Student representatives are students chosen by their peers to act as the representative for their particular programme, School or Faculty.
Student Representatives play a vital part in the School's operations. They provide a “voice for students”, which does not only mean talking on behalf of their class; it is about bringing issues to light, supporting fellow students and identifying and solving problems. Student Representatives (reps) are actively involved in:
- Gathering feedback from fellow students
- Attending a variety of meetings, drop-in sessions and forums
- Communicating the student voice to School staff
- Communicating with fellow students to help improve the student experience
- Promoting active student involvement in programme development
- Feeding into policy decisions and strategic objectives of the school
Being a Student Representative gives you the opportunity to develop your communication and listing skills and helps you develop diplomacy and assertiveness skills. The role brings networking opportunities too.
All SoSS programmes have at least one rep. They act as the representative for their particular programme for one academic year.
Principles and Guidance for Student Representation can be found here. The SoSS PGT Reps will sit on their relevant School/Programme Committees and the PGT Student Staff Liaison Committees. We also have reps attending the School’s Teaching and Learning Committee (STLC). Reps will be expected to have ongoing contact with their class mates via a number of methods. SoSS would like to hear what’s going well and what can be done more often and what isn’t going so well and can be improved.
Programme Administrators can also help to establish small drop-in sessions for reps to meet their cohort in a relaxed setting with refreshments.
We ask that reps connect with their Programme Administrator periodically for an informal discussion about their role as a rep and to discuss any issues that may be easily resolved outside of the committee meetings. Programme Administrators will also want to hear what views reps have gathered from their fellow students.
Once elected, all our student reps will attend a training session run by the Students’ Union in October. This training will cover how to gather feedback, working with staff, feeding back to your cohort and how to raise issues with staff or in meetings. SoSS staff can also give you more insight into specific School practices (e.g. Staff Student Liaison meetings). Here reps will have the chance to mix with each other as well as the School staff they will be working with.
Each rep will bring their own personalities and qualities to the role. Reps should be personable and able to approach a diverse body of students and staff in a friendly and professional manner. Reps will need to be enthusiastic to engage their cohort and be able to communicate effectively to students and staff in writing and verbally. Remember – if you are in it just for a tick on a CV, this will be evident. Engagement is paramount.
Representatives have the opportunity to improve University life for themselves and their fellow and future students. They will also gain the opportunity to learn and develop certain skills often viewed by employers as key for recruiting.
Reps learn about putting their point across effectively when contacting students or preparing information for meetings and the importance of effective listening in order to gain the full picture of situations.
Reps make contacts that can be useful in a personal and academic capacity and have the opportunity to make connections with other students that may prove beneficial in the future.
Reps develop time management and organisational skills so that they balance studies with their responsibilities.
Reps make a real difference and can be proud of their achievements!
Programme Administrators play a big role in supporting reps. Programme Directors and PGT academic leads will also have regular communication with reps. The Students’ Union offer a number of support points and of course reps can help each other.
Each year, departments send out a call to all students to self-nominate for the role.
Your Programme area organizes these meetings which normally meet twice a year. These meetings give student representatives an opportunity to collate and give voice to student views on any matter relating to the organization and delivery of the programme. It provides students with an opportunity to shape and develop the programme and to act as a channel of communication between the department and the student body. It is at these meetings that student representatives can raise any issue relating to their time at Manchester as we will escalate issues to the appropriate level within the University.