I am Shubham Singh, an international student currently pursuing MSc Gender and International Relations. For the last 7 years, not a single international student has been elected as a full-time officer and as a result, the problems and demands of the international students have been underrepresented. By electing me as the Postgraduate Education Officer, you have the opportunity to elect first international full-time officer of this decade.
As a member of the Democratic Standards Committee, I have gained a better understanding of the problems faced by both home and international students and have learned how Student Union can effectively address many of those problems. If elected my priorities would include:
- International Students Experience:
- Language support: The University should give clear guidance to potential international students about the level of difficulty faced by non-native English speakers. Increasing the availability, flexibility and quality of language-training courses while taking into account subject-specific requirements.
- Social life: Organizing more events and activities that enable international students to overcome the linguistic and cultural barriers and thus improve their social experience.
- Jobs: Considering the visa restrictions, the Career Services should provide increased support and tailored guidance to international students to improve their job prospects. For example, organizing workshops that inform which companies hire and which do not hire international students.
- Fighting the rising tuition fees
- Boycott NSS campaign: As the University is planning to use the National Student Survey(NSS) to participate in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and raise the tuition fees, continuing the Boycott NSS campaign is one effective strategy to fight against the rising tuition fees
- Increase Scholarships: Increase the number of scholarships available for Postgraduate Taught and Research students
- Addressing Contact hours and Feedback issues
- Contact hours: Lobbying the faculties to increase the contact hours is very urgent as 54 percent of students from Faculty of Arts and 60 percent of students from Faculty of Social Sciences and Law demanded for more contact hours (Bristol SU Annual Survey 2016).
- Feedback: As a course rep, I am aware that a large number of students feel dissatisfied with the feedback and therefore pushing the faculties to address will be an important priority.
- Research Students Experience
- Work contracts: As per the recommendations set out in the postgraduates who teach Report (2015), address the issues surrounding the Hourly-Paid Teachers contracts. Campaign for fair pay and better working conditions for Postgraduates.