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Shubham: Postgraduate Education Officer
Hello, I'm Shubham Singh, your current Postgraduate Education Officer. My role involves representing both taught and research Postgraduate students at all levels within the University, and improving their student experience, particularly in regard to well-being and academic affairs.
I came to Bristol In September 2016, to do an MSc Gender and International Relations. Alongside my studies, I got involved with SU by becoming a course rep, and then standing on the Democratic Standards Committee and Best of Bristol Lectures Committee. When I was able to stand for a full-time officer role, I thought this would be a great opportunity to build upon my experiences gained in previous roles, and make even bigger and better changes at the university.
If there is anything that is affecting your educational experience which you would like to discuss further, please feel free to get in touch with me on facebook or email.
Here's what I'm working on this year:
1. Improve educational experience of Postgraduates
- Lobby the University to bring appropriate changes to the structure of academic year to address mismatch of dissertation deadline and PG halls tenancy end date.
- Ensuring student feedback shapes the work of Bristol Futures around assessment
- Ensure students' interest is at the heart of review of Masters degree classification thresholds.
2. Increased support for international students
- Ensure a full-time International Students' Officer role to provide representation for international students at all possible level within the University and the SU. Also shape Students' Unions' internationalization strategy and other initiatives to improve international students' experience.
- Work with Career services to shape the international students' employability week and other international students-related initiatives.
3. Making University more affordable
- Pushing the University to continue and increase scholarships such as Big Think Postgraduate Scholarships and Sanctuary scholarships.
- Working with Undergraduate Education Officer to lobby University to cut hidden costs such as graduation ceremony costs, printing costs, etc.
4. Social experience and Well-being
- Ensure the development of Postgraduate-dedicated social and study spaces in University's ongoing projects such as Campus Heart Program, Temple Quarter, etc.
- Support International Students Network and Postgraduate network to organise good range of social and community building events and activities
- Better training of personal tutors and supervisors to support well-being of students
5. Increased support for Postgraduates who teach
- Work with BDC to improve development opportunities available for PGRs who teach
- Lobby Academic staff development to increase more capacity for PGRs on training opportunities delivered through CREATE
- Support strikes to show solidarity with PGRs who go on strike.
Here's what I've done so far:
- A full time International Students' Officer will be elected in the March 2019 elections.
Jan 18 - Current quarterly system has been changed to monthly stipend payment system. Funding office has also agreed to accommodate quarterly stipend payment requests.
PVC Research is following up with HR to gauge feasability
- September 18 - The University and First Bus will be launching a new service, the U2 bus route, between Langford and Tyndalls Park from 24th September 2018 - veterinary students will receive a free bus pass for the service!
- July 18 - Shubham met Paul Smith, Deputy Director of Estates and Head of Facilities Management and reminded him about the student council motion and strong need to have better transport for langford students. Paul said that they are in contract negotiation phase and new bus service will be very likely to come in place for the coming academic year.
- Jan 18 – Contract renewed with no change. Issue was also raised at FSSLC.
- April 17 – Will be representing student views on the contract panel, which is coming up soon.
- 22/3/16 - Laura met with Amy Heritage (Transport) and people from the school of vet science - they acknowledge the need but don't have the resource. The University is coming up to the process where they re-tender for transport contracts and are finding out how much it would cost to include a service to Langford that works for Postgrads to see if the central University is willing to fund it. The action from the meeting was for the students to put together a document detailing their ideal service and a service they would be willing to settle for
- 11/05/15 Have been involved in the UCU campaign and expressed concern with senior management
- 11/05/15 Yet to make statement on website
- 22/03/16 The case went to tribunal and the verdict was in the University's favour, saying that Alison was not unfairly dismissed.
- 11/05/15 Issues were raised at relevant committees and some wording was changed in Regulations and Codes of Practice