Amina Lechkhab

Candidate for Vice President Education and Democracy

  • Prioritise and widen support for students’ mental health and wellbeing.
  • Fight hostility, reveal and protect voices and rights of students.
  • Push for better educational training and participation for PGRs.
  • Negotiate about students’ fees, deadlines, resources, training regarding Covid-19.
  • Push for decolonization of teaching and university social activities

Why vote for me?

As someone who has been impacted by anxiety and stress during her studies which contributed to a temporary physical disability. When the voices comes from within, things can change to better and will take a better shape. I know that students require more efforts, access to information, encouragement to seek advice and the necessary support for mental health. I will work on facilitating platforms for raising awareness regarding the significance of mental health, wellbeing and the potential of accessing the necessary support. I will work on including mental health and wellbeing training on Gradbook. 

I will work on facilitating opportunities for research fellowship, assistantship and partnership that will involves research students and broaden their prospects of research skills and also to promote their opportunities of publications.

As an international student and with my study and PhD research related to intercultural, multilingualism, inclusion and global citizenship focus. I  understand well the issues and needs related to diversity. I also want to work on findings out about invisible disabilities and individual differences that act as a challenge to students’ life and study progress. I will work more this year meditation and quiet space related solutions. I will tackle the right to choose suitable accommodation and flatmates. I want to liaise with students’ reps and DPDs about organizing a systematic plan to hear students’ voices. I would also allocate a time at a weekly basis where students can pop in and share with me their thoughts and issues.

I will open discussion about fees and further opportunities of funding. Students who will need to work on a distance due to uncertainty about opening their countries border, I relate to the fact that some of them may not have even access to an internet that would stand for an hour for a supervisor meeting, course and to finish their assignments and writing on time. Thus, I will work on making deadlines flexible and longer. It is not fair to receive case by case treatment to get extensions.  

I am planning to create a document that gathers students and staff ideas and feedback on how their experience is in line with equality and struggle against imperialism and dominance of certain teaching and research supervision methods and content. I will liaise with graduate school in different faculties to create a feedback for research students to report anonymously any issues related to knowledge that is approached in a hegemonic way. I will also connect with university stuff and students to provide possible alternatives. I intend to talk to relevant university offices about the possibilities to pilot and provide relevant training to decolonize teaching and instruction in our institution.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions & Answers Ask me a Question

What will you do to protect disabled student's ability to access their education while the pandemic continues and beyond?

I'll work on continuing to support disabled students during this time which requires contingent plans and a lot of communication, this will cover: 1- Allowing the use of some funds that are initially allocated to some activities that require physical attendance to be used to support the requirement of disabled students during their remote study. 2- The university have students from all parts of the world, this means that there are disabled students who had to leave the country to work from home. Some of these students may have came to the UK through awards or scholarship and they may come a background where they lack means and resources that helped them to continue their studies in the UK before this pandemic. However, they may well face challenges and lack support if they decided to be somewhere else. I will communicate with students, the university, and gatekeepers across borders to identify and address their requirements and needs when they are continuing their studies remotely. 3- There seems to be a lack of communication about Inclusive Learning volunteering which could benefit more students with needs during this pandemic. The university needs to communicate more about this to expand support for disabled students. 4- Mental health support for disabled students needs to be enhanced. This need to include: welfare checks, emergency contact and advice services and offers for additional support for specific disabilities. 5- Some disabled students do not have access to a software to complete housework, assignments and exams. The university should be able to provide and buy licences that they can offer disabled students access to.

This question was also asked to Avila Chidume, Dipam Sengupta, Isaac Makponga, Grace Lampkin, Kendall Field-Pellow, Katie Ludvigsen, Alexander Beyene, Ijeoma OpokoAnswered by Amina on 21/07/20 21:52

What would you do in your role as VP Education and Democracy to represent PGR student interests? What research have you done into the specific educational issues facing PGR students?

My last role was a PGR student representative and I learned that PGR students within one school or department may not have equal educational opportunities if they do not have someone who speak for their rights. 1- PGR students need equal opportunities of educational training across the university departments such as subject specific training related to publishing academic work. 2- PGR student need to be empowered to speak up their silence if they are unsatisfied about the taught modules they attend, the load of work for iPHDs who face pressure of completing research and continuing to attend modules and attend assignments. Other issues involves the lack ability and support to report non-satisfaction about their advisory/supervision team. I heard from students in science subject who unfortunately suffered anxiety and stress because their mentors/supervisors thought their 'English' was not 'good' and they could not speak up as they thought it's their fault. This definition of 'good' English is relative and misunderstood among some academics, and this requires communication and training. 3- PGR students also require specific subject training related to their future careers, the university should facilitate this. 4- I knew a lot of PGR students with isolation, lack of connection with other and mental health issues, I planned to direct attention to those students needs to overcome those difficulties and create activities and platforms that suit PGR students expectations in terms of on-site emergency contact support especially in remote campuses, socialization events that suits PGR students interests and cultural backgrounds. 5- Things like the fabulous social impact lab event that joined last year PhD students with other students to share and learn about each others work need to be widely and formally promoted. 6- A part of this role requires regular forums to hear from PGR reps and communicate with students offices. This is to tackle solutions at a larger scale and hence we move from tackling issues case by case to a more inclusive policy change and update.

This question was also asked to Avila Chidume, Dipam Sengupta, Isaac Makponga, Grace Lampkin, Kendall Field-Pellow, Katie Ludvigsen, Alexander Beyene, Ijeoma OpokoAnswered by Amina on 22/07/20 13:41

What will you do to ensure disabled students are aware of career opportunities that are suitable for them?

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This question was also only asked to Amina

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