Student Voice Update: What We've Done in Response to Your Feedback

An update on what you’ve told us, the work that’s already been carried out as a result, and what you can expect from us next term.

Beds SU

By Beds SU

Wednesday, 15 December 2021

As face-to-face university life has made a comeback this year, Beds SU has been working hard with colleagues across the University to ensure that your voice is being heard, and your concerns are being taken seriously.

The 3 key ways that we gather student feedback are:

Through these feedback channels, we’ve had the pleasure of hearing from many of you regarding your experiences so far this term.  

Given that there are some key issues that we’ve been working on fixing, we wanted to share a short update with you all on what you’ve told us, the work that’s already been carried out as a result, and what you can expect from us next term.

Timetabling and Scheduling Issues – University to review existing processes 

Here at Beds SU, we’ve received a number of complaints this term from students on many different courses related to timetabling and scheduling, including students not having access to their personal timetables after registration, or their timetable showing incorrect information regarding class times and room locations. During our Student Voice Forums, we listened to many of you talk about how much of an inconvenience these timetabling problems were, and how some of you even missed classes as a result.  

We brought your various concerns forward to the University, who have agreed to investigate what caused such an unsuccessful timetabling process this year. Although this won't of course fix any issues caused at the beginning of this term, we very much hope that it will improve timetabling delivery in the future as student concerns are now on the University’s radar.

Cramped Classrooms – changes underway at Aylesbury, and we’re lobbying the University to improve campus facilities  

During one of our Student Voice Forums, some nursing students reported a lack of social distancing measures in classes, which was particularly worrisome for them being frontline workers. Swift action from a Course Rep has led to a change in approach at the Aylesbury Campus, where different cohorts will now be taught in separate rooms to enhance Covid safety precautions for students, well above that set out in government guidance for universities. 

Here at the SU, we also take the health & wellbeing of our students very seriously. Indeed, our Co-Vice President, Catalina Nita, has recently passed a policy through Union Parliament setting out minimum expectations for campus facilities at UoB, including a provision for adequately sized classrooms that cater to the number of students attending the premises. Following on from our policy, we will be lobbying the university next term to ensure that a high standard for campus facilities is being followed at every UoB site.  

Our wonderful Campus Reps have also been closely monitoring student feedback on the state of building facilities, and we’ve already made some improvements on this front. For example, our Bedford campus rep told the SU about a leaking roof at Bedford campus, which SU staff then went on to report to the University, who have agreed to get it fixed ASAP! 

Inadequate PAT Support – We are working with the University to improve the PAT system and to help improve communication between staff and students  

A number of you approached the SU to say that you were either not aware of what a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) should do, or were not receiving sufficient academic support from your PAT. As PATs should in theory play a vital role in supporting you on your academic journey, we wrote an article on the Knowledge Hub of our website detailing how the PAT system should work so that students know exactly what kind of academic support they are entitled to at the UoB. We’ve also set out an internal action plan for the upcoming term to work with University staff to ensure that the PAT system is being correctly followed across every course, and we aim to provide students with an update on this next term.  

Some nursing students also approached the SU recently with concerns over their degree progression due to a change in assessment structure, which they had contacted their course coordinator about, but had got no response. We have since liaised with the Head of the School of Nursing, who agreed to meet with the students to discuss any concerns or queries they might have over the new assessment structure, which will hopefully help put their minds at ease.  

How to use your student voice

If you are ever struggling to get a response from University staff on an issue important to you, Beds SU is always here to assist you. We also want to hear about the things that went well and the bits you would like to see more of so that we can continue to improve your journey as a Beds SU member.

As a reminder, the 3 key ways that we gather student feedback are: 

We’re taking a break for the festive season shortly, but we’re looking forward to seeing you and hearing your feedback in the new term. Please do keep in touch, and next time it could be your issue that we’re resolving!