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A WELCOME MESSAGE TO THE PROGRAMME REPS! Firstly, thank you for committing to make our University experience a better one! My name is Alex Murray and I am the Students Union President for 10/11. One of my key objectives in my manifesto was to help improve the quality of education students receive across the board, and feel you guys are best positioned to help make these changes. Without the work you Programme Reps do, we wouldn’t have half as much information as we need to make the changes to make Roehampton a better University.We would encourage you all to be proactive and put as much as you can into this role. The feedback we get can generally make a real difference to the people we work and study with. If you ever want to discuss issues you may be experiencing or bring something to my attention please come and visit me in the Union building or drop me an email on alex.murray@roehampton.ac.uk. Alex Murray, Roehampton Students’ Union President My name is Gemma Kelly and I am the Academic Support Advisor in the Students’ Union. Firstly I would like to say a massive thank you for volunteering yourself to become a Programme Rep on behalf of the Students Union we hope that you enjoy your role and will help us in our work on behalf of the students here at Roehampton. This year the union has seen a few changes in the way it is set up, we now have a new Academic Zone which has been set up in order to help, advise and support any students who may be experiencing academic issues. The Academic Zone is now also responsible for the Programme Rep system. Which is headed up by myself and Alex, our job is to liaise, train and to identify key issues affecting students and feed this to the university. We have a responsibility to you guys to hold the University accountable for its service in learning and teaching and to ensure you guys and your fellow students are satisfied. It also helps us in developing channels of communications amongst the departments with which you are a key part. There are a great number of benefits of becoming a rep, not only will you be having a major effect on providing feedback which will hopefully implement positive changes for your cohort of students but also in your department, but it will also be improving your own portfolio with opportunities to gain and build on a whole host of transferable skills. This Rep handbook has been laid out to provide you with the basics of being a rep and what is expected of you, But remember if you have any questions or queries or you just simply need help getting your heads around something our contact details are inside, do not hesitate to ask! It has been put together to help you in this important role as a vital link between university staff and students. Student representatives are an essential part of the University Committee structure and have three main areas of responsibility: • REPRESENTATION • FEEDBACK • COMMUNICATION This year we have introduced a new role into our Student Union Team, the new role being Academic Representation Officer - This year we are pleased to say that Filomena Dreyer will be carrying out this role, She will act as the lead representative of programme reps and ensure they are represented within RU and RSU decision making processes. Gemma Kelly, RSU Academic Support Advisor


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REPS DROP IN This year as well, the Students’ Union has set aside times for a specific Programme Reps drop in. If you need any help, advice, tips or you have an idea you want to discuss then you can pop in and either Gemma or Alex will be at hand to help you. Drop In times 10am-12pm Monday’s or 2pm – 4pm Wednesdays. Based in the Student Union, Lawrence Building, Froebel. Other useful links for reps •Facebook group for reps – a great place to keep in touch with the union and other reps and also share ideas. Go to Facebook and search for ‘Roehampton Programme Reps 2010/11’. •RSU Website - Up to date info on union activities and sources for reps www.roehamptonstudent.com/academic •Moodle – The university’s new Virtual Learning Environment, we will be inviting reps to join our own Programme Rep site, with opportunities to access resources, forums and chat rooms at www.moodle.roehampton.ac.uk/ •NUS website (National Union of Students) - Up to date info on national campaigns, also sign up for NUS extra card and receive nationwide discounts! www.nus.org.uk •NSS website (National Student Survey) – Up to date info on National Student Survey, how you can fill it in and how it works. www.thestudentsurvey.com


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WHY DOES THE ROLE EXIST? • The Students’ Union is determined to hold the University to account on its commitment to improve the quality of the student experience and teaching and learning – for all students. • School Learning and Teaching Committees and Programme Boards need student input on School resources and productivity for both taught and research students as well as considering the student experience as a whole. • The universities numerous enhancement groups and consultative forums need student input on key decisions to give them credibility and legitimacy. • Best Practice in Quality Assurance in universities requires that student representation is at the heart of university’s strategy – and Programme Reps are regarded as best practice amongst Students’ Unions nationally. • With well-trained, motivated and committed student representatives in place at all levels in the University, the Students’ Union is able to achieve a much greater overall impact and stay aware of the core issues affecting students.

