Shwmae pawb! I’m Jake, your Vice President Postgraduate Students. My job is to represent the 10,000+ postgraduate students at Cardiff University. I represent postgraduates on all courses, from postgraduate certificates and diplomas to Master’s degrees and PhDs. This is my second year as Vice President Postgraduate Students. I was first elected in February 2017, taking up post in July 2017. I was then re-elected in the February 2018 elections and began my second term in July 2018.
I originally grew up in South Oxfordshire before moving to Cardiff in September 2013 to begin an undergraduate degree in Politics, graduating with First Class Honours in July 2016. In September 2016 I began a Master’s Degree in Politics and Public Policy in the School of Law and Politics, but this time chose to study as a part-time student. As a part-time Master’s student I worked alongside my degree, firstly for the Welsh political research centre WISERD before moving to CUREMeDE, another Cardiff University research unit where I was an administrator and then Research Assistant. As an undergraduate and then a postgraduate at Cardiff University I enjoyed being on the committees of many societies, including the Sci Fi and Fantasy, Book Club and Students’ For Europe. I was also a Student Senator and NUS Delegate in the Students’ Union and took Cymraeg I Bawb language classes alongside my studies.
In my first term as VP Postgrad I secured 24/7 opening of the ASSL library over the Christmas and Easter holidays, ran an advice campaign on how to afford a Master’s degree, organised numerous postgraduate social events, achieved more clarity for PhD teaching pay and worked on employment rights and mandated the NUS to lobby the UK Government for financial support for postgraduates in need.
The postgraduate community is so diverse, with huge variety in age, educational and social experiences, and many of these distinctive challenges can often be otherwise overlooked.
My priorities for this year include:
- Expanding bursaries for postgraduates in financial difficulty
- Improving employment rights and support for PhD students paid to teach in the university, and improving PhD office space
- Building a vibrant postgraduate community
- More support for students who work alongside their studies
- Helping undergraduates apply for and enter postgraduate study
- Longer study space opening hours
I’m very proud to have been re-elected as VP Postgrad, and very grateful to postgraduates for the opportunity to continue to make a difference.
If you’re a postgraduate, the Students’ Union is your union too. If you need some support with any aspect of your university experience, or have an idea for what you’d like to see the Students’ Union campaign on, send me an email, a message, or come in and see me on the third floor of the SU. Looking forward to meeting you. Diolch.
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