The Print took a look at the manifestos of all the candidates running to be next years VP Education, picked out our favourite policies, asked them each an important question and then got them to send us their top five emojis
Strongest Policy: Faster Feedback
“Faster and Better assessment feedback: at the moment coursework feedback for many subjects is simply taking too long. I will work with academic departments to meet a target of a 4-week coursework turnout. I’ll look towards paid PHD students to help with marking backlogs and put in place firmer times on QM plus by which students can expect assessments to be marked by. I’m also keen to work with course reps from STEM subjects to improve feedback from tests and exams”.
Receiving feedback on time is an absolute must. It’s not ideal when you have assignments to start on and you want to have a look at the feedback you’ve already gotten for previous assignments, but can’t because it’s being returned late. It can also be really off putting when you’ve waited that long and the feedback is not detailed enough. More efficiency in providing feedback on time and improving the quality of feedback received will definitely improve the student experience!
Our Question: How exactly will you go about ensuring feedback turnover targets are met across all of the academic departments?
Eddie’s Response: “I don’t feel it is a case of consistency of feedback speed between academic departments. It is a case of making sure good quality feedback is returned to students as quick as possible so they can learn from it in preparation for their next piece of coursework/ test/ exam. I will work with course reps to monitor feedback times and then focus on particular departments where feedback has become an issue if necessary.
“In addition, the current VP Education, Imran, has done a great job collecting data on feedback time and quality via surveys so that will be my starting point next year. Getting feedback on feedback (I like to confuse you haha) also seems to work via individual conversations. For example, over the period of creating my manifesto and the campaign, just working and interacting with students, I have learnt feedback speed isn’t a problem in the engineering department- on average it only takes about three weeks- whereas in the law and the biology departments it seems to be a bigger problem”.
Five Favourite Emoji’s:
Strongest Policy: 24 Hour Libraries
“This campaign needs completion: I will bring Queen Mary into line with the rest of the University of London and win on 24 hour libraries”.
As we know, the 24-hour library campaign is already in the works, and the university is piloting extended hours for the library. Many of the University of London libraries are open 24 hours, and with further campaigning, this could be very beneficial for QM students (especially if you’re a night owl like me!!).
Our Question: How exactly will you continue on the work already done to achieve 24 hour libraries?
Monty’s Response: ‘To win 24 hour libraries we need to come up with a positive proposal for exactly how it would work, and build support for the campaign amongst students. The current elected officers have been doing this successfully, and I believe that’s one of the reasons why the campaign recently won a victory on weekend hours. I’d work with others to submit a concrete plan to the university, talk to students more about what they want from a 24- hour library, and win more support for the campaign so that any proposal we submit has a lot of backing”.
Five Favourite Emoji’s:
Strongest Policy: Online Core Material
“Modules which require students to possess core books should have them readily available online as eBooks. With the recent axing of the maintenance grant, students from a disadvantaged background will have even less financial support with their studies. I want to promote equal learning opportunities for ALL students”
I’m sure many of you have faced paying out a lot of money to buy core textbooks at the start of the year, and on a student budget, this may not be feasible for everyone. Ensuring that core readings are readily available online will ensure that students are not disadvantaged trying to keep up with just the core readings for their modules.
Our Question: How will you go about implementing this policy across all departments?
Sumeera’s Response: I will implement it by first reviewing the different schools and finding out which courses require students to buy core material as not all do (such as mine). I know that certain courses that have compulsory activities such as fieldtrips can be paid for fully, or largely subsidised by the school in order for students to attend. Likewise, I will push for departments to buy online copies and make them available to students either free of charge, or at a small fraction of the price. If material is a compulsory component of a course, students should not have to pay for it, it should be made available. Learning opportunities must be fair and just for all. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Five Favourite Emoji’s:
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