in the future as this is where most students would like to graduate. The VC indicated that he was in discussions with UCP to see if it’s feasible for a joint graduation to be held and at the moment this is in very early stages but looks positive. At the moment this is all that the VC can provide, however he will of course keep students up to date with news. (If it does not happen in 2013, it is possible that it will be 2014).
Raising the Profile in Peterborough
A second year Course Rep asked if since the last meet the VC work had been going on to raise the profile of ARU in Peterborough. The VC indicated that Peterborough has now been added to letterheads. The VC confirmed that he ha been in discussions with the Council and they are both working towards raising the profile however, the VC is bound by confidentially with regards to what and how. He did indicate that there will be a public concert held on campus in February for all the local school children to attend.
It was raised the point that it’s extremely difficult for students with dyslexia when they first start here. Unfortunately, there is no testing in place until after exams and the first assignment deadline as the lady who tests is on holiday and also the testing has to take place out of Peterborough and due to financial circumstances, a lot of the students cannot do this. The VC indicated that students must make their Course Leaders aware of this as soon as possible to ensure that this is resolved as quickly as possible. He will also speak to the correct department as well and raise it. Second and third year Course Reps indicated that this was the case for their years too and supportive equipment was not available to them until after their first assignments were due.
A first year Course raised that there was also no-one that Peterborough students could speak to and go through financial application forms at Guild House and maybe Student Services could possibly offer a workshop/drop in session once a month or at the start of year.
The Course Reps were pleased with what was discussed and the responses