Some good news first: we are happy to see the hard work of the whole of LUU, especially our academic reps, to be reflected in the increase of positive responses on the question around your Students’ Union. We also know how important our work is to student wellbeing – whether you are getting involved in a society or working with our advice team, LUU is here for you every step of the way.
As for the University side of things, when we arrived at Leeds, we expected to get the full experience – attending lectures, benefiting from in-person support, and finding our independence. The recent cohort of students have experienced the uniquely challenging combination of COVID-19 and industrial action, which meant that these expectations were not fulfilled. As your Education Officer, and as a fellow Leeds student whose university experience was heavily disrupted and held online, I want to assure you that improving student experience is my priority.
The University is fully aware of these results, and the results indicating a lack of belonging by students is recognised at the highest level of the University and by us as your Students’ Union. A vital part of the student experience involves socialising and getting to know a diversity of new people, and the last few years have left students feeling isolated and out of the loop.
I see it as my role to make sure the lessons learned from the past couple of years are not forgotten, but instead are acted upon to make the experience for future students so much better. The University’s ‘Curriculum Redefined’ strategy will address a lot of the issues that you have raised, bringing students and staff together in a new curriculum where students will be given a more active role in shaping their curriculum. However, we must strive for solutions to be found with more urgency. It would be unacceptable to see these patterns of disappointment continue year on year. I want to reassure you that we will continue to encourage the university to be ambitious in their work, ensuring focus on the student experience. I have spoken to many students, and these conversations are shaping my meetings with the University. I am really encouraged by how open they have been to engaging with LUU on this. Your feedback, as ever, means a lot to me, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that the needs of future graduating classes are met.
These are my initial priorities for my discussions with the University, but I’m keen to hear your thoughts as returning students and future students, so make sure to message me on Instagram @Luu_education or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your views on the NSS results. I’ve also set up a quick form,which can be anonymous, for anyone who wants to give some more detailed feedback. Click here to access.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Bethan Corner, Education Officer