The Student contacted VP Education candidate Dominic regarding his campaign and manifesto. To read Dominic’s manifesto, click here.
What experience do you have that would be pertinent to this role?
I recently graduated from Durham University (Archaeology and Anthropology) and then worked as an A-Level teacher of Psychology for one year, before starting an MSc here at Edinburgh in clinical psychology.
Therefore, I have experience of a wide range of subjects and of the nuances between undergraduate and postgraduate study. Working as a teacher also provides me with some insight into being on both sides of education – a teacher and a student. This should help me in understanding the complexities around lecturer accessibility for example, and findings practical ways to solve this problem.
Is there anything in particular about your manifesto/campaign that you want to draw students’ attention to?
Whilst a central focus is on both lecturer accessibility and improving the educational experience by building on transferable skills for future careers and post-university life, there are seven main points within the manifesto. These are not available online but are printed on posters around the University. These are:
1. Improving lecturer accessibility.
– All teaching staff to have office hours.
– Developing ways to reduce the time it takes for teaching staff to reply to student emails.
2. Further improving subject-specific learning in a way which enables us to develop our skills and abilities – being useful for future careers and wider post-university life.
3. Emphasising the important link between good mental health and academic performance.
– Organising free tea, coffee and snacks events for students studying late within the Main Library.
– Every student being provided with two one-time-use gym passes, to experience the gym at their own convenience, before considering purchasing a membership.
– The idea of establishing a randomised peer-buddy system for students on the same course to work together.
4. More funding and support for students to organise their own events – e.g. conferences and networking lunches.
5. Helping students to be more aware of the opportunities provided by departments focusing on wider skills and abilities – e.g. The Institute for Academic Development (IAD); LAUNCH.ed; the Enterprise Development team.
6. Every student to be provided with a printed personalised timetable (with key dates, including individual assessment deadlines).
7. Every student being able to anonymously request a minimum of two assignments to be remarked, without having to provide a reason.
The following is a transcription of Dominic’s responses during the Sabbatical Candidate’s Question Time which took place on Thursday 28 February 2019.
Due to technical difficulties we, unfortunately, do not have any record of the first half of this event. Some answers may have been edited for clarity.
How do you intend to effectively represent the students from the academic level you are not currently a student at?
This is actually linked onto the essential thing that I’ve tried to drive forward this evening which is to try to find the link between subject-specific learning and building these academic and transferable skills. I was recently an undergraduate, I only graduated in 2017, then I worked as a teacher for one year in London. What I would do at an undergraduate level is think about these future goals and careers, and especially if you’re looking at postgraduate studies, I would be able to help with that. For the postgraduate students, I assume when you do a postgraduate degree, just from the friends I have and thinking about it, it is more vocationally [minded], you want to get somewhere. Whereas with an undergraduate degree, you do it because you’ve finished your A-levels, and perhaps you want to have a degree just to learn. These are two different things, and I’ve recently been through both, but – [time].
Image: Shannen Tioniwar