WHY YOU MATTER TO US You matter because: • Only current students can truly speak on behalf of, assist in fostering and understand the dynamics of the student community. • Only current students can truly hold the university to account on its commitments in the Roehampton Student Learning Values and improve the student experience. • Only trained, motivated and committed representatives can truly offer the necessary skills to represent students effectively. • Only through recognition of being an official Programme Rep can there truly be an identifiable advocate for the needs of students in your school.


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WHY BE A PROGRAMME REP? As a Programme Rep, you are ideally placed to develop skills in a number of areas associated with representation and advocacy which cover areas including:. • • • • • • •

Meeting Skills Communication Teamwork Negotiation Organisation Time Management Project and event management

The Students’ Union cannot emphasise enough how important it is to develop and enhance your employability and skills while at university. The Students’ Union is also happy to provide you with a reference to vouch for how much you’ve gained from your role. Learning Outcomes • Make a difference • Enhance your CV • Receive valuable training • Develop your communication, negotiation, problem-solving and time management skills • Make friends across the University Recognition and Rewards • Certificate from Students Union signed by the RSU President • Opportunity to qualify for a Roehampton Award • Receive a departmental Award at Graduation for outstanding contribution • Away days, Conferences and Training There are also opportunities along the way to get involved in other union and university projects. Last year we had a group of reps that sat on the approval and review panels for programmes, this was the first time that students had been asked to be part of this process, and this has set a benchmark for other universities to follow in Roehampton footsteps.


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PROGRAMME REPS JOB DESCRIPTION WHAT IS A PROGRAMME REP? A programme rep is an elected student from each course. Their main job is to liaise and represent the views and opinions of students on that course and to feedback to members of staff and the Students’ Union. THE ROLE These are the three main elements to the role. 1)To represent the views of students on your programme. 2)Refer, liaise and support 3)Bring issues to the attention of the students union. 1) Representing • Make yourself known to your fellow students and to the staff in your Programme in your school. • Make sure you regularly update and communicate through relevant avenues that have been set up for you. • Attend compulsory training at the beginning of the year and any top up training that is put on throughout the year. • Identify any programme issues/problems that are recognised by you and your fellow students • Bring these issues to the attention of the academics and university staff, by attending and participating in appropriate meetings • Form vital links between staff and students • Represent the views of others • Feedback to students • Keep in contact with other Programme Reps, The Students Union and your Programme Staff. • Speak regularly to your academic staff to keep informed on current news/issues regarding your programme, department or the university • Provide a friendly, approachable and effective service.


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2) Refer, liaise and support * Make yourself known to students and staff * Become familiar with the university structures, support services and The Students’ Union so that you can direct students to the necessary place. * Keep lines of communication open between students and staff and liaise with relevant support services if needed. 3) Students Union • As an elected representative you are automatically a member of SUC (Student Union Council) There will be SUC meetings throughout the year that you will be expected to attend. • Programme Rep Forums will also take place throughout the year this will be a valuable opportunity for you to engage with other reps from all schools. • You represent students’ views to the union, just as you do the university. (you can relay your ‘points to raise’ to other programme reps or the union president prior to the SUC meetings) YOUR REMIT AS A REP SUPPORTING STUDENTS Programme Reps are a valuable and crucial link between University, RSU and Students. They represent the views and opinions of their fellow classmates and provide key points of contact to various University services that some students may not have known about. These services will be able to address any personal, financial or academic issues a student may have, meaning there is no undue pressure on a rep to fulfil these duties themselves. Any reps who feel as if they are being overloaded with expectations and workload in their role are urged to contact Gemma Kelly or Alex Murray (or both) as soon as possible so that any issues can be ironed out. A key thing to remember: There are people being paid to help our students succeed, all you need to do is point them in the right direction!


