About My Role
Orla represents all postgrad students on the issues and policies that affect them. Orla will be continuing to work towards building a postgraduate community at Cardiff University.
Shwmae pawb! I’m Orla, your Vice President Postgraduate Students 2021/22! I’m really excited to be back working to better your student experience, particularly as we begin to return to more regular activities following the COVID-19 pandemic that hit halfway through my year as VP Societies and Volunteering in 2019/20!
I grew up in a small town in Berkshire, and went to a small single-sex school called The Marist in a tiny little village, which barely had a post office. Coming to University was a HUGE culture shock for me - in Sixth Form, my largest class (Maths) had three other students in, and suddenly I was sat in a lecture theatre of 200! I came to Cardiff through clearing and honestly now couldn’t imagine being anywhere else! I even chose to stay here for my (panic) Masters in Operational Research, Applied Stats and Financial Risk!
The pandemic has had a massive impact on the student experience across all cohorts within the University. Lectures and exams have been online, we’ve been stuck in our houses and our activities, that are so essential to life here in Cardiff, have been restricted. This has been an extremely challenging year for everyone, and I am really excited to get stuck in to supporting you through the other side of it.
In the last few years, I have seen first-hand several of the issues faced by Postgraduate students at the University; while many are COVID-related, several are ingrained in procedure and will take time and energy to break into. With everything just starting to return to some semblance of normality, this is a vital time for Postgraduate students; an opportune time to fully readdress our agenda for the coming years and build the experience that we want and that we deserve.
If you have any questions, issues, ideas, or just fancy a cup of tea and a chat about anything, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me!
My priorities for this year include:
- Reforming the way Postgraduates are included, represented and engaged with a specific Postgraduate Union within the Students’ Union, as well as supporting Postgraduate Societies and Sports Clubs with a new governing framework
- Championing the rights of Postgraduate Research students who teach, following on from the long-standing lobbying efforts by former Vice Presidents
- Implementing Winter Graduation Ceremonies for Postgraduate students, and Undergraduates resitting examinations in August