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Lincoln Student Reps Handbook

UL STUDENTS’ UNION Representation, Participation, Inspiration

2010 / 2011

Welcome Dan Derricott

Professor Andrew Atherton

Vice-President Academic Affairs & Chair of the Student Rep Executive

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Enterprise)

This year will be a fantastic one for student reps as we lead the Students’ Union to put your voice back at the heart of everything we do. My aims for the year centre on supporting you and engaging you in what we do – from providing you with data and evidence in meetings to empowering you to lead the fight against cuts to education funding nationally, and everything in between.

On behalf of the University, congratulations on becoming a Student Rep. We really value the student voice and are pleased that you have chosen to add yours. We work closely with the Students’ Union to ensure that you receive the best in training and support during the year and I personally look forward to helping improve the quality and extent of student engagement as we continue to develop as a university. We are in a time of major change in UK Higher Education, which will be challenging but also will bring opportunities to confident and clearsighted universities. At the heart of the University of Lincoln’s progress has been partnership with the SU and students, and the continued strength of this partnership will be even more important during these changing times. We look forward to working with you over this year.

The Welfare & Academic Representation Team exist to make sure that you feel comfortable in your role and I encourage you to make the most of our experience and resources through training sessions, drop in times and the usual communication channels. This year is your year and rest assured that we are side by side with you ensuring your voice is heard loud and clear.

Our Exec Standing: Chris Charnley (President), Dan Derricott (VP Academic Affairs), Phil Krstic (Community Action & Student Fundraising Officer), Andreas Zacharia (VP Activities) Seated: Jonathan Holmes (Liberation Officer), Kayleigh Taylor (VP Welfare & Diversity) and Joe Hicks (Campaigns Officer). Inset: Jennine Fox (Sports officer) You can drop in and see us about Student Reps, Academic or Welfare queries at one of our Drop in Sessions in the SOAP centre. Every: Monday 3:30pm – 5pm and Wednesday 10am – 12pm


Lincoln Student Reps

What is the Student Rep System? The Student Rep system has been developed to give every student at Lincoln the means to voice their opinion – good or bad – on the standard and quality of the education they receive. It is also a key tool for the University to seek your views to help determine the future direction of your course. This feedback process operates on a number of levels to ensure that the student voice is heard from Course Committee level right up to the University’s strategic and policy making boards. Any student at Hallam can be a Student Rep for their course. No prior experience is necessary!

How it works… • You are trained to represent the Students on your course and give feedback to the University and Students’ Union. • You ask opinions of fellow course mates on any issues • You feedback from meetings you attend to these Students on your course and SU. • You use Blackboard or email as well as attending meetings. • Your opinions are taken to the highest level of the University and the Students’ Union. Throughout the process you should be getting feedback on your feedback! Any issues you raise should be investigated and you should know of any progress that is made. If you are not getting this, it is best to contact the member of staff with whom you raised the issue who should be able to inform you of the status of your enquiry.


Why do we have Student Reps? Your job is to ensure that any issues that you and / or your course mates have with your course are taken forward to be dealt with. The main way you will do this will be through your course committee meetings. These may happen once or twice per semester – faculties and courses can differ. You should be sent details of the meetings but if in doubt please contact your course leader. It is Important to remember that you are acting on behalf of your course mates to provide valuable feedback to programme staff which will go on to shape the future of your course.

Role Description Course Rep Applicable to: Every course rep. Each subject should have one course rep per 25 students enrolled, at each level. Accountable to: Students on your course Dan Derricott | Vice-President Academic Affairs | ULSU (on behalf of the Student Rep Executive) Supported by: Location:

Welfare & Academic Representation Department, Students’ Union Course Teams and Faculty Offices


September & October 2010

Cross Campus (Dependant on individual faculty)

It is important to remember that you are acting on behalf of the students on your course to provide valuable feedback to programme staff which will go on to shape the future of your course. The Students’ Union believes that those who are affected by decisions should be able to participate in making them and commits to supporting course reps. Course Reps’ Responsibilities: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

To attend training for the role To actively seek out student opinion To inform students about issues that concern them To prepare for, attend and participate in course meetings: bringing the student perspective. To raise students concerns/issues via the appropriate channels To signpost students to appropriate support/information To work with other Reps in the school and faculty, sharing information for mutual benefit

Skills and Qualities of a Course Rep: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.


