Your opinions and needs, often known as ‘Student Voice’ are an important aspect of being a higher education student. The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education in the UK suggests that ‘Student engagement is all about involving and empowering students in the process of shaping the student learning experience’. The Student Voice is important and as such we actively encourage all students to get involved at a range of levels in their learning and in quality assurance, enhancement and management of their course. We value the student voice and actively promote the work supported through the student community.
We recognise that the views of students, individually and collectively, should inform quality systems with the purpose of improving the student educational experience both for current and future cohorts. All students at UCSD have the opportunity to be involved in quality enhancement and assurance processes. We are committed to:
- Encouraging active student participation in UCSD quality systems, including using individual and collective feedback
- Implementing transparent mechanisms, for the nomination and election of course representatives
- Providing induction and ongoing support for students and staff appropriate to their quality assurance roles
- Monitoring, reviewing and enhancing the effectiveness of their policies and processes for engaging students in the quality processes
Student Representatives and the Feedback Loop
Each programme should have one or more student representatives elected by their fellow students to sit on the programme committee. Course representatives are a vital conduit, linking staff and students so that issues of quality of provision affecting students can be promptly and appropriately addressed. In addition, representatives provide feedback to the programme’s staff on innovations and can assist the programme team in developing the curriculum to meet student needs.
Course representatives will feedback from the meetings to all students on the programme demonstrating the impact of student voice and report on changes made to the programme based on feedback. Online training will be given to all course representatives before commencing the role.
Students also have the opportunity to participate at a module level, and are encouraged to complete the Early Module Review, and Programme Evaluation Survey, which are analysed by the programme manager and are used to inform the Annual Programme Monitoring. Training will be given to all course representatives before commencing the role.
Each academic year students have the opportunity to apply to become a student ambassador, this role is to work with College staff and/or on behalf of the College to raise awareness of the opportunities presented by Higher/University Level Education and of the pathways available to access Higher/University Level Education.
Lead Student Rep
We are committed to hearing the views of students and elect a Lead Student Representative each academic year. The role is designed to fit around existing studies and is a fantastic way to make the higher education student voice heard within the College.
This is an elected position, with the successful candidate being chosen by fellow HE students. Our Lead Student Rep for 2021/22 is Rachael Petty, who is on the second year of FdSc Biosciences.
Lead Student Rep Nomination and Election Timeline
Previous Lead Student Reps
|2021/22||Rachael Petty||FdSc Biosciences|
|2020/21||Monika Lewis||FdSc Psychology with Counselling Skills|
|2019/20||Liz Lyons||FdSc Biosciences|
|2018/19||Liz Lyons||FdSc Biosciences|
|Jamie Ridge||FdSc Marine Technologies|
|2017/18||Kiesha Turner||FdSc Psychology with Sociology|
|2016/17||Kelsey Flynn||BSc (Hons) Applied Animal Science|
|2015/16||Josh Pillar||FdSc Engineering Technologies|
|2014/15||Kelly Smaller||BA (Hons) Child Development & Education|
|2013/14||Kelly Smaller||FdA Early Years Care & Education|
|2012/13||Alan Willetts||FdSc Yacht Operations|
|2011/12||Matt Parkman||FdSc Law|
|2010/11||Claire Smith||FdSc Outdoor Education|
|2009/10||Alex Benjamin||FdSc Outdoor Education|
|2008/09||Catherine Tetreault||FdSc Tourism & Hospitality Management|
You Said We Did
You Said: We would like there to be no minimum card spend in the cafes.
We Did: We removed the £3 minimum spend in Oscar’s and Wilde’s. There is now no minimum card spend in the cafes.
You Said: We would like to be able to pay with card in mobile catering units (e.g. South Devon Marine Academy).
We Did: Students are now able to pay by card in all mobile catering units including South Devon Marine Academy and the Centre for Health and Care Professions.
You Said: We would like our timetable to state the room names, rather than numbers.
We Did: Students’ timetables on Leap now reflect the room names, rather than numbers for better clarification.
Student Perception Questionnaire (SPQ) and National Student Survey (NSS)
We will invite you (via your student email account) to complete an annual online questionnaire (SPQ) specifically focused on your experiences as a Higher Education student. You will also be asked to participate in the National Student Survey (NSS) at the end of your programme. Both of these provide valuable information to enable us to improve your programme and learning experience. You will receive feedback from tutors on changes that have been made due to your feedback so it is key to engage with these surveys to have your voice heard.
The Student and Staff, Teaching and Representation (SSTAR) awards recognise the many excellent staff members and dedicated Higher Education students.
Each year students and staff can make nominations for an award, to highlight individuals that go the extra mile and make a difference. We have had great success at the UPSU SSTAR Awards in recent years, winning awards such as ‘One in a Million Support Staff’, ‘Inspirational Teaching’, ‘Most Dedicated Dissertation Supervisor’, ‘Course Rep of the Year’, ‘Excellence in Championing Career Development’ and ‘Sustainability in the Curriculum Champion’.
The students’ union at South Devon College forms an integral part of student representation within UCSD. The students’ union is an organisation run for students by students that seeks to enrich your student experience and open
doors of opportunity throughout your life at UCSD.
Advice, support, representation, events and sports clubs are some of the opportunities that are offered by the students’ union as well as being affiliated with the NUS (National Union of Students). Meaning students are represented at a national level with regard to wider student issues, also having access to the fantastic TOTUM discount card, which is a ‘must have’ for students.
TOTUM (NUS Extra) is the definitive student discount card with a range of exclusive discounts, offers and competitions designed to make student life more exciting, more memorable and more rewarding. You can buy your TOTUM card here.
Sports, Leisure and Social Activities
Having fun alongside your studies is part of the whole student experience! UCSD students can start up a club or society with their fellow classmates. So, take advantage of all English Riviera has to offer from the beautiful coastline to Dartmoor National Park and why not set up your own Paddleboarding Club, Surfing Society, or even a Parent Support Group! For advice on setting up a club or society or for further information regarding the students’ union, please do not hesitate to contact the SU on 01803 540337 or by email [email protected].
South Devon College Sports and Fitness
We are delighted to offer a unique and unbeatable membership allowing full use of the gym and exercise classes based at South Devon College.
Full membership gives you unlimited access to our timetabled fitness classes. There is also opportunity to gain access to a range of facilities to host your event including a 3G pitch, MUGA pitch, grass pitch, clubhouse and sports hall.
For more information, please visit the website.