The Student spoke with Edinburgh University Students’ Association Vice President of Education Bobi Archer about her policy ambitions, plans of execution and where to experience the best night out in Edinburgh.
What motivated you to run for a sabbatical role in Edinburgh University Students’ Association?
I’ve always been quite chatty and into the idea of representation.
Once I got to university I was searching for the next way to get involved, going from class representative to school representative.
I like the responsibility that comes alongside leadership but also the opportunity to speak out for my peers.
Running for a sabbatical leadership role felt like a natural step for me to try and take after my past leadership roles.
Was there a specific reason you ran for the position of Vice President of Education?
Vice President of Education was the only position I would have considered.
As a previous student from the School of Engineering and Sciences, I realised how underrepresented students can be and how in need they are of more pastoral support systems.
Additionally, being a class and school representative allowed me to see the inconsistencies within leadership roles at the university, something I can now change.
Has the University of Edinburgh uniquely influenced your personal educational goals?
While I was always sure I wanted to pursue mathematics as my degree, I wasn’t aware of how theoretical it would be at a university level.
However, the flexibility Edinburgh offers within the degree really allowed me to play up my strengths.
Through this I found my own interests in Engineering, which I am now planning to pursue.
What are your primary policy ambitions for the year?
Summarised, my three main goals are to be able to bring more support to students during semester one’s exams, streamline the tutorial and school rep system with higher positions and refine joint-degree programs to make it easier for students tackling deadlines.
How do you plan on bringing these policies to fruition?
Through small steps. One specific example is offering more support in first term. For students in the School of Engineering and Science there can be up to five examinations and sometimes only four days to prepare.
A larger goal is to be able to ensure Edinburgh has more twenty credit options so students can reduce their amount of exams, but until then I aim to try and encourage there to be no new material in week eleven and only reviews, as well as a sort of reading week period mid-way through the semester for students to catch up.
During the election campaign, you stated that you want to lead Edinburgh University into the 21st century. How do you plan on going about this?
Edinburgh is a world-leading university and I believe it should be on the forefront of digital education.
This doesn’t only include focusing on recording lectures but also in terms of submission of work online rather than on paper.
At the end of the day, it just has to do with sustainability and doing the most we can for the environment, whilst also simplifying things for students and not expecting them to turn in a fifteen-page printed report at nine in the morning.
You also spoke about improving the experiences of students studying abroad. How do you intend on making such improvements?
It’s no secret that so many students have a bad experience on their year abroad, so I aim to attempt to fix that through communication and advice from those with experience.
I am in contact with the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures to try and derive some sort of Trip Advisor type app so students can give each other feedback, advice, and support.
Leadership and policies aside, where can one find the best night out in Edinburgh?
Definitely Garibaldi’s in New Town!
You don’t have to get too dressed up, the music is great and there are good prices on alcohol.
Image: Sara Konradi / Photo Editor