Text: 07624 805 945
The following is a message from Ruth Farwell, Vice Chancellor of Bucks New University on the student voice project
1. In 20 words (more or less) can you describe what this new initiative is?
Students text or email the VC to provide visibility of something which is impacting negatively on their scheduled teaching activities.
2. How did this scheme come about?
Through various routes (NSS, student and staff comments, feedback from the SU) I hear that there are too many instances where things are allegedly going wrong around the delivery of some of our teaching activities. I’m told that sometimes the person teaching the session arrives late or may cancel the class with no good reason. Also I hear that subgroups of students arrive late for classes too or don’t turn up at all. All of this is disruptive to those students who want to take part fully in the scheduled teaching activities so that their studies benefit as much as possible. Equally it can be frustrating to staff delivering the session if only a small percentage of the class show up. I think there should be zero tolerance at Bucks of these kinds of things. I suppose I want to understand the extent to which all of this is happening and to take the necessary action to reduce it. The service will provide the data we lack at the moment to provide evidence of the scale of the problem, if any.
3. How do you expect students to use the text number and email address? Are there any guidelines to how they should present their texts/emails?
The idea of the texting service is so that we can accumulate data on occurrences where teaching is disrupted and take action as necessary to minimise the issue recurring. It is not a service to resolve the issue on the spot.
The texting service is not about the curriculum or whether a course is appropriately resourced. There are other ways of bringing this to our attention. It is for disruptions or upheavals to the smooth running of a particular scheduled teaching session of any type, including pre-arranged one-to-one meetings. The sessions could be off-site so I would like to include meetings in placements, for example, as well as on the High Wycombe and Uxbridge campuses.
You will text or email information to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will let you have guidelines about what information we expect you to send in the message. This will include your course, the time and location of the teaching session which has been disrupted, what happened (or didn’t happen that should have) and your name.
The types of issues which I would expect the texting service to be used for are:
• Specialist room intended for that session is not available i.e. it is closed or in use by others
• Whether the timetabled room is big enough for the group, or whether there is overcrowding
• Whether the room is comfortable, or too hot or too cold
• Late arrival of the person due to be leading the session (by more than 10 minutes) without reasonable reason and apology
• Late arrival by a considerable number of students (roughly at least 20%) so as to disrupt the session
• Session is finished early by the person leading the session
• Session is cancelled or rescheduled by the person due to be leading the session other than for illness or other reasonable reason
• Person due to be leading the session does not turn up and there is no advance warning or information provided with a reasonable reason for this
• Non-attendance by a considerable number of students (roughly at least 20%) so as to disrupt the session
4. What happens to the students’ texts and emails?
The messages will be received by and collated in the Business Planning Directorate on a weekly basis, then forwarded to me and the relevant Deans (copied to the Faculty Pro Vice Chancellors). It is my expectation that these people will arrange for follow up action. We will also report to the joint monthly meeting that my senior team has with the SU.
5. How will the students know their concerns are being addressed?
The SU will be able to judge what is being done on your behalf through the monthly meetings with the senior team. Also for each edition of the Bucks Student I will do a brief column reporting back what issues have been raised in the messages and what we have done.
6. How much does the text message cost the student?
The cost of sending the text is your standard text message rate.