Director of Education

Hitanshi smiles in her black gown. The gown is faced in blue with the Association and University crests emblazoned.

Hitanshi represents you when campaigning for improvements to academics.

About my Role

Read the Director of Education's full role description.

Hitanshi Badani, as YOUR Director of Education (DoEd), is tasked with representing students on matters related to learning, teaching and research in St Andrews. As an elected representative, a central part of my role is to ensure student voices are heard and carefully considered at all levels of the University. Through serving as a trustee of both the University of St Andrews Students' Association and the University of St Andrews, I am well-placed to coordinate and escalate concerns related to educational experience at all levels.

To keep up to date on what I am working on, you can follow me on Instagram (@your_doed and @sta.educom) or follow @standrewsunion on Instagram! You are also always welcome to reach out to me through email with thoughts or concerns for anything related to education or academia in general.


Promises Delivered

Promises Delivered by the Director of Education

Semester One Sabbatical Reports

As we begin Semester Two, some of our Sabbatical Officers are keen to report on their achievements and progress during the first half of their terms.


About Me

Hi I'm Hitanshi! I'm from the big city of Mumbai in India. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, I left home for the first time to begin my undergraduate studies at the University of St Andrews. Throughout my time in the bubble, I was involved with various soceities, sports clubs, and subcommittees which eased the process of meeting new people in an entirely new country. In my second year, I worked with the Enhancement Themes - a group within St Andrews aimed at improving the student learning experience - where I contributed towards a project gathering student reception of online learning to inform transitions into post-pandemic hybrid learning policies. This was my window into the world of educational policy-making and development. I formed close relationships with various staff, presented at a national conference, and learned so much about systems of collecting qualitative and quantitative feedback. Since then, I have been involved with educational enhancement at national level (as Deputy Student Lead for Scotland's Enhancement Themes) and within the Students' Association (as Arts and Divinity Faculty President). 

In June 2024, I graduated with a joint degree from the schools of International Relations and Psychology. My academic pursuits ranged from globalisation and urban development in Mumbai to value education via debates in Scottish high schools. Upon graduating, I started working full-time in this role as DoED (not before a well-deserved break of post-graduation travels!) Follow us on our socials to keep up with education enhancement work and keep reading to learn some more about my priorities this year.

My Priorities

The ABCD(O)'s:


The retention of lecture-capture was a big achievement for the collective student body. But there is still a long way to go.

Places and Spaces


  • Accessable is a platform widely used to track the accessibility of spaces. Unfortunately, major locations around campus are not up to date. I want to work with the university to review this, ensuring that all venues are reflected. 
  • That said, many spaces across campus are not yet wheelchair accessible. This includes study spaces, faculty offices, and lecture theatres. For example:
    • The Buchanan building
    • The Maths building 
    • The King James Library
  • I want to work with the Disabled Students’ Network to launch an investigation into the extent to which this hinders learning for students. If this proves to be a significant issue, I would like to work with the university to explore solutions. 
  • I want to work to standardise access to a few basic resources in all school buildings:
    • Hot water 
    • Microwaves
    • Group-study spaces 
    • Vending machines 
    • Bookable spaces 
    • Quiet rooms and decompression zones
  • I want to advocate for more variety in postgraduate study spaces - more standing desks, group study areas, etc.
  • I want to work with the DoSDA to explore potentially allowing certain societies to become affiliated with Schools (or SP’s). This will allow them to avail school-related funding for events/balls/talks and take some of the load off of SP’s. Balls have been a particular concern in the past few years. This will also allow them to use school spaces for things like committee meetings and take the strain off of union meeting rooms.
  • I want to ensure that waste is properly segregated at libraries.

Academic Matters 

  • As we transition to a post-COVID status quo, I want to ensure that the strides made in the last few years are not lost. I want to continue to advocate for accountability regarding captioned lecture-capture and access policy.
  • I also want to advocate for screen-reader friendly module content. This includes accessible presentations, html versions of pdf documents, and access to software that is able to effectively transcribe scanned texts. 
  • The most important way to ensure accessibility is maintained in the curriculum is ensuring that feedback loops (such as MEQ’s and SSCC forms) are closed. I want to ensure that faculty are encouraged to record and inform students of changes being implemented in response to such feedback.
  • Various issues with continuity in STEM, have to do with sub-honours students having little practice with writing any form of essay to eventually producing a dissertation in their final year. I want to advocate for better resources, teaching, and coursework to address this gap. 
  • In Arts counterparts, the biggest issues arise with a lack of support for joint honours students. I want to work towards:
    • Academic advising that is tailored to different degree combinations; transparency when it comes to what classes one can/cannot take. For example, what sort of combinations have others with the same degree as me taken?
    • Up to date information on module choice websites regarding guidelines for joint degrees and joint dissertations available 
    • Better consideration for potential clashes for join degree students 
  • I want to continue advocating for a centralised extensions portal that is accessible on MySaint - this is good for students but also staff (tracking extension requests will support the ‘duty of care’ obligations that emerged from the University of Bristol v Natasha Abrahart case. 
  • I want to ensure a standardised extensions policy for:
    • Essay gifts and flexible extensions 
    • What counts as evidence 
    • Who reviews and approves extensions
    • Retrospective extensions 

