Frequently Asked Questions
If you are interested in becoming a Student Academic Representative, or if you are interested in learning a bit more about what they do, take a look at our frequently asked questions below.
If you would like to dicuss any aspects of the role with the Student Voice team, contact StudentReps@cardiff.ac.uk.
What is a Student Academic Representative?
Every programme has a Student Academic Rep to represent the views of their cohort. Within the 24 schools at Cardiff University, this means over 1000 Reps every year across the organisation. Reps bridge the gap between students and staff members, gathering relevant feedback, raising it at meetings, and reporting back on any outcomes.
What type of issue do Student Academic Reps deal with?
Student Academic Reps are elected to speak on behalf of their cohorts’ educational concerns. This means they deal with issues or problems that arise regarding the course (including assessments and feedback, module content, or timetabling). They are not expected to deal with any wellbeing concerns or personal matters relating to students on their course. However, they will be able to signpost students with such concerns to appropriate university services. .
How do I find the Student Academic Rep for my school?
Your Student Academic Rep should make themselves known to you in the first few weeks of the year. You can also find the details of your Rep by clicking on your school through the 'Home' section of the Student Rep Hub.
Where does feedback go?
The university has a comprehensive committee structure that is designed to ensure that all feedback can be resolved or discussed at the appropriate level. Any feedback that is passed onto Student Academic Representatives will be raised with school staff at a Student Staff Panel meeting. Depending on the nature of the issue, the panel of staff and students may find a solution, which will then be communicated back to students. If no solution can be found, the issue will be allocated to another appropriate committee, who will work towards an outcome. .
What is a Student Staff Panel?
Student Staff Panels are meetings that occur between Student Academic Representatives and staff within the school. These happen once per semester, and exist to ensure that there is an effective dialogue between staff and students. These are led by a student Chair and Vice-Chair, and facilitation is supported by school staff. Any outcomes from Student Staff Panel meetings should be communicated with all students.
What is a College Forum?
College Forums are meetings facilitated by the Students’ Union, and provide an opportunity for Reps to report issues that cannot be resolved at a Student Staff Panel. These are split by college, and are chaired by a Sabbatical Officer. The Chair and Vice-Chair of each Student Staff Panel will be invited to attend and provide an update on the items discussed at their latest meeting. College Deans and professional service staff will also be in attendance, so if there is any feedback that is not suitable for a Student Staff Panel, it can be raised at a College Forum.
Why should I volunteer?
Becoming a Student Academic Representative is a great opportunity. Not only can you represent your cohort and gain an insight into the workings of your school, you will also gain lots of transferable skills that will look great on your CV. As a Rep, you will also receive regular communication from the Students’ Union with additional opportunities. You can also get a certificate at the end of the year!
Will I receive training and support?
As a Student Academic Representative, you will receive comprehensive training from the Student Voice team about your role, including further training if you take on a Chair or Vice-Chair role. This will take you through what to expect from your role, and the support you can access. You will also receive an induction from the Student Rep Coordinator within your school, who will give you information about how you can communicate with staff and students, and what you may need to consider when providing feedback.
I’m interested! How do I volunteer?
Great! To put your name forward as a Student Academic Representative, you will need to contact the Student Rep Coordinator for your school, or speak to another member of staff who can pass your details onto the right person. If you are struggling to find the right person, contact the Student Voice team.
As a Student Academic Rep, how can I communicate with my cohort?
Getting feedback from your cohort can be challenging, but your school can support you with this. Each school has different ways of doing this, so it is a good idea to get in touch with your Student Rep Coordinator and see what methods have been successful for previous Reps. Try to consider what may be best for your cohort – if you have an active group chat, it may be a good idea to utilise it, but if you do not communicate very often, asking staff to help you with mailing the cohort directly may help.
What recognition do Student Academic Reps get?
The Rep role is voluntary, but there are ways students can be recognised for taking on the role. At the end of the year, every Student Academic Rep who completed training can claim a certificate as evidence of the skills they have gained throughout the role. The Enriching Student Life Awards also has a category for Student Academic Rep of the Year, with a winner for each college. If you make an impact in your role, you may be nominated!