Postgraduate Academic Convenor

Hi! My name is Ashley Clayton, and I’m the Postgraduate Academic Convenor for 2018/19!

Hi! My name is Ashley Clayton, and I’m the Postgraduate Academic Convenor for 2018/19!

I've been in St Andrews for the past couple of years studying for a PhD in Pure Mathematics, and I'm having an absolutely excellent time and am very excited to be further involved in University representation over the 2018/19 Academic year.


My position as the PG Academic Convenor puts me at the forefront of academic representation for Postgraduates. My main responsibility for the Students’ Union is to fairly and accurately represent the views of the PG community as a whole at the University committee level, for both Taught and Research Students. I use the fantastic support of the PG Representatives from each school to do this, and I also organise their training and oversee their development, being a point of support for them. These forums are a great opportunity to gather the temperature of the Postgraduate community for all academic matters, and the University in particular gain a lot of useful feedback from these meetings (and most importantly, implement that feedback). I am thus overly grateful for the support of the PG Representative team, and highly encourage any postgraduate with views on their academic experience to be vocal with their representatives (or better yet, run to become one!).


I am supported on the non-academic forefront by the Postgraduate Development Officer Courtney Aitken, who I work closely with at the Postgraduate Development Meetings and whose support I could surely not do without. I also hold a committee position on the Postgraduate Society, where I work alongside Courtney, Cameron Scott (the Postgraduate President) as well as numerous other excellent members to provide union-side support (academic or otherwise), events and balls for the Postgraduate community. I am thankful to every member of the committee for their support.


For the University, I provide a point of contact and give advice on any postgraduate-affecting policies which come to the Academic Council, PG Research Committee, Learning & Teaching Committee and the Academic Monitoring Group amongst others. I work closely with several members of the Principal's office and St Leonard’s college to mediate such policy, and to ensure that the student view as a whole has been taken into account. This is a fantastic team of extraordinarily friendly and open staff members, who really do take student views seriously and act on them, so it's a pleasure to be able to work with them.


Finally, I am very honoured and privileged to have been chosen as your PG Academic Convenor, and hope to enhance and uphold the student experience here at St Andrews which we all hold dear. I really would like to be held accountable, so if you have any comments, questions or feedback for myself or the PG academic representative team, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at pgconven@. I look forward to meeting and engaging with as many of you as possible."


Information on the Role

The Postgraduate Academic Convenor is elected in March by the postgraduate student body to represent postgraduate interests within the University and the Students’ Association.

Ashley Clayton is the current Postgraduate Academic Convenor.

Along with the other student officers, they sit on Academic Council (read summaries from my Academic Council meetings here), Learning & Teaching Committee, and the Postgraduate Research Committee where any new policies and regulations regarding postgraduate studies will be discussed and passed. They also work closely with other units such as the Library, Careers and Student Services to ensure that the postgraduate (academic) experience is the best it can be.

There are also postgraduate representatives for both research and taught students in every School that are the direct link within departments for postgraduate students to address any concerns. These student representatives are elected at the beginning of each academic year and the Postgraduate Convenor meets with them twice per semester to discuss current issues.

The hub for postgraduate activities is the Postgraduate Society that organizes multiple events throughout the year and is led by the Postgraduate Society President (pgpres@).