The Student Union has released their summary report listing 34 recommendations to improve UEA’s student experience. Each year, the report covers concerns that may damage the reputation of the university and student life. The university will then assess the recommendations and act on them in time for the next SEC meeting in February. The report this year noted undergraduate and postgraduate issues drawing from data collected from a wide range of surveys, including the Student Union’s Survey 2016.
As UEA student satisfaction decreased by 1% from last year, research shows part of the reason was due to an inconsistent approach to the organisation and management of classes. The Faculty of Health and Medicine for example, rated the organisation of placements poorly with some Health Science students complaining: ‘some placements are brilliant. Others are not. It’s a lottery’. Commenting on the recommendations, postgraduate Education Officer Madeleine Colledge believes: “our recommendations on investment in Mental Health services are absolutely vital.”
Other students are dissatisfied about the timetabling of essay deadlines and changes in course content and structure. Amongst the other issues, the report recommends that the teaching hubs, learning resources and facilities, teaching and assessment quality and postgraduate experiences are all factors to consider improving.
Colledge is positive that: “although we’ve made over thirty recommendations, for a student focussed University like UEA none of them should be difficult to meet. It’s particularly important that the University takes action on the costs that students are facing at Uni. Too many students are finding the cost of food, books and off campus accommodation are leaving them skint at the end of term.”
The Student Union also provides suggestions to tackle UEA’s growing student population by increasing the number of computers and library capacity and space. Undergraduate Education Officer Theo Antoniou Phillips said that the union “are focussed relentlessly this year on representing students’ academic interests effectively… the top concern is space.”
The union also claimed that identifying specific work to promote diversity and inclusivity in teaching curriculums in higher education was vital.