Students 'Ask the Experts' in virtual event with senior leaders


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On Wednesday 29 April De Montfort University (DMU) students took part in a Q&A session with a panel of senior leaders from across the university. The ‘Ask the Experts’ event was held virtually on Microsoft Teams with DMU Course Representatives in attendance. Students received answers and explanations from senior staff on a series of pressing questions. 

What is Ask the Expert and why is it important? 

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. 

With this in mind, ‘Ask the Experts’ was introduced in November 2017 by Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Jackie Labbe, to give students reps the opportunity to go straight to the source of vital information. 

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What was raised at the event? 

Some of the issues that came up included assessment feedback time, student accommodation, mental health and wellbeing, and the no detriment policy. The panel shared news of improvements being made in direct response to student feedback and how the university was managing the student experience during these extraordinary circumstances. 

This included an update on the no detriment policy, information about the DMU student hardship fund and availability of online textbooks and academic journals from the library and how to access them.  

Laura Flowers, Academic Executive at De Montfort Students’ Union said: “At a time of confusion, it was wonderful for students to hear directly from senior leaders at the 'Ask the Experts' event.” 

“We asked questions and spoke about a variety of different topics on students minds such as the no detriment policy, tips on academic writing and queries surrounding the future of online learning.” 

Joanna Dine-Hart, a third year Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation student and Chair of the Student Zone and Academic Council at DSU, said: “The event today was good. It was nicely organised and there was a great turn out from students and staff. 

“It was useful to hear from lots of different staff members, make new contacts, hear that other students are having similar problems and that staff are trying to help and answer questions where they can.” 

Professor Jackie Labbe, Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic commented: “It is extremely important to receive these questions from students, particularly at this difficult time. Running the live event was a first for us and I was impressed by the quality of the questions and the engagement of colleagues.  Full responses on all the questions will be shared with the Students’ Union.”  

How can you have your voice heard? 

Although 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 and completing the various student surveys, please also remember to engage with your tutors as well as module and programme leaders if you have any questions relating to your studies. Please also send questions to the AskUs inbox.  

Who was on the panel?  

The panel was made up of Jackie Labbe (Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Alasdair Blair (Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic), Jon Lees (Deputy Director of Student and Academic Services), Claire Orwin (Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities), Julia Cook (Interim Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of Business and Law), Nicola Brookes (Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences), David Parkes (Director of Library and Learning Services), Umesh Desai (Director of Estates and Commercial Services), Fiona Dick (Head of Sport), Debbie Le Play (University Senior Tutor), Pamela Hardaker (Associate Professor, Faculty of Computing and Media), Neil Stokes (Academic Team Manager, Library and Learning Services), Penni Robson (Chief Executive Officer, De Montfort Students’ Union), Adele Browne (Head of Careers and Employability, Student and Academic Services), Phil Scarffe (Head of Student Welfare), Paul McNicoll (Associate Professor of Student Experience, Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities), Pete Norman (Head of Infrastructure and Architecture, Information, Media and Technology Services) and Anna Chesters (Associate Professor, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences). 

Posted on Thursday 30th April 2020

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