Section 6: Shaping The Future of Learning
technology and expansion are set to change the learning experience of students,
and at the same time, mergers are also going to have a huge impact on the type
and mode of study institutions offer. I want our movement to be a step closer to
our goal of tertiary education: high standards of teaching for all and where the
student experience is not hampered by technology but to benefit from it.
borrowing restrictions and the lack of state investment has accelerated the
privatisation of student accommodation, with some devastating effects. This
year, I have supported and attended students’ unions taking actions against
mergers and hall privatisation.
the quality front, I have actively campaigned to defend the function of the QAA
and for robust quality assurance mechanisms. I have also successfully campaigned
for the abolition of the visitor system and for the introduction of a faster,
fairer and independent student complaints system.
Accountable post-16 education
The threat of GATS and the
increasing reliance on private sector investment poses huge obstacles to the
accountability of institutions to both the taxpayers and to students.
Universities and colleges are entrusted to use public money to provide
education, and yet they are under little scrutiny to meet their obligations.
Post-16 education institutions must provide accurate and reliable information on
quality, service provision and how they spend public money. This information
should be comparable with other post-16 institutions so potential students and
parents can make informed choices, and the government can target their resources
I will priorotise working
to reform the way post-16 education is governed and is accountable to students.
I will continue to support the role of the QAA to ensure we get value for money
for our education. I will also work with the VP FEUD to secure local and
national representation for students on the Learning and Skills Council.
Training and vocation is increasingly playing
a central role in post-16 education. Many institutions offer students modules to
aid their personal development. The voluntary work
in students’ unions and in the community is too often ignored, and yet
students develop new and valuable skills through them. As President, I will work
with UUK for the full implementation of Progress Files and a national
accreditation scheme to recognise the work students do outside the classroom.
Enhancing the student experience
demand and expect a high quality of teaching and learning. It is right that as
part of our campaign for a better funding system, we lobby ministers for the
investment to maintain high standards. It is ironic that a schoolteacher is
expected to attain teaching qualifications and yet to teach in Universities no
such standards apply.
Next year, I will work with
Institute of Learning and Teaching to encourage university lectures to be
trained through the ILT programme, and will actively lobby vice-chancellors to
meet the cost of training their staff.
Effective student feedback
is vital in shaping the future of teaching and learning. Institutions that
actively involve their students in reviewing their learning programmes enhance
both the quality and learning experience of students. I will continue to lobby the DfES & UUK for the
implementation of a comprehensive ‘Students Satisfaction ‘ survey to gather
student opinion. I will develop a national e-mail network of school, faculty and
course representatives with a view to facilitating discussions and developing a
model standard of learning and teaching that meets the demands and expectations
Responding to mergers
universities and colleges are increasingly taking place, and too often
students’ unions do not even get consulted. This creates insecurity for many
of our teaching and support staff and threatens the existence of local
students’ unions. Students are forced to change courses or move to different
campuses halfway through their studies.
NUS must be in a position
to support local union responding to mergers. This must also include providing
legal support where unions have decided to challenge mergers. I will provide
unions with briefings on mergers, including information on recent mergers and
their impact on students and students’ unions.
Enriching further education
Curriculum 2000 was
designed to give further education students choice and flexible learning; but
two years after its introduction, many colleges remain reluctant to fully
implement the enrichment agenda of Curriculum 2000. Many FE students continue to
be denied the opportunities to develop their personal skills and get involved in
extra curricular activities.
Next year, I will work with
the VP FEUD to lobby for the full implementation of the Enrichment Agenda and
give FE students the opportunity to enhance their learning experience.
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