This post is written by Hannah, Deputy Chair of the Student Voice Group
Having just completed my LLB with the University of London International Programmes, I am grateful to be climbing out from the depths of exam stress and seemingly endless hours of study. As fellow students, I’m sure all readers are well aware that the rigorous programmes of the University of London can be arduous and that the intense study they require can at exam times can be quite isolating.
However, my experience and journey through the LLB has been brightened and coloured by engagement with other students as well as academics and staff from across the International Programmes through serving as a student member of a committee. These support networks have been key for me and have helped me during difficult times to remember the positive aspects of study which, outside of exam season, is surprisingly a very rewarding and enjoyable pursuit!
In the past year, I was fortunate to act as the student member of the Board of the University of London International Academy. My initial apprehensions after receiving the list of members (almost all of the names being prefixed by Professor / Doctor / Sir / Sir Professor!), were quickly assuaged. Although many of the agenda items were of a financial nature, I was overwhelmed by the recurring references and importance weighted to the student experience. The Board were keenly aware of the major issues posed to student satisfaction and act with the intention of preserving the integrity of students’ qualifications and to heighten student satisfaction.
Similarly, the Student Affairs Team listen keenly to any concerns raised by students at the Student Voice Group. Even minor points are escalated, documented, considered in depth, and a resolution is actioned. Recently, for example, the SVG has discussed individual student experiences with the University of London registration cards, and also the possibility of a student card which might contribute more to a student’s sense of identity. During my time as an SVG member, other feedback has related to issues such as students’ access to physical libraries, the format of welcome and offer letters and access to online resources.
Reflecting on my time as a law student, my experience with the SVG has definitely changed my view of the University, which at first glance seemed a daunting institution, to one which is accommodating and amenable. I personally found that the engagement of the Student Affairs team with the issues discussed at the SVG heartening and think this is a great asset to students.
Another big contribution to my perception of the University came from interaction with other students on the VLE Discussion Forums. These forums afford a great opportunity to engage with other students and a number of legal conundrums were made clear to me by the help of other students responding to my pleas for help – thank you if you are reading!
The end of a course is naturally a reflective time. I am glad to be regaining many hours of time, however, I am sad to be concluding my experience with the University of London. The network of support available to us as students is invaluable, and I would encourage all students to engage with it as fully as possible – whether that be through feedback to the University or by seeking to act as a student member for any of the various committees. The University of London truly is a global community. It has allowed me a great opportunity to access academia whilst continuing to work and this has not been at the expense of a university experience. Thank you University of London and fellow students for all of your help – and fingers crossed for all of us in the upcoming exam results!
The University is currently looking to appoint six enthusiastic and proactive student members, based in Western Europe, for the 2016-17 academic year. Deadline has been extended to 11.59pm on 4 August 2016! Click here for more details.