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Student Representation and Feedback

Student Representation and Feedback

Student Representation and Feedback

The University values your opinion very highly, we want to know when things are going well and when you think things can be improved. There are a number of ways that you can provide feedback, including stage evaluations (surveys), student participation on committees and through your programme or School student representatives. It’s important that you take surveys and opportunities seriously and give your honest opinion. It is also important that you provide specific examples of what’s going well or not so well as this helps us know what we need to respond to, do more of etc. You should always be respectful in the comments that you provide, considering the issues or successes rather than criticism of individuals.

Student representation is a key part of how the University engages with students. The Student Representation Policy (jointly owned by the University and the Students’ Union) aims to ensure that every student is represented in institutional decision-making processes and that every student can contribute to the enhancement of their programme and learning experience.

Further information regarding Student-Staff Committees and Student Representation roles can be found here.

Stage evaluations and module feedback

At the end of each semester, we ask that you complete an evaluation by the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. We use these evaluations to find out about your experiences, assess the positive features of your programme, and identify anything that we can improve in the future. We will ask questions about aspects of your experience including library and electronic resources, assessment and feedback across the programme, personal tutoring, student representation, etc.

It’s important in these evaluations that you are specific about what is positive and/or negative. Please be realistic and focus on the issue, not the person (don’t say anything offensive about a person involved on the module or programme). It also helps if you suggest solutions for the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. We will take these seriously.

You will receive a link to evaluations through email and you can complete the survey online, anonymously. You will find links to your evaluations in the ‘My EvaSys’ panel in Canvas (on the My Institution page). These links only appear when there is an evaluation open and ready for you to complete it.

We will give you the opportunity to feedback on your modules at the end of the semester. In 2020/21, we will combine with the stage evaluations we mention above. You may also have the opportunity during the module delivery to offer feedback. Please look out for these opportunities.

Responses and actions by the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences to student feedback will be communicated to students via Board of Studies meetings (at which Student Representatives will be present), vocally via lecture shout outs and using online resources.

More information about evaluations is available here.

External surveys

National Student Survey (NSS) — the NSS contributes to public accountability, helps inform the choices of prospective students, and provides data that allows informed decisions to enhance the undergraduate student educational experience. The NSS typically runs from February through to April annually. It includes all full-time and part-time UK, EU, and international final year undergraduate students studying at Newcastle main campus. This also includes eLearning students based in the UK. The University runs a Newcastle Student Survey through EvaSys for students who meet the basic NSS requirement, but are based outside of the UK at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, or are non-UK based eLearners. We survey Newcastle University International Singapore under the Joint Degree Programme. The NSS excludes incoming and exchange students.

Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) — the PTES explores postgraduate taught student educational experiences in learning and teaching, skills development, organisation, resources, and engagement with the course. The PTES typically runs from mid-April through to mid-June annually. It includes all full-time and most part-time UK, EU, and international postgraduate taught students studying a programme of at least 60 credits, the greater part of which is at Masters level, including eLearning students. The PTES excludes students who are studying a single module only, such as Continue Professional Development and occasional students. This population should include study abroad and exchange students.

You will receive official invitations from the University asking you to participate in national surveys from: studentsurveys@ncl.ac.uk.

Student representation

Student representation is a key part of how the University engages with students. The Student Representation Policy (jointly owned by the University and the Students’ Union) aims to ensure that we represent every student in institutional decision-making processes. We also ensure that every student can contribute to the enhancement of their programme and learning experience.

You will have an opportunity to elect academic student reps within the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. You may wish to put yourself forward to be a rep yourself. Academic student reps are a crucial link between students and staff as they find out what other students are thinking and work with University staff to help improve the student experience.

There are four different academic student rep roles at Newcastle University:

  • Peers elect their course reps and will attend their Student-Staff Committee on their behalf.

  • The student chair leads the Student-Staff Committee and usually has a student secretary. All students are able to contribute to their agenda. Just tell your course rep what you think should be discussed! The student chair and student secretary are also asked to attend the Board of Studies. This oversees teaching activities in the School.

  • The Students' Union appoints School reps to represent their School at the Faculty Education Committee. They will gather student opinion from across your School by working with the Student Chairs and Student Secretaries and will present any key student topics. They will also feedback any new key initiatives from the University and faculty that will affect students across the School.

The Students’ Union provides training and support for course reps, student chairs and secretaries, and school reps. They also run Hall and Community Rep schemes.