Jacob Skipper analyses Mia Clarke's manifesto for VP Education following their interview.
Mia is a Social Science MRes student, who currently serves as a SRC general representative. She’s worked with the VP student activities on events for and improving engagement with at-home students, as well as improving communication between class and school reps.
She believes there needs to be more flexibility from faculty around assessments, taking into account the difficulties in peoples’ lives. She says everyone has been affected by the pandemic in different ways. She highlights cases where she claims that staff have marked work in line with previous years, so that it does not accurately reflect current performance – the exact context wasn’t clear in the time given for the interview.
Mia wants disabled students to get extra time above the currently given time, especially highlighting cases where all students have exactly the same double-time in which to complete the assessment. Mia says that it has to be fair, as non-disabled students might take the same time as their disabled peers to finish exams, putting the latter at a disadvantage.
However, the University’s position on accredited courses like Medicine or Engineering, after consultation with the relevant Accrediting Institutions, is that double-time exams are the best option to ensure confidence in degrees, especially as these involve safety-critical work: the Disability Service has said that it is satisfied that the double-time caters for disabled students’ extra time. Some exams are also 24-hour.
As a postgraduate MRes student, she wants postgraduate students to have named advisors so that they can easily access support during their course. Additionally, she wants greater awareness of postgraduate (PG) study and research opportunities at the University and elsewhere, so that undergraduates are better informed about their options. Her school, Social Sciences, has a massive PG cohort, larger than the undergraduate cohort in fact, but she says there’s a big problem with awareness of PG options in other schools which she attributes again to a lack of a personal advisor system (for example, Arts has a student advice office).
Mia wants all class reps to be elected, as currently many class reps are picked by faculty. She believes the number of elected class reps is as low as 20%. She believes that being a class rep offers good opportunities to learn new things, professional skills, and is character building. This is why she wants more class rep elections: she wants to raise the profile of the role, so that more people are aware of it and want to step forward for the job.
Voting opens at 9am on 3 March and closes at 5pm on 4 March. You can vote here or on the UofG Life app.
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