Current student of University of Lincoln, intending to continue studies for the academic year Committed to providing a quality service to meet the needs of students on their course Excellent communication skills Able to relate to academic staff, senior managers, service staff and students Willing to undertake training and development Keen to work co-operatively with others Able to manage time effectively and efficiently Able to work on own initiative Aware of the support available to students in the University and Union

Lincoln Student Reps

Where do you fit in? The Representation Charter Students Will:

Introduction The University strongly believes in and promotes ‘effective student voice’ and recognises that it is essential for developing the University and its offering as well as for quality assurance. The Student Representation System is in place to ensure that Students at the University are represented effectively in decision making processes and to ensure that student voice is heard. Student Representatives (Course Reps) are elected Students who represent their peers on the same course at the same level, Course Reps may also, at their discretion, take on additional responsibilities within the Student Representation System. Each Course Rep agrees to abide to this code of practice when nominating himself / herself for the position, similarly Staff are expected to adhere to this Code of Practice when dealing with Course Reps. This code of practice is in place to protect the rights of Student Representatives, Students and University Staff. The Student Representation System is the product of a partnership between University Faculty Offices, Academic Staff, the Secretariat Department and the Students’ Union and each partner has a key role to play.

Terminology Course Rep: An elected student with the capacity to represent and act on behalf of their constituents. Constituent: The students who are represented by a particular Course Rep. Academic Staff: University Staff who teach students, e.g. Lecturers, Seminar Tutors, Programme Leaders. Professional Staff: University Staff who are not Academics, e.g. Departmental Administrators, Academic Officers, Secretariat Officers.

General Responsibilities

- Course Reps when asked to and shall utilise Course Reps when necessary. -

Challenge the work of their Course Reps by questioning performance and outcomes, and shall vote in elections according to which candidate is best for the role and will not simply choose friends.

The University and its Staff Will: - Fully support the Student Representation System and shall endeavour to enforce this Code of Practice. -

Recognise and appreciate that Course Reps are representing the views of all the constituents they represent and not just their own views, and will therefore act upon reasonable requests made by Course Reps.

- Treat Course Reps and Colleagues equally in University and Students’ Union meetings - Actively promote Course Reps as vital members of Subject Committees and include them in the Committees business.

The Students’ Union Will: -

Oversee the management and strategic development of the Student Representation System and provide effective training and support to Course Reps to ensure that they are well equipped to fulfil their role.

- Facilitate events to assist in the development and networking of Course Reps.

Course Reps Will: -

- Ensure that their voice is being heard by communicating with

Effectively represent constituents to the University and the Students’ Union, in a way that encompasses the views of all constituents collectively and not just their own views. - This can be done through mediums deemed effective by Course Reps, assuming they are ethical.


- Provide materials and stage events to promote Course Reps where possible. - Support the University in electing Course Reps when necessary.


Work with other Course Reps within their subject to create a In the event of a dispute, the Students’ Union VP Education & strong, influential student voice and to collectively conduct two-way communication with constituents, the - University and Academic Affairs (VPEAA) shall have the ability to convene a team, which shall include representation from academic staff and the Students’ Union. professional services staff and shall make recommendations for the - Ensure diversity, fairness and professionalism when resolution of disputes representing constituents and will lead by example through showing respect to all. - Attend all basic training for Course Reps and shall endeavour, where possible, to attend any advanced training offered.


Getting Started As the title suggests, a Student Rep represents the views of the Students, so you will need to ensure that students on your course know who you are.

There are a number of ways to communicate this: Ask your lecturer of they could spare five minutes at the start of their lecture or seminar for you to introduce yourself – this is also useful to do a couple of weeks before course committee meetings in order to get the views and opinions of students on your course. Depending on the way your course Blackboard site is set up, you might be able to write a paragraph about yourself including your contact details… and if you’re brave enough, even a photo! Using your course Blackboard site might also be useful when it comes to getting feedback from and giving feedback to other students. An alternative to this is getting your tutor to set up a discussion board on your course Blackboard site where people can anonymously put their comments. You can then print these off and take them with you to your meetings. We have put notice boards in prominent areas for each faculty, please contact to find out where yours is. Whatever you choose, be proactive and make sure your fellow students are aware of you!

Points to remember: -

You are there to represent the views of your peers, these may not necessarily reflect your own, but you are asked to present the majority opinion or a balanced range of feedback.

