We’re already over half-way into the first term, and so much has happened with education at UCL. It's been great to see everything return to in-person this year, and from what students have told me, many are enjoying the regular interactions with fellow course mates and academic staff. 

Part of my role is leading and supporting our Academic Representative network, made up of nearly 2000 student representatives. It's been great to see the huge turnout in the Rep Elections this October, with over 5880 students voting. This meant 12.16% of students voted with 22,569 ballots cast, the highest ever turnout in a Rep Election at UCL! The Reps you have chosen to represent you in your courses, departments, faculties, and halls will be key to ensuring your voices are heard. I have started to feedback the concerns your Reps have raised to UCL in the various committees and steering groups that I sit on and will do my best to ensure improvements are made to your learning experience.    

In fact, over the last few months, I have been engaging with various stakeholders throughout the university, to work on UCL’s participation in the Teaching Excellence Framework. This is basically the Ofsted rating for universities, which judges the quality of teaching, learning and outcomes in the institution. We have been working on several areas that affect your educational experience, specifically around assessment feedback and student voice. This is because according to student survey data filled out by previous years, these are areas where UCL is lacking. By working on this, I hope to improve the quality of your assessments and the quality of feedback you are given and ensure that your voice is at the heart of your modules and courses.  

Whilst many of you are having a great experience so far, unfortunately many of you are not due to the crippling Cost of Living crisis we are in. Accommodation, travel, and food costs have skyrocketed for most of us, which is undoubtedly affecting your educational outcomes and your mental well-being. The Students’ Union has added more than £500k of funding to help those of you who need it; make sure to apply to it if you need to! I have also worked with UCL to increase bursaries by £500 for those with an annual household income of £42,875 or less, to ensure that you have healthier finances so that you can focus on your studies. Over the next few weeks, I will be coordinating efforts across the London universities to collectively lobby local government and organisations to reduce travel and living costs for you all. I will update you all on the outcomes of that very soon! 

Finally, feel free to email me at e.officer@ucl.ac.uk if you have any concerns with regards to your educational experience at UCL, I am more than happy to help!  

Tell us how your education is going here.

Do you have an idea for how to improve education at UCL? Submit your ideas to be discussed at the next Education Zone meeting by 23 November here.