L to R – Colum – Welfare, Me – Education, Tom – President, Hannah – Sports, Kenny – Activities.
This year as a Sabbatical Team we have achieved the following successes:-
· Renamed the Sports Federation to ‘Team Kent’.
· Organised the supply of kit for all our Sports Clubs through one company, benefiting the clubs through better organisation, discount and quality..
· Secured large Sponsorship over a five year period for our Sports Clubs from Kent Conferences.
· Implemented an extensive Behaviours Policy.
· Organised a central Sports Tour taking 250 students away to compete.
· With over 3,200 students signed up to Sports Clubs at the University, our membership has risen substantially.
· A total of 58 active Sports Clubs are now run at the Union.
· An Award in Volunteer Management being rolled out to key Volunteers in the department.
· Completed the Sports Review and working towards implementing a strategy for Sports in close collaboration with Kent Sport.
· Built and strengthened ties with Kent Sport, to support all our clubs.
· Won Varsity again! This year seeing the most amount of spectators, attending fixtures.
· Set up a CSR show dedicated solely to BUCS Sports at our University. Promoting Fixtures and Results.
· Maintaining a high position in the BUCS league.
· Held a successful Colours ball with over 250 attendee’s.
· Our Netball first team made it in to the Premiership level of BUCS, making history at Kent. As they are the first team EVER to get into Premiership level.
· Men’s Football 1st Team, won BUCS cup, their league, and promoted to 1A league in BUCS. Additionally having 6 players selected from the first team to play for the Men’s Kent County Representative club.
· Women’s Rugby produced the first naked calendar in collaboration with other clubs, to raise money for charity.
· Men’s rugby raised a staggering £2,500 during their annual Casino Night, all profits going towards supporting their club.
· Men’s Fencing 1st Team getting through to the Premiership playoffs in BUCS.
· A 4.8 Million pound extension to the Sports Facilities at the University.
· A record number of team in 1A (the top league to compete in, in BUCS).
· Highest Ever Number of societies and student-led volunteer groups
· Greatest ever membership numbers in societies and student-led volunteer groups
· 82,000+ Volunteer hours logged
· Helped successfully lobby the University for a new Nursery Building
· Helped successfully lobby the University for Wifi in Woolf College
· Successfully lobbied the university for increased 51 week tenancy accommodation for Postgrads
· Successfully lobbied for lower theatre and cinema prices in the Gulbenkian for Students
· Successfully lobbied the University for lower theatre hire prices for student groups
· Set-up a volunteer technical, front of house and marketing volunteer programme with the Gulbenkian
· Set-up twice termly Gulbenkian student user feedback groups
· Set-up and ran the ‘Ents Forum’ feedback group
· Helped U.M.S.A societies restructure their societies council
· Set Up the Medway Volunteering Committee and secured them a seat on Union Council
· Set up a Platinum Rep on Canterbury Volunteering committee
· Secured and built dedicated storage space for societies in three additional locations at Canterbury
· Increased the societies development fund by £2,000 in year one and £3,000 in year two in office
· Ran the most successful Worldfest and international showcase putting £400 back in societies pockets
· Helped International committee to set up and run the Big international night out which broke Attic customer records in its first night
· Helped to organise and run Chinese New Year celebrations
· Helped to set-up the University of Kent ‘Go-Global’ internationalization award worth £300 in funding
· Secured £4,000 worth of funding from Humanities for a student group led stand-out training program raising money for student groups
· Supported the setting up of Kent TV and development of Kent Union Technical Services
· Exam feedback! My report on exam feedback was completed and reported to Learning and Teaching Board. The key findings were: 97% of students agreed with the statement ‘I would like to receive feedback on my exams’. Only 25% of students said they received feedback on their exams. After a lot of hard work from course reps, the University has committed to the principle of exam feedback and is working locally with student representatives and using the guidance from our report to develop an exam feedback policy for each school.
· University agreed to return of coursework to students from three term time weeks to three calendar weeks except where there are holidays and it must be returned by the first Monday of the next term. This agreement on coursework being returned within three weeks has moved from the Student Charter into University Code of Practice, making it more accountable.
· A new feedback coversheet has been implemented in Humanities and other departments in the university with more schools looking into implementing coversheets.
· One on one feedback was implemented in the Humanities faculty and other faculties are rolling this out after the faculty produced a ‘Best Practice’ guide for delivering one on one feedback policy.
· All faculties will look into providing a variety of annotated example assignments to students giving an explanation on each of how the author achieved the grade and the areas for improvement as well as anonymous ‘first class’, ‘typical’ and ‘poor’ answers.
· Schools will look into providing breakdowns of marking schemes.
