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The University of Worcester and Worcester Students’ Union are committed to ensure that students have opportunities to engage in and influence their academic experience at all levels throughout the institution. It is essential that students’ views can be represented through from course level to Board of Governors. Student Academic Reps (StARs) represent the students on their course and in their year of study.
All courses should have at least two StARs representing students on each year of the course. Course leaders have responsibility for ensuring that students elect their StARs and that the StARs are listed on SOLE, so that everyone can easily find out who their representatives are.
StARs report to the Vice President Education, their course leader and the StAR Coordinator for their Institute and the Institute Reps. Their key task is to represent students’ views at course level, attending and making a positive contribution to the Course Management Committee. Effective representation requires StARs to consult with students, presenting findings both at Course Management Committees and to course leaders in between meetings; feeding back to students and helping to develop solutions to problems identified by students.
In order to fulfil their roles, StARs will be expected to:
• Establish effective communications with students, other StARs in their Institute, Institute Reps and the Students’ Union
• Attend and contribute to meetings for StARs arranged by Institute Reps and/or the StAR Coordinator
• Attend and contribute to the StARs VP Forum, held twice a semester, chaired by the Vice President Education and also attended by Institute Reps, the Pro Vice Chancellor (Students) and invited members of University staff and/or other guests
• Help to promote the National Student Survey among final year students and other surveys which seek students’ opinions of their student experience
• Help to promote the Student Academic Representative system
• Prepare for, attend and contribute to Course Management Committees, ensuring that students’ views are expressed and their interests represented
StARs perform a vital role in ensuring that students’ ideas and concerns are voiced at course level and that improvements are made to the learning experience for current and future students. The experience and skills they acquire will enhance their employability and contribute to their personal development. StARs will be able to demonstrate that they’ve had meaningful experience of:
• Communicating with students and academic staff
• Consultation and research
• Making presentations
• Higher education policy and practice
• Students’ unions
and probably lots more!
StARs are all volunteers – they are not paid for undertaking their role. This does not mean, however, that what they do is not valued or recognised. All StARs are encouraged to record their activities, including attending training sessions and meetings, in one or more of the following ways:
V-Record: The Students’ Union produces a booklet in which you can log your hours (including any other volunteering you may do in addition to being a StAR). This provides you with a record and means that you’re eligible for awards on completion of 10 hours, 20 hours, 50 hours or 100 hours of volunteering. You’ll also be invited to the VoScAs celebration evening in May. Pick up a V-Record from the Welcome Desk in the Students’ Union.
StARs Accreditation: New for this year is an accreditation scheme especially designed for StARs, with bronze, silver and gold awards according to the time StARs commit to the role. Guidelines are available from the Vice President Education or SU website.
Worcester Award: Time spent undertaking StARs activities will count towards the Worcester Award, for students who’ve registered to work towards that goal.
Take a look at our Prezi about the StARs system.