- You need to respond to the diversity of the student population promoting equal opportunities to all students. -

A wide range of support is available to help you perform your role to the best of your ability, please don’t hesitate to ask the Students’ Union, your Course Leader, or Student Services for advice.

- Making improvements to the Student Experience requires research, patience, persistence and co- operative working. - In order to support you, your department and the SU need to keep in contact with you, please ensure you provide up to date contact details. -

The University and the Union believe that Students should have an input into the development of the Student Experience, and we work together to promote this opportunity.

- You are accountable to the students you represent.


Lincoln Student Reps

How to get the best out of meetings Before… • Gain feedback from students. • Read the minutes from previous meetings. • Make notes of things to bring up and any questions. • Identify important issues. • Clarify any matters you are unsure of. – Email or come to our drop ins on Monday 3.30pm – 5pm or Wednesday 10am – 12 noon • Be aware of what you want to get out of the meeting. • Be on time! • Meet with or at least catch up with the officer reps on your course and your school rep.

During… • Be concise when making points. • Listen to others’ views. • Contribute your own views. • Vote (if applicable). • Support issues and views that you are in favour of. • Don’t be afraid to disagree. • Sit where you can see the chairperson and where they can see you. • Make lots of notes. • Look alive! • Make sure you know what action will happen as a result of the things that have been raised.

After… • Reflect on the meeting. • Carry out any action points you have been allocated. • Report back to the students and get their opinions. • Let your School Rep and know how it went. • TAKE A BREAK!


What to expect in meetings Agenda

Matters Arising / Action Points

this is an opportunity for people to add any items that they would like to be discussed to the agenda – if it isn’t too late, as there is usually a deadline for new items to business. It also gives people a chance to change the order of the meeting if people are likely to be late or need to leave at a certain time.

this is when things that were not resolved at the last meeting get re-discussed. It is also an opportunity to update the group as to any developments that may have taken place since.


this is where the main discussions for the meetings take place, for example, a list of modules for our course.

these are listed to identify who couldn’t attend any meetings. It is important t6hat if you are unable to attend a meeting you send your apologies to the secretary and if possible try to speak to other Student Reps to see whether they are going to be there – this way any comments that students have given you can be presented by your colleagues.

Minutes of Previous Meeting this is an opportunity to make sure that the minutes accurately reflect the discussions of the previous meeting. It is important that you reads these as it gives you an idea as to what happened at the last meeting.


Items of Business Any Other Business (AOB) this is where items that do not require any discussion take place. It is for small things that could be “announced” at meetings, for example a social event that students organised went well.

Date, Time and Venue of next meeting this is where the details for the next meeting are arranged.

Lincoln Student Reps

Things you might come across as a Student Rep Typical categories that Students feedback on: Resources computers, lecture rooms, books and other Learning Resources.

Assessment Criteria and Procedures When students are unhappy with or unclear about them.

When a student brings a concern or comment to you consider – 1. What is the issue here exactly? 2. Is it an issue for just this one student or many? 3. How deeply does this effect this one student or many? 4. How do I find out if it effects others? 5. Has any previous work been done to address this? 6. Who else can I involve to help with this?

Teaching Methods lecturer(s) may not be helpful / approachable or may be difficult to understand. There may be simple things they could do to improve teaching for students.

Complaints may not be dealt with quickly / /appropriately or may not be pursued for fear of repercussions.

Student Development Students may feed back about opportunities for personal and career development.

Course Deadlines lectures changing deadlines without consulting the students, not being published far enough in advance or all come at once.

Turnaround of Marked Work students may request that their assignments are marked and returned in time to use the tutor’s comments for the next assignment.

Hidden Course Costs are there unexpected fees that you are required to pay in order to complete your studies effectively that were not highlighted at the start of your year / /course?

Becoming a Rep genuinely was the best thing I've ever done... So many doors were opened for me following that ...


Case Studies What’s in it for me? Ellie

Esther & Natalie


The best bit about being a rep for me was the recognition for the work I put in, so attending Faculty Board and Subject committee and actually providing useful input from the student body, along with my never ending endeavour to try and bring together the people on my course. I was awarded a prize not only by the SU but also by my Faculty for the contribution I made to my course, which was nice. I just think that to anyone who does really care about being a rep and has ideas of improvement to any aspect of Uni life, make a go of it. The rewards, if sometimes small, mean a lot not only to the students on your course/faculty but also to the staff. At the end of the day you're all there for a common goal and working together and encouraging your tutors and such to use you as a resource really does pay off.

