Razvan Balaban: Firstly I want to mention that the only elections that I have lost was last years VP learning and development by 13 votes in favour of James Harrison. Secondly I decided to run again as VP learning and development because I have a keen interest in education, in learning and teaching methods, also because I am eager to represent the views of my fellow students and to ensure that they received the best education. I consider running again because I think I am the best candidate for this position not only having the necessary experience but also the energy to bring actual change by following a plan and listening to students opinions.
Guardian: When you look at learning and teaching policy across the university what is the one area where you feel that the most work needs to be done to improve the student experience?
Razvan Balaban: The teaching staff at Glasgow University have to undergo a training course according to internal regulations in order to teach. One of the areas that I want to look at is improving the training offered to the academic staff in order to deliver the best quality of teaching.
Guardian: You talk about the SRC Sabbs putting money together to form a sabbatical fund, is the SRC an appropriate barometer of academic achievement and how would you make the selection for who would receive the money?
Razvan Balaban: SRC used to offer scholarships in the past to students coming from modest backgrounds. My proposal if accepted by the other sabbs will be to offer a scholarship to a student coming from a similar background. The decision and the analysis of the cases of students in need will be put forward to the entire SRC council to be debated and voted on.
Guardian: You have a strong focus on volunteering and the importance extracurricular stuff in your manifesto, do you think this is currently undervalued by the university? Would you like to see if valued in the form of credit towards degrees like a number of universities have?
Razvan Balaban: I think at this point it is undervalued by the leadership of the university and plays a crucial role in the employment market. Nowadays employers worldwide demand not only academic results but a strong extracurricular involvement; they ask for all-rounded students with the capability of finding a balance between their studies and extra activities. In order to encourage student participation this may be offer as university credits. The role of the university is not only to educate academically but to give rise to civic responsible graduates which can be achieved through extracurricular activities.
Having placed highly in last years poll Balaban has a fair chance of doing well again this year.