Hello! My name is Alexandra Turda and I am a final year Criminology and Psychology student. I am applying for Vice President Education because I am passionate about improving the academic experience for students. In my second year I served as an Academic Vice President (SSPC) and now in my final year I am a Course Rep and an Education Zone Open place member. These roles have shown me the impact that student feedback can have on leading real change at the university.
I also worked hard to secure a Year in Employment at the Office for National Statistics last year, which not only helped me develop, but showed me the significance it can have for students’ employability. I hope to work closely with the Year in Employment Programme Team to allow more students to experience the fantastic opportunities available to them at Southampton University.
If elected VP Education, I intend to put the whole student body’s interests at the forefront of my work. Here are some of the areas I plan to focus on:
- University Restructure: The University is going through some big decisions relating to the restructuring of faculties, leading to uncertainty about the effect this will have on the student experience. I aim to work closely with the other Sabbaticals and the University to ensure that student experience is paramount when making important decisions.
- Special Considerations and Exam Resits: Currently, there is inconsistency regarding special considerations rules and deadlines, such as when they should be submitted and the different options available to students who need to miss exams or do not achieve a Pass grade. I aim to make the whole process more transparent and better inform the students, with easily accessible guidance and consistency across Academic Units and Faculties.
- Year in Employment: I intend to make more students aware of this opportunity, not only offering more support and advice when deciding to undertake a YiE, but also throughout the year and most importantly on their return to the university. To achieve this, I would collaborate with Hartley Library to develop tailored workshops aimed at reintegrating sandwich students, helping them cope with the increased workload in their final year. I would also ensure that Faculties are better prepared to welcome students back.
- Postgraduates: There is a large emphasis on the experience of undergraduates and often postgraduates are forgotten about. This is why I aim to increase the number of student representatives among postgraduates to better understand their needs and experiences.
- Equal sites: Except for Highfield, there is often little discussion about the other sites, so I would aim to make sure that the Avenue, WSA, NOC and SGH have all the facilities and resources that the students need.
This is of course not an exhaustive list, but they are some of the key aspects that I believe are important in order to improve the students’ experiences and I hope I will be given the chance to act upon them as VP Education.