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MEETING SKILLS MEETING SKILLS: UNDERSTANDING AGENDAS As a Programme Rep you will be attending department meetings, which may seem confusing at first. However,regardless of the actual purpose of the meeting, most university meetings follow this structure. Apologies: Anyone who has said that they can’t be there. This will not always be read out. Terms of Reference: This may not always be included, but explains what the meeting is for in general, i.e. to review the programme as a whole, and explains the scope and limits of what the meeting can do. Minutes: Minutes are the summary of what happened last time and any decisions taken or action agreed. If anyone has a problem with the records of the previous meeting or a point of accuracy, they should say so here. Matters Arising: Checking progress of any action agreed at the last meeting Reports – any regular reports (such as the Chairs report or Programme Reps report) that isn’t covered in the main agenda, or progress with ongoing projects. Items: These are the main focus for the committee. Each item will be discussed in turn, and any relevant papers or proposal should have been sent out with the agenda so that everyone understands what is being debated and can come prepared. AOB(Any Other Business): Urgent points that have only just come to your attention. If you can’t attend for any reason, ALWAYS let the secretary know. If you want to discuss something in the meeting, ask the secretary to put an item on the agenda for you. If you’re struggling to understand the agenda or papers for the meeting. Or want more information about a university policy that is mentioned, you can speak to your Department Officer or Administrator within your department or to Alex Murray and Gemma Kelly in the RSU.


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SUCEEDING IN MEETINGS: THE TOP TIPS Before the meeting: Make sure you have discussed fully with students any issues you are planning to raise/discuss • Check & confirm the venue, date and time • Read the agenda thoroughly,(which you should receive/pick up a few days before) and gather your thoughts on the various points • Prepare any arguments , reports you want to presents and check under which agenda item they come • If you want to add an agenda item, you should contact the secretary at least two weeks before the agenda is sent out/ ready to pick up During the meeting: • Try and sit next to someone you know (for a bit of support). • Listen carefully to everyone, you will learn lots from those more experienced Don’t interrupt but make sure you aren’t interrupted • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you can’t be expected to know everything • If you can’t think of anything to say, don’t worry, you don’t have to talk on every agenda item • If you agree with something then say so (be seen to be participating). • State your views and issues slowly and clearly, but respect those opposing views • Use lots of eye contact • Be positive! • Write down responses to your inquiries to report back to students later. You may not have got the result you wanted and will have to explain why. After the meeting: • Report back to the students via your preferred method • Take action on any matters that cropped up during the meeting. • Begin to prepare for the next meeting • Anything you didn’t understand or want to go through speak to your Programme Staff or Alex and Gemma in the union.


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THE NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY WHAT IS IT? Entering its seventh year, the National Student Survey (NSS) is a census of students in their final year of a course leading to undergraduate credits or qualifications across the UK. It’s your chance to have your say about what you liked and didn’t like about your student learning experience during your time in higher education. Student feedback is used to compile year on year comparative data that is: 1.Published on Unistats.com where prospective students and their advisors can use the results to help make informed choices of where and what to study 2.Useful to your university, students’ union or college to facilitate best practice and enhance the student learning experience. You, along with your peers will be asked to answer a series of 22 questions ranging from organisation and management of your course through to assessment and feedback, which the University will then be scored on individually. WHY IS IT RELEVANT TO YOUR ROLE AS A REP? Higher Education institutions across the country see the NSS as a key way of recruiting new students and also a method by which the sector as a whole judges the institutions’ place in a National setting. This means the results of the NSS have a direct impact on the University’s ‘Learning and Teaching’ strategies and the way in which your course is delivered.


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THE STORY SO FAR AT ROEHAMPTON Up until 2008/2009, Roehampton did not fare well in the NSS; this was due to a low percentage of students filling out the survey as well as students grading the standard of the University at a relatively average rate. The key aspect of the NSS scoring is that the smallest of scoring percentages can hugely affect the positioning of an institution on a national level. For example, Roehampton slipped several places down the national table without getting a lower percentage overall, it was more on the basis that other institutions went up by a small margin. Last year, the RSU worked in partnership with the University to encourage students to fill out the survey. The Union led a campaign entitled “The Ball is in your Court”, which meant that if 80% of final year undergraduate students completed the survey on time, the University would commit extra funding to the annual ‘Summer Ball’ event. As it happens, we nearly reached our target and so managed to secure two top level headline acts rather than the usual one. Due to a cut in funding to the University, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to achieve the same financial incentive from the University this year, however, the Union and the University see this as a crucial way of holding the University to account for its processes and teaching practice so please encourage all final year students to complete the survey when it rolls around at the start of the Spring Semester.