Education is a journey of growth and development, and it's essential to have a robust support system in place to ensure your success. That's why I am dedicated to lobbying to reimagine the Academic Alert System, transforming it into a more proactive and student-centered framework that fosters academic progress and well-being.


As a Postgraduate, and former PG Rep, this is an issue close to my heart. Postgraduate students are an integral part of our university community, and it's time to reimagine and enhance their representation. I am committed to working towards a new era of postgraduate representation that ensures their voices are heard, needs are met, and concerns are addressed.

We will reimagine the role of postgraduate representation, making it more inclusive, dynamic, and responsive to the unique challenges faced by postgraduate students. We will work collaboratively with postgraduate presidents and reps to develop a fresh approach that champions their interests and aspirations.


Let's face it, studying isn't always a breeze, especially when you're stuck at home or in your dorm room. That's why I'm determined to address this issue head-on.  I understand the struggles of finding the perfect study spot, no matter the time of day. That's why I'm committed to collaborating with the University to establish a dedicated 24-hour study space, which is easily accessible and able to cater for all years.

Imagine having a place where you can immerse yourself in your studies, regardless of the hour. Inspired by the success of the Postgraduate Lounge and the inviting areas within Butts Wynd, I will advocate for a similar model tailored specifically to meet the needs of undergraduate students. Whether you're burning the midnight oil, need a change of scenery, or simply prefer a productive environment outside your usual surroundings, this dedicated 24-hour space will be your go-to spot to get your work done.


Taking a leave of absence during your studies is sometimes necessary, and I firmly believe that we can work to get greater support throughout the process. That's why I am dedicated to collaborating with the university to establish a Retention and Reintegration Programme, ensuring that you receive the assistance you need during this period and prepare for a smooth transition back when you're ready.

The program should focus on making this process easier to navigate, providing clear guidelines, and ensuring that you have the necessary resources to make informed decisions about your leave of absence.  It should aim to alleviate concerns and uncertainties, allowing you to focus on what matters most: taking care of yourself and addressing the challenges you're facing. Then, when you're ready to return, the program will aim to facilitate a smooth reintegration back to studies.

Other Responsibilities

Here are some key initiatives that hold immense potential for positive change, but they require a sustained commitment and collaborative effort to fully develop and implement. While these projects may take more time, they aim to represent unwavering dedication to making a lasting impact on the university community and creating an environment that fosters growth, inclusivity, and excellence.

Personal Academic Tutors

We all need a guiding hand on our academic journey, and that's why I'm passionate about revamping the Academic Advisor system. It's time for an upgrade that truly puts your needs first. Working with the University, I wish to introduce an initiative called the Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) scheme, designed to provide you with the support you need throughout your studies.

With the PAT scheme, you'll have a dedicated tutor who will be your go-to person, someone you can rely on for guidance, whether it's related to your academics or seeking additional support. Your PAT will be there to listen, offer advice, and help you navigate the challenges that arise during your university experience.

But the PAT scheme isn't just about individual support. It's about fostering a sense of community within your school. By being part of a PAT group, you'll have a network of fellow students who share your academic journey. These groups will provide a supportive environment where you can connect, share experiences, and offer mutual assistance. PATs will aim to hold regular one-to-one meetings with their students every semester. These check-ins will give you an opportunity to discuss your progress, address any concerns, and receive guidance to thrive academically.

Tuition Receipts

Your education matters, and I believe in providing you with the transparency you deserve when it comes to your tuition fees. That's why I want help coordinate with departments across the University to introduce a game-changing initiative: 'Tuition Receipts.'

Imagine having access to a detailed breakdown of where your hard-earned fees are allocated. With Tuition Receipts, you'll have a clear understanding of how your money is being utilized and the value you're receiving in return. It's about empowering you to make informed judgments about the education you're investing in.

These receipts won't just be about numbers and figures. They will highlight the extensive range of resources and support available to you beyond the lecture hall. From valuable study skills workshops to the career office that can shape your future, you'll be amazed at the wealth of out-of-classroom opportunities at your fingertips.