Over the past year, Esther and I had the fantastic opportunity to be the reps for the nursing students. This role proved to be the most rewarding and satisfying experience that we both had within our first year at university.

Last year I acted as both a Course Rep and as the Business School Liasion Rep; my day to day activities in these roles included attending the Business and Law Faculty Board, where I was able to lay down the views and academic issues of students within our faculty to our academics and management team, resulting in a number of big changes within the faculty. It also allowed the Senior Reps team to lay down the foundations of a potentially highly influential Student/ Academic Forum, where students and staff can come together informally to discuss issues within the faculty. I also sat on Student Council, which was a great opportunity to raise non-academic issues and represent students on a Universitywide scale.

Some of the things I did included: going to the National Course Reps Conference in Birmingham where we chatted and mingled with reps from other Unis which was such a good experience, especially as we found out what other SUs were doing for their students and reps and we could provide our own experiences and ideas; I also organised a rep social for reps from the MHT Faculty which was fun; I also talked a lot to the tutors on my course about how useful they saw the reps and they were incredibly enthusiastic about using us as a sounding board and a resource so that they know what they could do to improve aspects of the course.

One of our milestones this past year has been our development and implementation of the student’s right and responsibilities session. This session was developed to allow students to come together and recognise the importance of their professionalism and compassion towards other student’s learning needs. The session provided students with the ability to recognise the importance of their own role in becoming an effective enabler in their adult learning environment. Having delivered this session to our cohort we have since be asked to facilitate this session with the new cohort of nursing students. It is our hope that you enjoy your role as course reps, understanding the vital role that you can play in engaging with students and representing them, but most of all developing your own skills of which have enabled you to begin this journey. Enjoy, Esther and Natalie.



Lincoln Student Reps

Becoming a Rep genuinely was the best thing I've ever done... So many doors were opened for me following that, including the opportunity to act as a Student Trustee for the Union, giving students a prominent voice at the SU's highest level, and the confidence to run for Campaigns Officer this year! Joe

The Lincoln Award


Every year the number of graduates is increasing and the competition is getting tougher. Employers are looking for candidates who stand out from the crowd and who have developed their skills, abilities and ambitions – a degree is no longer enough to get you the job you want.


AWARD AWARD Why? lincolnaward

Enhance your employability through skills development Gain recognition for your achievements Participate in activities- meet new people, have fun! There are many things you can do to help you stand out from the crowd, and in fact you’re probably doing a lot of them already. The Lincoln Award is recognition of the activities you do over and above your studies, and is something that future employers will recognise as you doing that little bit extra. As well as helping you develop these skills the Lincoln Award will give you the framework to showcase your achievements and the confidence to communicate your university experiences and successes to future employers.

Employers are looking for candidates who stand out from the crowd and who have developed their skills, abilities and ambitions...

What? The Lincoln Award is an achievement award for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students at the University of Lincoln. The Award is designed to enhance the employability of University of Lincoln graduates by providing official recognition and evidence of employability related activities. These include; work experience, part-time employment, volunteering, attendance at workshops and presentations and many other extra-curricular activities and achievements. The Lincoln Award merely provides a structure for your continuing professional development, with the certificate just a framework to be built upon. It should be viewed as a way of continuously building a skills portfolio; you will get out of it what you put in.

When? The Lincoln Award is open to all students currently studying at the University of Lincoln. You can start the award at any point and must complete before graduation. It is highly advisable to start the award as soon as possible to ensure you secure a place at the compulsory sessions required before completing the award.

How? In order to achieve the Lincoln Award you need to complete the compulsory and required number of optional units and record these using the evidence forms provided. Once you have completed these you will book yourself a Personal Careers Coaching Session where your award will be signed off.


What next? Make sure you know your course leader, academic subject librarian and faculty officer. Get in contact with your School Rep and Faculty Rep Get in contact with other reps on your course Find out the dates of your meetings for the year Introduce yourself to students on your course Think of a way to get some student feedback before the first meeting Ask the Union to give you access to any data relating to your course Register for the Lincoln Award if you’re interested Clear or re-direct your Student email so that you get messages about Reps Order a Reps Hoodie to keep you warm this winter Book in your diary to go to the Higher Education Funding Demonstration in London.


