The role of the Director of Education is to lead the representation of St Andrews students throughout education, postgraduate study, and employability.
I am Zachary, a final year MChem student. I am extremely passionate about education and wish to be your first Director of Education. During my time here at St Andrews I have participated in several teaching outreach events hosted by the University and the School of Chemistry. Throughout the past year, I have been actively involved in academic representation within my role as the School President of Chemistry, during which I have represented over 600 undergraduate and postgraduate students. This invaluable experience has given me a great deal of insight into the inner workings of both the University and the Students’ Association. Within my own School I have advocated for improved feedback, as well as increased academic representation transparency.
I have thoroughly enjoyed making a change in students’ educational experience during my time as School President. This is the main driving force behind my campaign for the Director of Education. I truly believe that I have the motivation and experience necessary to effectively represent you within all aspects of the Director of Education’s remit, and to ensure that the teaching experience you receive here at the University of St Andrews is held to the highest standard.
Below I’ve outlined my manifesto polices. I believe these goals, which cover all areas of the Director of Education’s remit, are realistic and achievable within my term.
· Overhaul the current study space guide to include all available study spaces throughout the university, with accompanying information on room sizes, atmosphere, accessibility, and booking guides. I would also aim to advertise this guide around study intense periods such as revision weeks.
· Ensure that study space disruption during the library redevelopment is kept to a minimum, and ensure that student feedback is acted on in a timely manner throughout this process.
· Ensure the University adapts efficiently to increasing student numbers and takes steps to safeguard that it high teaching standards. This includes protecting small class sizes and tutorial groups which lead to a more engaging and effective teaching experience, as well as ensuring all students have access to vital material required during their degree.
· Campaign for Schools to provide support and advice for students transitioning into honours years, through events such as honours information sessions, which would also provide a social platform for students to connect.
· Carry support for the SRC policy on lecture capture through to the relevant University committees to ensure its making as a University policy.
· Improve upon the existing education structure through the promotion of technology enhanced teaching methods, such as the transition to online submissions, the use of effective and varying online resources, and interactive lecture equipment (e.g. clickers).
· Ensure fair and consistent feedback is given on coursework throughout the University, as well as advocate for Schools to provide written feedback on exams.
· Support University-wide movement towards increasing diversity of assessment.
· Encourage Schools to highlight key transferable skills students can expect to obtain and improve upon through taking a particular module. By placing these in the appropriate course catalogue it would allow for students to make more informed decisions about their module choices, as well as reflect upon the skills they have gained when looking forward towards job applications.
· Establish open office hours for students to meet personally with myself to ensure their opinions and concerns are heard.
· Reply promptly to all emails within a 24-hour period.
· Foster a greater sense of community between the elected School Presidents and Class Representatives, to allow for collaboration and idea sharing between Schools.
· Actively support School Presidents with their own policy implementations.
· Use my knowledge as a School President to improve the existing Class Representative training to increase Class Representative engagement with the Director of Education and staff members within the university.
· Use my experience running Class Representative elections to guide and assist the next group of School Presidents, and to uphold a democratic election process.
· Increase transparency of the academic representation system to allow students clearer insight into the progress made by their elected officials. Initial steps would involve highlighting goals achieved by School Presidents and Class Representatives in the weekly Sabbatical email, as well as ensuring minutes from all Education Committee and School President Forum meetings are available online.
· Create a Postgraduate Affairs Committee where appropriate within each school to give a unique platform for postgraduates to speak from. Should this not be practical for a given school, encourage School Presidents to include postgraduate relevant points in their SSCC agendas.
· Ensure continued postgraduate involvement at Education Committee meetings, through the inclusion of postgraduate relevant agenda points.
· Make sure Schools provide sufficient support to postgraduates who are actively involved in teaching.
· Work with the Careers Centre and School Presidents to put on faculty wide careers events, opening up more opportunities to students.
· Review previous careers events and determine student opinions to ensure that future events are valuable to students and provide relevant information.