We seek to work in partnership with our students to offer them the best possible student experience. We seek to do this in dialogue, staff being responsive and empathetic to students’ needs, whilst giving them the opportunity to flourish in a challenging academic environment.
Our Corporate Plan states that ‘Hope is committed to being a collegium in which students and staff work closely together, enjoying the benefits of a University environment in which we know one another and engage on a daily basis in discussion and debate.
At the heart of the University are its scholars and their students. The University considers it extremely important that effective ways are found to hear the whole students’ voice in order to respond to their concerns and build a supportive learning community. A well-functioning Students’ Union is a vital part of to this endeavour and the University ensures that students are represented in all its major decision-making bodies.’
The University listens to the voice of its students in a multiplicity of ways some are formal regular opportunities for dialogue whereas others are informal. Many operate through the partnership with the SU whilst others are targeted at groups which do not interact through the SU. Some are focused purely on quality assurance and others are intended to enhance the student experience. There is essentially a three way dialogue between the student body, the Student Union and the University.
Presence of elected Student Union officers at formal University committees
The following University Level committees have representation from elected members of the Student Union sabbatical team:
- University Council
- Academic Committee
- Learning and Teaching Committee
- Mission and Values Group
- Student Services Group
- Standing Sub Committee on Assessment
- Library Steering Group.
- Academic Appeals Committee
- Student Finance Group
- Learning Support Funding Panel
- International Focus Group
- University Residential Life Committee
Presence of elected student representatives at other meetings
The following Faculty/Service Area Level committees have representation from elected Student Representatives.
- Faculty Boards
- Faculty Quality Learning and Teaching Committees
- Network of Hope Student experience and Academic Quality Committee
Involvement of students in departmental review
Every department is subject to departmental review approximately every 5 years. The panel includes one recent graduate and there are also opportunities for current students to attend a meeting to meet and discuss their experiences with the panel.
Involvement of students in major modification of awards/approval of new awards
Student consultation is an essential part of the process when a department decides to make a major modification to their existing curriculum or to create a new course.
Involvement of students in the work of academic departments
Each department at Hope is required to have a Staff/Student Liason committee. Each committee has a membership which includes a student from each level on each award offered and at least two members of academic staff.
Terms of reference, membership and operating guidelines for SSLC can be found on the Hope Student Union website or on the Student Gateway.
Involvement of students in the work of university service units
The service units collate student feedback on a regular basis. The process and the means of feedback differs between service units. SSWB have an overarching Student Voice group to review and enhance how service units gather and respond to student feedback. Outcomes are published in the Student newsletter.
University student sounding board
The University Student Sounding Board is a cross section of the student body who meet together to discuss items of strategic interest to the University, University proposals for developments and other issues. Members of the management team are invited by the board to discuss specific items. The Board is chaired by a student.
Read the Student Sounding Board Terms of Reference
Annual university level course evaluation surveys
The University surveys the experience of all students each academic year. Level H students are surveyed early in December and Levels C and I in March. Feedback on the outcomes is given verbally in classes ideally the week following the survey and is also made available in written form on Moodle. Reflection on the outcomes of these surveys also forms part of the annual monitoring process in each Department. The outcomes of the surveys are also considered by the Faculty Quality Learning and Teaching Committee and University Learning and Teaching Committee.
The University takes part annually (February – April) in the National student survey (NSS) Following publication of the results in August the outcomes are considered at Departmental level and also by the meeting of HODs. The University Learning and Teaching Committee also considers the outcomes at its first full meeting of the year to reflect on University Level issues; as does the Equal Opportunities Committee with a view to ensuring that any significant differences in responses of specific cohorts are addressed. Each Department is required to have an NSS action plan.
Weekly tutorials between students and a named tutor
One of the key points of the university learning and teaching strategy is that every student meets with a named tutor once a week in a small group. These groups have the fundamental aim of encouraging relationships to develop between students and staff in their department. This gives all students an opportunity for dialogue with a member of University staff each week.
Regular contact between the University and the Student Union
The elected officers of the SU meet with the Dean of students on a weekly basis to exchange information about developments and to resolve as many issues as possible on an informal basis.
Student Union forums
Forums are an opportunity for all students to take control of the Student Union, it is where all important decisions about union policy, funding, events, and campaigns are made. There are four forums every academic year.
In addition to all of the above mechanisms there are a range of local arrangements put in place by individual faculties and service areas. These include:
- Student forums
- Focus groups
- ‘You said, we did’ initiatives
In the case of major developments for example the integrated curriculum, the change management process and the development of the new Learning and Teaching strategy, specific plans for student consultation are devised as appropriate.
The Student Union have a wide range of mechanisms and processes for listening to the student voice. These can be found on their website.
The most important consideration is that every student has the opportunity and is encouraged to provide feedback on their experience while studying at Hope. The range of opportunities described above and the flexibility of mechanisms which operate both through the SU and directly with the University mean that students have a choice in the way they make their voice heard. They can also expect to receive a response on issues they raise within a reasonable time. For some issues, where it would be beneficial for the student body to be aware of the issue and the feedback from the University, mechanisms are available both physically and online to do this effectively.