Lincoln Student Reps

Jargon Buster You will almost certainly come across a large number of acronyms whilst you are at University. This is a list of some of the main ones as well as a glossary of some useful meeting related vocabulary.


Art, Architecture and Design


Any other Business


Faculty of Business and Law


Board of Governors


Centre for Educational Research and Development


Deputy Vice Chancellor (The university has three; each responsible for a different aspect of the university’s academic and business affairs)


An official ban (on activity e.g. sharing information from meetings that may be considered confidential)


Faculty Rep


Full – time


Higher Education Funding Council for England


Higher Education Institution


Faculty of Health Life and Social science


Head of Department


Head of Faculty


Institute for Learning


Key Performance indicators


Faculty of Media Humanities and Technology


National Student Survey


Office of the Independent Adjudicator (an external body that handles student complaints that the university has not resolved)




Something relevant handed out to members of a meeting (this could theoretically be anything)


Part- time


Quality Assurance Agency. An external body that inspects, reports on and ensures the quality of all HEI’s in Britain.


The number of members needed for a meeting to officially (legally) be valid.


School Liaison Rep


Students’ Union




Vice Chancellor


Diary We’ve included a diary in this guide for you to keep track of all meeting dates and other activates you may take part in as a Student Rep.





Student Rep Executive: 30th September 3pm – 4:30pm (TBC) Senior Reps Catch Up: 30th September 4:30pm (The Hub)

Senior Reps Catch Up: 27th January 4:30pm (The Hub)



Student Rep Executive: 24th February 3pm – 4:30pm (TBC) Senior Reps Catch Up: 24th February 4:30pm (The Hub)

Reps Training: 13th October 1pm -5pm (LPAC) Senior Reps Catch Up: 21st October 4:30pm (The Hub)


November Senior Reps Catch Up: 18th November 4:30pm (The Hub)

Senior Reps Catch Up: 31st March 4:30pm (The Hub)


December Student Rep Executive: 9th December 3pm – 4:30pm (TBC) Senior Reps Catch Up: 9th December 4:30pm (The Hub)

Student Rep Executive: 21st April 1:30pm – 4:30pm (TBC) Senior Reps Catch Up: 28th April 4:30pm (The Hub)



Lincoln Student Reps



Student Union Contact Details We look after all things representational and can help out with most concerns /problems / questions, from academic problems, housing advice and student media through to finding a job, volunteering and playing sports.

SU Academic Team For any query about anything Reps related you can call us on 01522 887663 or email Dan Derricott, Beccy Rock Sophie Ford Abigail Guy

Vice President Academic Affairs Representation Manager Representation Projects Worker Department Administrator.

Faculty Reps Agriculture, Food Art and Architecture Business and Law Health, Life Social Science. Media and Humanities

VACANT Paul Stewart Ryan and Kelly Carla Gavin Fran Tebbutt

SU Services

Welfare and Campus Liaison Sports & Societies JobShop Volunteering

Student Services Most of your non-academic (and even some academic) questions can be answered by Student Services. The Student Support Centre is the first point of call for most things. Student Support Centre Advice Service Funding Student Services Chaplaincy Counselling DART - Campus Specific Questions Brayford Hull Riseholme Holbeach Support Departments ICT Helpdesk Accommodation Media Loans Library and Learning Resources Sports Centre

01522 837080 01522 837080 01522 886770 01522 886181 01522 886079 01522 886181 01522 886400 01522 837080 01482 311720 01522 895391 01406 493000 01522 886053 01522 886195 01522 886319 01522 886222 01522 886688

Faculty Offices

The faculty offices can help you find answers to routine academic queries. Heads of Schools, Deans, Faculty Officers and Academic Officers can also be contacted via the Faculty Office. Agriculture, Food & Animal Sciences Art, Architecture & Design Business & Law Health, Life & Social Sciences Media, Humanities & Technology

01522 886644 01522 837437 01522 837300 01522 886368 01522 837302

Don’t forget to get in touch with your Faculty Rep To find a member of staff: Go to and click ion ‘Phone Search’, This will allow you to search for any member of staff (at the University & Union) showing a phone number, email address and usually a location.


Lincoln Student Reps

Lincoln Student Reps 2010-11