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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS A STUDENT APPROACHES AS THEY FEEL THEY HAVE PICKED THE WRONG PROGRAMME FOR THEM, WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE? If a student feels that they have chosen the wrong programme, firstly you must encourage them talk to their tutor first, this is more straightforward at the beginning of term, so if they are having any doubts at all about their programme they should seek advice as quickly as they can, if they decide later on in the semester they may be referred to an academic advisor. If they then decide that they still want to change course they should approach the programme convener of the new subject, and secure acceptance onto that programme and then complete the necessary documentation. You can obtain this documentation from registry in Erasmus house or from registry’s section on the Roehampton website. They may also need to contact the Student Finance Company, to inform them that they have changed courses. A STUDENT ASKS YOU WHO THEIR PERSONAL TUTOR IS? Everyone will have a personal tutor assigned to them, who they can contact for help as and when needed. If a student is unclear on whom their personal tutor is, they should ask at your school office and they will either be able to tell you or assign you one, this may differ from school to school. You are NOT expected to know everyone’s personal tutor! (except your own of course!) A STUDENT APPROACHES YOU AND EXPLAINS THAT THEY HAVE JUST RECEIVED THE MARKS FOR THEIR MODULE AND THEY THINK THEY SHOULD HAVE GOT BETTER MARKS, WHAT CAN YOU DO? The best thing you can advise the student to do is to get their feedback from their personal tutor on the assessments that made up that module and try and find out exactly why they got that mark. The student cannot appeal their marks simply because they think they should have got better grades, however, if there has been a mistake on what they received and what was entered on their record for whatever reason, then that is something we can help with at the SU.

USEFUL UNIVERSITY LINKS Reps also have support from other services within the university, two being the Librarians and the careers service. These are both valuable services within the university and are happy to spend a little time with any reps that need assistance. AMAZING OFFER! LIBRARIANS CAN HELP STUDENTS! The SU has been doing some great work in preparing and supporting reps for their very important role. The Librarians rate the SU handbook for reps as “excellent guidance” and “invaluable support”. So how we can support you? Some ideas... •With library-related issues - can be questions, suggestions or complaints •Do you need help with how to deal with any of these?


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•Does a complaint need urgent attention?… many issues can be resolved quickly with us •Talk over student feedback with your Librarian, can help to clarify an issue •Need help with getting feedback from students?... •We can tell you the 3 most common queries/problems we get •No need to wait till a programme board meets! The Academic Liaison Librarians look forward to hearing from you. If you haven’t already met your Librarian see this website: www.tiny.cc/RoeUniALL 10 KEY THINGS THAT STUDENT REPS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT STUDENT EMPLOYABILITY AND THE EMPLOYMENT AND CAREERS SERVICE (ECS) •ECS is part of the new Student Development Office, and is located in the Information Centre, Richardson Building, Digby Stuart College.

•During term time we offer a daily drop-in, quick query service from 12.45 to 2.45 but you can also make an appointment for more careers adviser time if you need to or you can make several short visits. • It is never too early to come and see us. We can help you apply for part time work to support your studies or help you search for vacation work, internships and volunteering right from the start of your course. •ECS offer a twice monthly on-campus service to help students find volunteer opportunities in conjunction with Roehampton Students Union and the Volunteer Centre Wandsworth. Dates and times of these sessions are on our website: www.studentzone.roehampton.ac.uk/careers •We are also the main source of support as you plan your career long term too. Our experienced careers advisers help all students at all stages – If you know exactly what you want to do and need help with applications that’s great, but lots of students don’t know where to start or how to choose. ECS can help you find your direction. •Graduate recruitment starts much earlier than you may think, at the very beginning of your third year so you need to use your second year to become well prepared. ECS carry good graduate and starter vacancies and also help get you job ready. Using us to develop your employability skills will make tasks like on-line applications, creating a CV and tackling tricky interview questions a piece of cake. •The JobShop is our online vacancy service advertising a wide range of part-time and fulltime jobs and all types of work experience opportunity (including volunteering). The NewsBox feature alerts you to items of topical interest and any live careers events, fairs or presentations. Register free at www.roehampton.ac.uk/jobshop •For those interested in postgraduate study at RU and elsewhere we’re there to help guide you, craft personal statements and explain financial and career implications. •ECS keeps up to date with what the job market is doing and what employers expect and need so we are good people to check out your plans and aspirations with, in asafe and confidential way. We also advise if you wish to change or leave your course. •For part time, off campus and working students some of our services are offered remotely by e-mail or telephone. So as well as careers information on reference and to take away in the careers centre you can access streamed DVDs on career topics through the Box of Broadcasts (BoB) system and access loads of resources via our website at wwwstudentzone.roehampton.ac.uk/careers


