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Q&As: Course Rep Conference

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Worcester's inagural Course Rep Conference took place on Tuesday 6th February 2018. A key part of the Conference was the high-level panel debate which had a focus on the following two topics:

  • What should the future of Higher Education look like?
  • What should the future of the University of Worcester look like?

The panel comprised of Ross Renton, Pro Vice Chancellor Students, and Sarah Greer, Deputy Vice Chancellor. Many questions were answered at the event and you can read the minutes from the debate here. For those students who asked questions but did not get the chance for their question to be answered on the day have since been provided with answers by Ross and Sarah. 

Here are the questions you asked with the University's answers: 

  Question 1, Stuart Wiggins: What are the University plans to keep up to date with research and developments from the Autistic community? What innovations are in place to attract ASC sufferers? What will make the University of Worcester unique with regard to capturing some of the most creative minds? 

The team within the Disability Service regularly undertake development to ensure they keep updated with the latest developments in a range of relevant areas. They also engage with other professionals in the higher education sector through their professional membership associations. 

The University has a range of activities to support with Autism, this includes the opportunity for students to visit us before starting their course to help with orientation and understand what specific support is available. There have also been student peer support groups for autistic students.

To find out more visit: 


Question 2, Anonymous: How can the University ensure that it maintains high quality, research-led teaching? 

Our Learning and Teaching Strategy commits us to induct all students into research-informed academic communities of the University, both by engaging with the academic research and scholarship of others, understanding research processes, methods, ethics and engaging in their own research, usually through a final year independent research project. We also ensure that courses at level 6 consistently engage students with current, relevant research in their discipline. Former students have recognised and valued our approach, with an outstanding NSS score of 87% of students agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement "my learning has benefitted from modules that are informed by current research" compared with a top quartile score of 81%. 

We also provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to undertake paid work as research assistants over the summer vacation. The Vacation Research Assistantship scheme provides our undergraduates and recent graduates with 'hands on' experience of working on a research project, enabling them to gain insight into a research career, as well as enhancing their CV. 


Question 3, Anonymous: How can the University commit to an environmentally sustainable future and expansion on University campuses? 

The University has an excellent track record on environmental sustainability, winning a range of awards over the past five years. We have been mindful of sustainability when we plan any new developments and we seek to be as efficient as possible. We have dedicated staff resources to supporting students and staff to understand the issues and they regularly share best practice. 

To find out more:


Question 4, Anonymous: Are there ways to better integrate the Students' Union with the University? Both are equally important to the student experience. 

We believe that we have an excellent partnership with the Students' Union, which in the past two years has developed into a model of best practice in the sector. The student officers attend and contribute to a range of decision making committees in the University, including the Board of Governors. There is a regular dialog, formal and informal, between key people in both organisations to ensure we are working together to deliver an outstanding educational experience. A significant project this year is a new framework for student representation and engagement, this is being produced in partnership with the Students' Union. 


Question 5, Anonymous: How will Worcester continue to compete with Universities that perform higher in the league tables? 

It is always good to do well in league tables, but our students and staff recognise that they can't measure some aspects of University life which are nontheless really important - aspects like friendliness, student engagement, care for our students and our community focus. 

We will be successful by ensuring we offer the best possible educational experience and an innovative range of courses. We are reviewing our course portfolio on an ongoing basis, this has led to a range of successful new subjects, including Law and Biomedical Sciences. 

The best possible way to attract applicants to the University is to have successful graduates who are making a difference in their professions and communities. We encourage you to keep in contact after you graduate and share with us how your career is progressing. 


Question 6, Anonymous: Is Worcester going to continue to increase the numbers of students who study here? If so, how will the University be able to maintain its unique family feel? 

We know that students and staff value the friendly and supportive community we have created. We will want to retain these attributes in the future and build on this success. We will be launching a new strategic plan this year; this document will clearly set out how we plan to retain theses values into the next phase of our development.




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If you are a Course Rep and would like to write an article for the "Rep News" webpage, or if you would like the SU to write an article on a specific topic, please email our Student Voice Assistant, Jodie Stilgoe, at





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