· Schools will look into providing model answers that are based on technique and structure.
· In the faculty of Sciences the Directors of Learning and Teaching have been asked to report to the faculty Dean about how to address the wide variation of the quality of feedback and how it is managed.
· Quicker turnarounds for returning marked essays and where this doesn’t occur agreements that it will improve.
· Working groups have been set up in each school in Social Sciences with student representatives to establish more actions on how to improve feedback on assessment.
· Library extension- after many years of lobbying and campaigning from Kent Union on provision of learning resources and space, the university are finally starting an £18m extension project to the Templeman Library. The project has already launched and is expected to be completed for the academic year 2014/15.
· I created the Kent Union Teaching Awards and in its second year achieved 1,500 nominations, a tripling of last year’s nominations.
· Personal Tutors – following a review of personal academic development and support for the first year experience the university agreed that a personal tutor system should be available to students in all years (rolling out for all first year students from 2012). The aim is to support the academic, personal and professional development of undergraduate students and to support students in developing their independent learning and self-management skills. The proposed model includes regular and consistent meetings between tutors and tutees. The model indicates that the first year would be for getting started, discussing module choices, setting expectations, introducing a range of student support and development opportunities, reviewing student progress and reflecting on development of skills and attributes. The second year would involve developing as an independent learner and reviewing academic progress. The third year would involve preparing for employment. The intention is also that this can be used as a forum to provide feedback on assessment also, exploring another avenue to improve this issue.
· Worked with the University to ensure that Inclusive Learning Plans for disabled and dyslexic students are being taken seriously. After some lobbying a working group with senior academic management has been set up to tackle student feedback that they sometimes feel they are ‘ignored’.
· I have developed a voluntary scheme for student ambassadors in local primary schools, after the closure of AimHigher, delivering outreach projects & advice & guidance. We have two projects, one in Canterbury and one in Medway.
· Have gotten the University timetabling office to try to provide more flexible and advanced timetabling for student parents/mature & part-time students.
· Have gotten the University to investigate all Hidden Course Costs.
· Successfully lobbied the library to reduce the number of 24 hour loan books. They are doing this by maximising access through recommending e-books and lecturers identifying chapters for scanning.
· Recorded lectures- after a campaign led by course reps last year and current course reps this year, the university has agreed funding to purchase software to provide online recorded lectures (audio & visual) as a pilot this year.
· Changes to the course rep system– we have employed a full time course rep coordinator, increasing resource given to the course rep system, ran the first ever course rep conference with over 100 reps attending and excellent feedback and improved elections and an increase of 56% in voter turnout from 505 votes last year to 902 votes this year. Education Forum had its highest turnout ever with 90 reps in attendance. The school representative and PGR elections were moved to the summer term and we intend to move all course rep elections to the summer term, excluding postgraduate taught and first years. The postgraduate system has been separated, with a new postgraduate forum and member of staff. We’ve filled more postgraduate rep positions than we ever have and had 25 postgraduates attend the forum which is an excellent turnout. We now have 6 graduate faculty reps for the postgraduate system, 3 for taught and 3 for research. We also rebranded the course rep system this year, redesigned the handbook, sold hoodies and created a search function on the website that you can use to find your course rep. We also ran a graduate employability session for course reps, allowing them to translate skills they have learned this year as a rep into employability.
· Developed in partnership with AimHigher Kent andMedway guides on how to navigate the UCAS application process to higher education, for both students and teachers.
· Lowered the minimum card spend in Essentials from £5 to £3 and committed us to lowering shop prices next year
· Over 500 responses on this year’s Rate Your Landlord campaign
· Ran a campaign on the medical centre services leading to many improvements on service including a new and more efficient telephone system
· Developed and implemented a ‘zero tolerance to sexual harassment & discriminated’ policy in Venue, where over 100 staff were trained and over 80% of customers reported being aware of the new policy
· Elected to NUS national welfare zone committee
· Successfully lobbied for new lighting on Eliot footpath
· Wrote and published a new ‘one stop shop’ housing guide for all elements of living off campus distributing over 2000 copies
· Through my work got Kent Union shortlisted for NUS Equality and Diversity award and highly commended in NUS Community Relations award
· Took a no nonsense approach to bad landlords & agents – calling in and speaking directly with common culprits you told us about
· Lowered price of pints of soft drinks in Venue from £1.50 to £1.20 and £1 in the last hour of service
· Lobbied local councillors to retreat their position on a policy that will adversely affect students living in the community
· Distributed over 1000 condoms in the last month of term!
