StARs Training 2014. Your guide to being an effective Student Academic Rep. Introduction. Thank you for volunteering to be a Student Academic Representative ( StAR )
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Your guide to being an effective Student Academic Rep
Thank you for volunteering to be a Student Academic Representative (StAR)
As a StAR, you are responsible for making sure that the views and concerns of the students you represent are listened to and responded to by the University
The Students’ Union supports StARs and helps them to be effective and influential
StARs are key to what the Students’ Union does, so you’re very important to us and we want you to feel a part of the Students’ Union
Every Institute has at least two Institute Reps, who have all been StARs themselves and who were recruited and selected by the Students’ Union and University to represent students at Institute level. All can be contacted using the generic email addresses as shown below.
Institute of Education: Helen Manners and Alice Underhill
Institute of Health and Society: Chantal Vinyard, Thomas Williams, Tina Wootton-Porter, Tracy Howell
Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts: Bethany James and Philip Rose
Institute of Science and the Environment: Debra Doyle, Nicki Le Page, ZuzkaMajcova
Institute of Sport and Exercise Science: Amy Stringer and David Millward
Worcester Business School: Ben Norris, Craig King and KalinDelev
StAR Coordinators are named members of University staff with responsibility for supporting StARs and Institute Reps:
Institute of Education: Julie Sutton
Institute of Health and Society: Dave Robson
Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts: Lesley Spiers
Institute of Science and the Environment: Tory Milner
Institute of Sport and Exercise Science: Andy Renfree
Worcester Business School: Roger Saunders
The elected Vice President Education is the key contact for StARs and Institute Reps. The person in this role takes part in a range of University-level meetings and committees and is a Governor of the University, so is expected to know what concerns and priorities students have. This relies on StARs and Institute Reps making sure that the VP Education is made aware and kept informed of what students think.
Your VP Education for 2014-15 is Tom Clarke – email [email protected]
The Membership Services Manager is a permanent member of staff at the SU and is responsible for working with elected officers, StARs and Institute Reps to ensure that students are represented and to increase students’ engagement with the SU and the University.
Contact Ruth Christie via email [email protected]
The key point of contact with the University is the Pro Vice Chancellor (Students), John Ryan. The SU has regular meetings with John Ryan, including StARs Forums and meetings with Institute Reps and StAR Coordinators. Email [email protected]
Will Bowen-Jones is the Head of the Educational Development Unit and is keen to develop opportunities for students to get involved in genuine partnership projects with academic staff. Email [email protected]
It may sound obvious, but you have to ask them what they think. Experience shows that you’re much more likely to get a response if you ask direct questions, rather than just asking “Do you have any issues?”. Try asking questions such as:
There’s no “best” way of getting a response from students, but you could try some or all of these:
Course management committee
The University recognises that it’s essential to include students on course management committees, so that course leaders and other staff can hear what matters to students and consider suggestions from students about changes and improvements which might be made.
All StARs should attend course management committees, as taking part in these is a key function of the role. If you’re not sure when these meetings are, check with your course leader. If you really can’t attend, make sure you give your apologies and ask another StAR to make comments on your behalf. Sometimes, these meetings are held at very inconvenient times for students, so please let the SU know if this is a problem. It may be possible to get some help from your Institute Reps too.
Meetings within your Institute
Most Institutes arrange meetings or Forums for StARs. These may be organised by Institute Reps, StAR Coordinators or senior members of staff. Some provide lunch! They’re a good opportunity to talk through common themes and problems with StARs from other courses in your Institute. If you think it would be a good idea to have such a meeting, talk to your Institute Rep about organising one.
These meetings are held twice a semester and provide the chance for StARs and Institute Reps to put questions and comments from students directly to the Pro Vice Chancellor (Students), the Vice President Education and senior members of staff invited according to the themes of the Forum. The University undertakes to respond to all of the issues raised, either during the Forum or in the coming days. The responses are fed back to StARs so that they, in turn, can tell students the outcomes. The SU and the University really value your input at these Forums and you can give us written feedback from the students you represent if you prefer.
From time to time, there will be further opportunities for StARs to get involved in other ways such as focus groups, periodic reviews, conferences and presentations.
We’ll let you know about these through the website http://www.worcsu.com/yourvoice/stars/ as well as email and the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/626293024158370/
We’ll also let you know about any further training sessions and meetings.
We welcome your feedback and would love to hear your ideas about how we can improve our support to StARs. Email [email protected] with your comments and suggestions.
By completing this training you are entitled to log 1 hour’s volunteering. Complete our evaluation to validate your volunteering.