The University and the Students’ Union are committed to student representation, in order to ensure meaningful student participation in decision-making and collective, routine engagement by students as partners in the quality of their educational experience.
As outlined in the QUB-QUBSU Student Academic Representation Code of Practice, the University and the Students’ Union hold a joint commitment to five principles of student academic representation:
- The purpose of student academic representation is to engage students as equal partners in academic governance. Through student academic representation, students should be members of the decision-making process on issues related to the student learning experience
- Every student should have clearly defined peer representation; every student should have the opportunity to become a representative.
- Students should be represented at all levels of decision-making on issues that impact the student learning experience and are full members on all decision-making committees, fora and subgroups throughout the University to facilitate effective student input into decision making on the student learning experience. The views of students are given equal consideration to the views of others, and student representatives are adequately supported by the University in developing informed and considered input into decision-making
- Students are fully involved in the design and review of curricula, including through quality assurance processes
- The Students’ Union and the University shall continually review and monitor the programme of academic representation including an annual review to ensure it is in line with best practice and meets the needs and expectations of both staff and students
Every year, the Students’ Union and the University recruit, train and support over eight hundred student volunteers called Academic Representatives to act as advocates for the academic interests of students. This includes leading on educational initiatives within Schools, as well as formal participation in committees at all levels of the University: from School Education Committees, through to central University Committees such as Academic Council, the most senior academic committee and Senate, the governing body. Academic Representatives also participate in joint meetings between students and staff called Student Voice Committees, which take place twice a semester and act as sites of partnership and dialogue.
Students are also represented through quality assurance mechanisms such as the University’s procedures for reviewing modules (module review), whole programmes (Continuous Action for Programme Enhancement) and entire subject areas (Periodic School Review Process), that all make provision for student members of review panels.