Joanne Lisney

Vice President Education and Democracy

Key Points

  • Increase support for students suffering with mental health issues
  • Impliment better communication between university and student if deadline missed
  • Push for full digitisation of course collections
  • Publishing how we are responding to feedback
  • Working with other universities SAABs to improve UK higher education

I have been at university for two years now and felt that not many students are aware of what the VP of Education and Democracy exactly does or how to approach them if there are issues. This is what I want to change by engaging more in person with students and online. Typically, my phone is glued to my hand, therefore getting in touch with me will not be an issue as I will be quick to reply. Alternatively, I want students to feel welcome to pop by and have a chat if they want to and would implement a time where students can come to speak about issues.

As a student at Southampton, I want students to feel even more supported by the Student Officers regarding education as after all, we are paying to be here. I feel that the university needs to be more open with and clarify what they are spending our fees on regarding our education as many students feel disillusioned with university now that they are here. This should not be the case. To counter act this, I pledge to consistently keep students updated with how we are responding to student feedback through publishing documents on SUSU and other social media platforms. Likewise, I plan to put a suggestion box in the SUSU building which will allow a constant way that students can contribute to improving their and other people’s education.

Also, studying can take a toll on our education. I plan to work with fellow mental health societies to help improve how the university handles mental health and how we can help reduce this impact on student education. Whether that be setting up mentoring in the library or making quiet places for students to come study that is outside the library, we will find a way to support you.

I know good students who have missed an important deadline by mistake. Whilst it is hard to appeal against this, I wish to implement a system that will email you if you miss the deadline so you will face a minimum penalty. If the library can remind you that your book is overdue, why can’t the university do the same regarding your essays?

Another issue that affects our education is access to course collections. How annoying is it when you and twenty other students must read something from the course collection and there is only one copy of it in the library? Or there are a few copies, but they are all out on loan? I wish to help drive the digitisation of these as it is not fair that students suffer because of the lack of resources. The books are slowly becoming digitised, but there needs to be a priority for these.

I also intend to work and communicate with Student Officers from other universities to get an insight into other student issues that may also affect Southampton students and solve the issues as they arise.