DMU experts put on the spot by students

On Wednesday 28 November over 30 DMU students took part in a Q&A session with a panel of senior leaders from across the university in the Trinity Chapel. The student contingent was drawn from DMU’s Course Reps and School Rep Co-Ordinators (SRCs). They engaged with senior staff who have a direct influence on the student experience at DMU for nearly two hours, receiving answers and explanations to a series of pressing questions.

Who was on the panel?

At DMU, we're committed to providing the best student experience possible. That's why we place so much importance on student feedback as it lets the right people and teams know what they should be addressing to improve the things that matter most to our students.

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The panel of ‘experts’ was introduced by Abigail Moriarty, Director of Teaching and Learning, it was comprised of Jon Lees (Deputy Director, Student & Academic Services), Adele Browne (Head of Careers & Employability, Student & Academic Services), Phil Scarffe (Head of Student Welfare, Student & Academic Services), Alasdair Blair (Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic), Pete Norman (Head of Infrastructure & Architecture, ITMS), Fred Robson (Deputy Director of Estates/Commercial Services) and David Parkes (Director Library and Learning Services, Library & Learning Services). Faculty representation was led by Zoe Allman (Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of CEM), Nikki Brooks (Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences), Claire Orwin (Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities) and Beverly Vickerstaff (UG Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of Business & Law).

What were the burning issues raised?

In the frank and illuminating exchanges a variety of key topics emerged including printing costs, disability provision, improving access to work placements and study space availability. Not only that, issues such as ongoing support after graduation, timetabling, parking and teaching feedback mechanisms were discussed. Most questions were directly addressed and answered honestly in the room and the students received a guarantee of a follow-up response for any things that needed further investigation. Students also got to hear first-hand of impending improvements and expansion to the Hugh Aston building, added functionality on MyDMU and the expansion in the number of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.

Third year Animation student Ieva Beleskaite said the session was a “success because I got to share my voice and in some way influence how things are going for my course.”

Product Design student Nicholas Mullaner also commented positively about his experience at the session and offered some advice to other students: “the forum brought up stuff I wasn’t really aware of like HealthyDMU and employability support after we graduate. It was also good to put a face to the decisions that happen at faculty level so I know who to speak to ... I’d say to everyone ‘don’t be quiet to speak up and give your feedback’.”

Mollie Footit (DSU) said: “I really love the ‘Ask the Expert’ forum because it gives students and staff to get a feeling for each other are thinking … and we got some really lovely answers and brilliant debates going.” All of the questions that couldn’t be asked on the day will also be answered by the panel and shared via DSU.

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How can you have your voice heard?

There are lots of ways students can share their voice and affect change by getting involved in Faculty feedback forums, Student Voice Committees, Programme Management Boards, completing the various student surveys and send questions to the ASKUS inbox.

The next 'Ask the Expert' will be held on 27 February 2019 starting at 2pm – please contact your student representatives ahead of this session if you want them to raise your questions or share any feedback about the student experience at DMU.

Posted on Monday 3rd December 2018

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