More On What The DoEd Does

Academic Representation

I lead the Education Executive team, consisting of the two Faculty Presidents and the PG Academic Convenor. In addition, I train and support the 29 School Presidents and Language Convenors and coordinate 350+ Class Reps. I also work closely with the Postgraduate Society President and the Postgraduate Development Officer more broadly on postgraduate issues.

The School Presidents and I meet weekly at Education Committee. The Rector, Deans of Science and Arts, and the Proctor (VP Education) also attend this committee. These platforms allow us to address major issues relating to learning and teaching in the University.

Postgraduate Representation

Postgraduates make up a significant portion of our student cohort; however, their voice often gets lost amongst the undergraduate majority. Alongside the PGT and PGR Presidents, I hope to build on the work of previous representatives to ensure postgraduates have the necessary feedback channels and individual platforms, both within their Schools and at a University level.

An important element of ensuring all postgraduate students feel their voices are represented is electing an appropriate number of postgraduate Class Reps. In academic year 2023-24, PG elections will take place in Semester 1. We are aiming to encourage as many postgrads as possible to put themselves forward for positions during this elections cycle. In academic year 2020-21, several changes to the PG representative system were recommended after a comprehensive review was undertaken and you can find more information on this here. We have made changes and built upon these since, to create fairer and better representation for all postgraduates. 

The PG Presidents will coordinate the PGT and PGR Forums. This will give postgraduate representatives, both taught and research, the opportunity to voice concerns and work constructively to address them. PG Reps from each School are invited to attend.

University Committees

As DoEd, I am involved in various working groups and committees working to create high quality educational experiences for all students in St Andrews. My main role on these groups is to convey student perspectives and advocate for student interests, such as on Education Strategic Managment Group, Learning and Teaching Committee, the Academic Monitoring Group, and University Court and Academic Senate.

I work closely with the Proctor’s Office and University staff on policies to ensure the high standard of teaching and research that St Andrews is known for is maintained and built upon. By ensuring the student voice is at the centre of discussion, I work to make sure that plans and decisions are responsive to student concerns. In this sense, every student is given the chance to shape their academic experience at St Andrews, as well as the long-term strategic direction of the University. 


As part of my employability remit, I work with the Director of Student Development and Activities, the Employability Officer, and Careers Centre staff to help academic representatives put on engaging School-specific careers events.

The School President Advisory Group (SPAG), which is a sub-group of Education Committee, works to bring the student view into the development of the Careers Centre. Three School Presidents from each Faculty sit on SPAG to share feedback regarding career support, events, and specific School needs. The group works to ensure that School Presidents are supported in their roles as well as to ensure that the Careers Centre is meeting the needs of the growing student body.

The Careers & Employability School Role position helps to support School Presidents in creating and running events through liaising with Schools' Careers Link and the Careers Centre. They assist in gathering and responding to student requests and feedback, attend the Careers & Employability Forums twice per semester and provide support for the School President throughout the year.

Community and Events

As School Presidents are drivers of community-building within their Schools, it is important to include them in the efforts to integrate and build a postgraduate sense of community. We want to empower School Presidents, Language Convenors, and PG Reps to run events which are appealing and engaging to both UG and PG cohorts.

Additionally, the Faculty Presidents and I work to facilitate and support interdepartmental events as well as the sharing of ideas and solutions through pre-EduCom meetings and socials. If you have an idea for an event, feel free to reach out! By creating multiple avenues which are responsive to feedback, we hope to build an appealing role which gives individuals the ability to shape their School environment – even within the short time that they are here.

All postgraduate students are automaticlaly members of the Postgraduate Society (a Subcommittee of the Association), which serves to organise socials, promote wellbeing, and supplement academic representation.


I aim to ensure the work of academic and other representatives in St Andrews is fairly credited and highlighted to the student community. Education Committee runs a Facebook page and Instagram account, where you can find regular updates from your academic representatives. You can find updates on what I get up to by following @yourdoed on instagram. I always aim to operate with openness, honesty, and fairness - you are more than welcome to send me an email if you have thoughts or concerns about your studies, academic progression, or University policy. I help where I can and signpost where needed!


Previous holders

This Sabbatical position was created in 2017, when the Director of Representation (DoRep) was split into two roles: the DoEd and DoWell. Past DoReps are included here for reference.

Directors of Representation 

Year Name Resources
2016/17 Jack Carr  
2015/16 Joe Tantillo  
2014/15 Ondrej Haljda


2013/14 Teddy Woodhouse


2012/13 Amanda Litherland


2011/12 Sam Fowles