· Led on a new housing accreditation scheme for Kent Union launching soon
· Increased positive image of students in the community by running one off community projects with high press coverage
· Lobbied Stagecoach to make improvements to bus services including the first bus to run past midnight leading to a 24% increase in annual pass sales in the first two weeks of term
· Created a strategic commitment to employing more students than ever in Kent Union and in new and interesting areas contributing to future employability skills
· Gained provisional funding from the University for a student led mediation clinic launching in 2013
· Worked with Venue management on a new system to assess security staff conduct and created student security staff positions
· Committed University to refurbishing existing and building new bike sheds with lockable shelters
· Educated students on the dangers of signing up for off-campus properties too early with nearly 2,000 students reading my blog on the matter
· Successfully lobbied University to alter the dangerous steps by Tyler Court happening this summer
· Created a new platform for students to find housemates with an advert board
· Ran and led a successful housing week – with more students participating than ever before and 100% increase on last year
· Took a proactive approach to helping students with moving out – running expert sessions on getting deposits back and assisting with the ‘Leave Canterbury Tidy’ scheme
· Attended many conferences including NUS national conference – speaking on issues affecting Kent students to over 1000 delegates from around the country
· Launched first safety night walk with student participation – highlighting areas of concerns and taking them to the University
· Ran ‘The Lock’ campaign with local PCSOs throughout the year – educating students about keeping their properties safe and secure
· Worked with officers and staff to secure a £2million rebuild of the campus nursery
· Implemented the Democracy Review across Kent Union through formation and oversight of zones and new Union Council structures.
· Lobbied local and national MPs on issues from Community Engagement, the NUS ‘Come Clean Campaign’ and got agreement from stakeholders in Canterbury and Medway to lobby David Willets on the issues presented.
· Implemented the first year of the Kent Union Strategy ‘From Good to Great’ as my role as Chair of the Board. We have achieved over 90% of the goals from our operating plan and successfully turned round Kent Union finances based on last year’s performance.
· Worked with Keith Mander, UCU and the Save Chaucer Fields group (SCF) to increase student consultation on the issue and resolve community tensions over the next year.
· Organised students to attend NUS Student Activism Day at Goldsmiths on November 19th 2011.
· Commissioned a benchmarking exercise of Kent Union funding for Sports Clubs and Societies that led to an increase of 10% funding for these groups.
· Run a campaign called Presidents Priority to poll students on issues that they want changed and implemented them in our priority campaigns. Received over 800 responses.
· Worked on a College Life Working Group as well as with the Student Committee Presidents to increase and improve the student community experience here on campus.
· Worked with Alex Hughes and our graduate employability co-ordinator to develop the employability toolkit.
· Lobbied for the development of the C4 building at Medway into a new social space
· Carried out an UMSA review of its structures to make it best fit for students in 2012.
· Redeveloped the student charter with the university and students to reflect a partnership agreement of mutual expectations. Further work is needed on this next year, but we have made huge steps towards making the university more accountable.
· Got Wi-Fi rolled out campus wide from September at both Canterbury and Medway
· Became first ever sabbatical officer to be invited to University of Kent Strategy setting day allowing me to present on what students expect in the next three years, to ensure it is fed into the direction the University of Kent take.
· Became first ever sabbatical officer to present to University Council on student expectations and changes that we need to further improve the student experience.
· Presented at a Service Excellence Conference on Students as Partners, not consumers.
· Presented at University of Kent’s Association of University Administrators in a debate with Dr. Joanna Williams from UELT on 28/03/12.
· Secured a 3% funding increase in Kent Union block grant for 2012/2013.
· Written a new European Student Engagement strategy with the University.
· Mentored my mentees and met with various societies and groups to help with their events and helped increase Election turnout to over 4,500.
· Lobbied the university for increased 51 week tenancy accommodation for Postgraduates
· Developed a new retail pricing strategy to drive down the cost of items in Essentials.
· Secured Keynestock £6,470 extra funding from the University.
· Worked on a Change Academy projects in the Faculty of Social Sciences to improve the student experience.
· Helped formulate the Canterbury Community Safety Partnership Strategy, as well as the Kent Union Community Strategy and Operating plans.
· Helped formulate the Hard-to-Reach student strategy in response to the demand for more interaction with ‘non-traditional’ students.
· Taken a full delegation to NUS Conference, as well as input policy and run candidates in elections at Zone Conferences and NUSSL.
· Got the university to agree to a student-first job policy to be implemented next year.
· Completed the budgeting process for Kent Union for next year.
· Met regularly with College Presidents and Zone Committee members to formulate campaigns and ideas for their remits.
· Attended over 95% of the Zones and helped feed in and shape policy.
· Written toolkits on future campaigns for next year around funding and bursaries.
· Got the university to agree to create a bus service for students between the Medway and Canterbury campus.