The Student View 2020

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On an annual basis your elected Sabbatical Officer team write and submit a report to Cardiff University. The report sets out a series of recommendations that would improve the student experience at Cardiff University and the Students’ Union.

These recommendations are based on the feedback that has been collated from Speak Week, National Student Survey, Module Evaluations, Society Forums, Social Media and a number of other areas.

We are proud to have submitted this year’s report ‘The Student View’ (previously named the Student Written Submission).

We hope that this approach helps to highlight our willingness to listen students on a broad range of issues and our commitment to working with the University on behalf of all of our students. We could not complete this without you, our students, giving us your feedback on your experience.

Our recommendations are based on your feedback!

This year’s report

This year’s report shows a departure from the previous format, with a separate focus on both the academic experience and the wider student experience, highlighting the nuances of being a student at Cardiff University.

Key themes of the report:

Assessment and Feedback

Student feedback consistently highlights that there is dissatisfaction with assessment and feedback from bunched deadlines to a lack of quality feedback. We raised this with the University in order to address concerns highlighted by students.

Placements

The University strategy, The Way Forward, aims for 50% of students to have been on placement during their time at Cardiff and for every single student to have had the opportunity to go on a placement. We believe that placements are incredible opportunities for students but also know that not everyone has the best experience on placement. Therefore, we recommended that more is done to improve the support provided to students on placement.

Students need more support on placements

Learning Resources

Learning resources are a vital aid to studying and it is important that those available are of a good quality – as highlighted even further by the impact of COVID-19 on education. Panopto is widely valued by students and the opt-out policy has had a positive impact on students. However, more needs to be done to ensure that all learning resources are of a good quality and that they are effectively utilised by the University.

We have highlighted the impact of the strike on students

Industrial Action and PGR Contracts

With industrial action taking place over a number of weeks this academic year, we thought it important to highlight the impact of the strike and ways in which the University could improve the student experience if strikes were to take place in the future. We also made recommendations to improve the position of PGRs who teach at the University.

Community Building

We want to ensure that every single student at Cardiff University feels welcome and part of a community here, whether that be sport or society based for example. Yet we know from feedback that not every student feels part of a community and we want that to change. Therefore, we recommended that the University helps to build and support communities at Cardiff by supporting course-based societies amongst other things.

Sport Facilities

Linked to community building, for many students, sport is a vital part of their experience. For students to fully experience the benefits of sport it is important that there are appropriate sports facilities available. Here we recommended that the University invests in it sports facilities.

Student Support

Many students find that they need support during their time at University and that support can take a variety of different forms. Feedback from students highlights concerns about the availability of mental health support available to them and  we believe that it is vital that the University invests in the support available to students and improves access to it whilst also tailoring support to the needs of different groups.

We need more investment in mental heath support

Communication

The University is a large organisation with lots going on during the year. A lot of concerns raised by students could be address with improved communication and by better utilising communication methods available to the University, such as social media.

Student Complaints Procedure

Then VP Education and now SU President, Jackie Yip submitted a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to the University last academic year. This discovered that there was an unacceptable wait in student complaints being resolved. The Student View recommends that the University addresses these concerns to improve the way in which it resolves complaints.

What next?

The 2020/21 Sabbatical Officer team will help drive forward the recommendations from The Student View, ensuring that your feedback is acted upon.

We look forward to seeing the partnership between the Union and University continue to flourish, as we truly believe that this partnership is the best way for us to achieve good outcomes for all of our students.

Read the Student View 2020