AUSA Class Rep Conference 2018
AUSA hosted a class rep conference on the 22nd February in the Sir Duncan Rice Library Craig’s Suite with a fantastic turnout. The event was fully booked and open to all class representatives and was aimed at starting discussions around the latest in the education sector, what’s happening at Aberdeen University and provide an opportunity for students to network and participate in dynamic workshops. Keynote speakers included Professor Peter McGeorge Vice Principal for Teaching and Learning at University of Aberdeen, Jodie Waite Vice-President for Education at NUS and Simon Varwell sparqs developmental consultant.
“Class reps foster dialogue between staff and students, working together with staff on improving the learning experience, and are a vital part of the democratic representation system at the University of Aberdeen. AUSA is keen to further develop the positive relationship with student representatives and organise events the students have asked for” said Lili Z Nagy, Student Representation Coordinator one of the event organisers.
Donna Connelly, Education Officer, a key organiser behind this year’s conference reflected on the event by saying “I wanted this conference to be slightly different to the conferences that I had attended previously. The main objective was to thank the class reps for their hard work, but also for them to engage with people within the university.
“I know students greatly appreciated hearing Professor Peter McGeorge talk about how their role could impact on the way the university is run, including the work done around the Enhancement Led Institutional Review.”
The event started out with talks about recent updates in the education sector and continued with workshops and an ad hoc social afterwards.
Class reps could choose to participate in two different workshops; the first was AUSA facilitated Student Minds’ 'Look after your mate’ workshop run by Emily Norton - Welfare and Campaigns Assistant. The workshop equips participants with tools for active listening and helping class reps spot the signs of fellow students struggling. Students explored topics such as how to start a conversation with somebody showing signs of having difficulties and how to signpost to appropriate services for further help.
The other workshop on offer was developed specifically for this conference to help students reflect on their learning experience in their role and enhance their skills and knowledge of student representation. Simon Varwell workshop facilitator said “Class rep conferences are a vital tool for supporting class reps outside training and formal meetings, as they enable the creation of space to share experiences across subject areas and reflect on the priorities of both the university and students’ association. So we were glad to contribute to AUSA’s conference and generate discussion on how reps can measure impact through their role on their own skills, the learning experience, and the wider structures that they are a part of.”
Feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive with many suggesting that similar events should be held more often in order to create a platform for class reps to brainstorm ideas, socialise and enhance their skills.
“The university really value the work class reps do, which is a critical part of what helps give Aberdeen such a strong sense of community and helps make the University such a good place to study. I am sure that by working together we will continue to make what we do even better.” said Professor Peter McGeorge.
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AUSA Class Rep Conference: