Behind the scenes of the Student Experience Survey video project

As part of ‘closing the feedback loop’ of the Student Experience SuJohn Ginman (Chair of the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Sub-Committee), responds to a question about assessment and courseworkrvey 2015—2016 we, as the Student Voice Group, helped to produce a series of videos that inquire about main areas of concern in the results, and show the internal workings of the University of London along with its commitment towards improvement. Four videos were produced in collaboration with the University, featuring SVG members posing questions to senior members of staff about academic support, the virtual learning environment (VLE), assessment and coursework, and communications.

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Rules of engagement

This post is written by Mariann, student member of the Inclusive Practice Panel


I am sure that many of you already know the feeling. It’s July, the days are longer, the sun is out and you have just finished your spring exams. Take a deep breath. You know that you have done your best and that you have respected the exam regulations. All you can do now is just relax and wait for the exam results.

I started on my LLM in Human Rights Law about two years ago. I was a bit anxious about returning to studying after several years outside academia and I was also aware of the prestige of taking up studies with the University of London. The distance learning program appealed to me, as it would allow me to work while studying. I knew however it could be a challenge to study on my own, sign up for courses, structure my studies and also to understand the various rules and regulations applied by the University.

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How Student Voice Group membership brightened up my student experience

This post is written by Hannah, Deputy Chair of the Student Voice Group

Hannah at Glastonbury

Hannah enjoying a well-earned post-exam break at the Glastonbury Festival

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! Continue reading

Getting involved in reviewing University of London MOOCs

Written by Tobias Tretter, Chair of the Student Voice Group (more detailed bio below)

Tretter photoshoppedWhat is a MOOC?

MOOC – the ordinary reader will ask himself what this abbreviation means and stands for. It was not any different for me then, when I heard these four letters for the first time, but I became acquainted with this new thing really quickly. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. This says a bit more, but not everything. MOOCs are free online courses that are available to the public. The University of London (UOL) has started offering some on a platform called Coursera alongside other leading Universities from other countries, for example the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The University of London has already launched 23 MOOCs which have attracted more than one million participants worldwide. I recently had the opportunity to get involved in the review process for University of London MOOCs. Continue reading

Minerva reflects on the Student Voice Group and student feedback channels

This is the second in a two-part series of blog posts by newly appointed members of the Student Voice Group, sharing impressions of an induction event that recently took place in London

I am sure that many of you can relate to that anxious time a few months ago when our results were released? Well, that day finally arrived and I felt a great sense of accomplishment having passed all my courses in my first year of the LLB.Minerva

As if this was not enough, the next day I received the surprising news that I had been selected to join the Teaching and Learning Environment (TLE) panel of the Laws Programme Board as a student member. By extension, this appointment further entails being a member of the Student Voice Group (SVG).

What can I say; years ago I dreamed of embarking on studies with the University of London and eagerly awaited the right time to register on the LLB programme. I knew that studying with the University of London would be a rewarding experience not least due to the caliber and historical vitality of the University. But I certainly never imagined that my study experience would come to involve this unique opportunity to engage with the University via the Laws TLE panel and the SVG in London. Continue reading

Student Voice Group induction: acronyms, anecdotes, and an amazing view!

This is the first in a two-part series of blog posts by newly appointed members of the Student Voice Group, sharing reflections on an induction event that recently took place in Londonpicture 1

Written by Sandy Pillay

Travelling from Switzerland, here I was in London on 1st September in front of the impressive Senate House for my induction as a student member of the University of London International Academy’s Systems and Technologies Sub-Committee. It felt already overwhelming to enter for the first time this historic place and also, as it so happened, to see many University College London students wearing their University robes and hats getting ready for their graduation ceremony, together with friends and families. All these happy faces filled with pride made me think about my own graduation ceremony, a couple of years back, with a different University.

This historic institution with all its constituent colleges and research institutes has seen many thousands of students before me and will see many thousands more after I finish my LLM studies. Entering Senate House was also the moment which reinforced my decision to become a student member – I have to do my fair share to help improve students’ learning experience on the International Programmes. Continue reading

Feedback, discussion and community: the Student Voice Group

This post is written by Harini, the outgoing Chair of the Student Voice GroupHarini Sampath - Copy

I am reaching the end of my BSc Politics and International Relations (waiting for final results now) and have decided to call it a day on being a student member, which includes sitting on the Student Voice Group. I thought it’s about time I write a bit about my experience as a student member, which I have found really interesting. A little bit of background about me – I have a master’s degree in computer science and almost 10 years of experience in the IT industry.

I started as an undergraduate student member of the Systems and Technology Sub-committee (STSC) in 2012. I was appointed to the Academic Committee in the same capacity last year and have been the Chair of the Student Voice Group (SVG) for the last year. The STSC focuses on the technological side – making recommendations and advising on the ways in which ICT impacts on the management of student experience and life cycle including the learning environment and educational resources. Meanwhile the SVG comprises student members from across the International Academy’s committees and sub- committees and meets twice a year to discuss the University’s student engagement strategy.

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Behind the scenes at a University committee meeting

The University of London International Academy has quite a sophisticated committee structure – hardly surprising given there are over 50,000 students and a range of different Lead Colleges and programmes.

In recent years there has been student membership on the University of London International Academy Academic Committee (ULIAAC) and the various sub-committees which report to it, such as the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Sub-Committee (LTAS) and the Quality Assurance and Student Lifecycle Sub-Committee (QASL). These student members make up the Student Voice Group (SVG) which meets twice a year.

Over and above all of this committee structure there is the Board of the University of London International Academy (BULIA) to whom ULIAAC and the University of London International Academy Finance Committee and the Institutions Sub-Committee report. In the past there has been no student member of BULIA, but this summer it was agreed that from September 2014 a student member should be appointed. I am the first student to hold this post – quite an honour!

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Introducing: The Student Voice Group

Following our first ever blog post on December 3, it occurred to us that we had not yet introduced ourselves! For those of you who know about us and what we do, we’d love to give you an update on our work. For those of you who don’t know who we are, here’s a brief introduction.

Student members give the students' perspective a voice at the University Continue reading

Beyond wheelchairs and ramps

A special post to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3

A collection of disability symbolsWhat do you think of when someone says “special arrangements for disability”? Do you know anyone who lives with a disability?

According to the UN, there are over 1 billion people worldwide who live with some form of disability. Wherever they are in the world, they face not only physical barriers, but also social, economic, and attitudinal barriers. Since 1992, the UN has aimed to remove these barriers through public awareness and understanding, with an international observance on December 3. The Day seeks to mobilise support for disabled people and maximise their unique contributions in political, social, economic and cultural life.

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