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GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS HEFCE – Higher Education Funding Council for England QAA – The Quality Assurance Agency LTQC – Learning Teaching Quality Committee LTEU – Learning & Teaching Enhancement Unit NSS - National Student Survey NUS – National Union of Students ALA – Academic Learning Assistant PC – Programme Convener UG – Undergraduate PGT – Post Graduate Taught PGR – Post Graduate Research HE - Higher Education RSU- Roehampton Student Union SUC – Student Union Council SWO – Student Welfare Officer ALL – Academic Liaison Librarians DO – Department Officer ELU – English Language Unit


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CONTACTS AND CORE STAFF Department Social Sciences Education Life Sciences Psycology Business School Humanities Media, Culture & Language English & Creative Writing Dance Drama, Theatre & Performance

Head of Department Stephen Driver Marilyn Holness Raymond Lee Diane Bray Elaine Harris Trevor Dean Paul Sutton

Department Officer Jennie Stayner Leonie Smith Rupert Morris Janice Jarmain Linda Dowsett Blanca SainzGarcia David Lochtie

Jenny Hartley

Jenny Watt

Toby Bennett Joe Kelleher

Irene Gerlach Irene Gerlach

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This is a list of some of the university services that might be useful to you, if you’re approached by any student with a specific problem. If you are ever unsure about were to refer a student you can always ask Alex or Gemma in the student union and we will be able to advise you. Other valuable contacts for Reps, would be their Programme Convener or Department administrator, you should find out who these are if you don’t know.

Roehampton Students’ Union (02083923221)

SU President: Alex Murray alex.murray@roehampton.ac.uk Academic Support Advisor: Gemma Kelly g.kelly@roehampton.ac.uk VP Welfare & Community: Becky Aston becky.aston@roehampton. ac.uk VP Activities: Natasha Blake natasha.blake@roehampton.ac.uk VP Communications & Engagement: Anant Naik anant.naik@roehampton.ac.uk

School Welfare Officers

Digby Stuart: w.cooper@roehampton.ac.uk (Ext. 3204) Froebel: a.joyes@roehampton.ac.uk (Ext. 3304) Southlands: b.stott@roehampton.ac.uk (Ext. 3404) Whitelands: e.ejoh@roehampton.ac.uk (Ext. 3504)

Student Services They offer varied amount of different advice for instance accommodation, disability, funding, careers etc. You can contact Student Services reception on 0208 392 3113.

Student Funding/Money Doctors Student Advice Centre, Richardson, Digby Stuart. studentfunding@roehampton.ac.uk (Ext 3090) Nicky Reid n.reid@roehampton.ac.uk (Ext. 3199)

Health & Well-being Health & Well-being Advisor: Stephen Messinger stephen.messinger@roehampton.ac.uk (Ext. 3668)

Disability/Dyslexia Support We are available throughout the year, Monday to Friday from 9am- 5pm. Visit us at Student Services in Richardson Building on Digby Campus . You can contact us by phone on 020 8392 3403 or by e-mail: disabilities@roehampton.ac.uk

Other Useful Library Services Library Enquiry Desk – 0208 392 3770 Renewals and Borrower Info – 0208 392 3250

English Language Unit(0208 392 3685)

ELUenquiries@roehampton.ac.uk Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (LTEU): lteu@roehampton.ac.uk


Programme Reps Booklet 2010/2011