VPA January Academic Report

9 February 2024

Table of Contents

VPA Update

The past month has been quite eventful. In addition to my regular meetings, I’ve been actively involved in several initiatives:

Advancing Academic Equity

I proposed the introduction of limited evidence-based mitigating circumstances (mit-circs) within the Assessment Policy Group. The goal is to support our students, alleviate the emotional toll and workload on academic staff, and raise awareness among students about mit-circs. Currently, I’m working on a report, which will be presented to Quality and Academic Standards Committee (QASC) for further discussion. I’ll be happy to provide updates as this initiative progresses.

I took the lead in initiating and leading discussions on the establishment of the Kirkcaldy Breakfast Club, with the support of the University and its administration by Student Services. This initiative has successfully made the breakfast club available at no cost to nursing students on the Kirkcaldy campus. Presently, I am actively collaborating with both the NHS and the University to explore possibilities of extending this valuable service to our students on the Ninewells Campus.

Project AcadeMix

I introduced a new project, AcadeMix, with the hope that it will become a cornerstone for hosting engaging events tailored to the academic interests of students. Launched in January, the project has already established collaborations with the Academic Skills Centre and Careers Service, with plans for more partnerships with several teams across the university. This initiative aims to be a focal point for academic projects.

Empowering the Educational Subcommittee

I’ve been actively working on empowering the Educational Subcommittee by meeting with representatives and School Presidents. A new steering group for the Education is in the works, providing a space for School Presidents to discuss academic issues, nurture thoughts on academic projects, and enhance transparency in academic endeavours.

Innovative City-Wide Partnership

Over the winter break, I connected with Dundee Bairns, who expressed their willingness to support our student parents facing the cost-of-living crisis. This follows the pause of the childcare initiative mentioned in the last update.

Monthly Academic Report

I initiated the creation of a monthly academic report to be distributed to all students, demonstrating transparency from both myself and School Presidents on matters related to academic interests. 

Learn More > 

SLTAs

The nomination period for the SLTA Awards is now open. You can find the description of each award and the nomination link on dusa.co.uk/sltas

Education Steering Group Meeting Update

Membership: VPA, VPF, All School presidents, SRC Learning and Teaching Representative, Employability Rep, General Rep, Taught Postgraduate Rep.

This marked the inaugural session of the Education Steering Group, setting the tone for future collaborative efforts among school presidents and education-focused SRC members. Our collective objective is to discuss pertinent academic matters within the student community, exchange best practices, spearhead academic initiatives, and provide students with a direct avenue to engage with us, facilitated through the Academic Monthly Report newsletter.

During our initial meeting, we discussed the structure of our meetings and established action trackers to ensure equitable progress and active participation from each member. Several key topics were addressed.

We started off by discussing Project AcadeMix – a blend of Academic, Digital, and Employability skills. This is a new project with various events occurring monthly in collaboration with other departments in the university designed to help students elevate their skills while giving them a well- rounded experience. For details, head over to our Events page.

The group agreed to undertake a project aligned with the QAA theme, aiming to propose inclusive hybrid study spaces catering to the diverse needs of students across various schools. This project will kick off with a survey led by the school Presidents, followed by a comprehensive report, accessible to all students for transparency and this would be presented to the University.

We also spoke about the importance of classroom etiquettes, emphasizing the need for all students to receive the education they invest in. Discussions included issues such as student punctuality, SEATs attendance, and mitigating unnecessary disruptions during class. We discussed potential referencing workshops for students. The Vice President Academia (VPA) was tasked with speaking with library services to incorporate referencing sessions, and potential collaborations for specific referencing styles, providing valuable assistance to students.

Updates were provided on the Upgrade of Student Windows Devices project, spearheaded by Digital and Technology Services (DTS), with further details slated for the upcoming months. Additionally, we spoke about further employment opportunities for students. The SRC Employability Representative is tasked with working with the VPA on an upcoming job fair led by the Careers Service on March 12th. This highlights that although career-focused events are important, part-time job opportunities are also extremely important to support students in managing their living expenses.

Note: Financial assistance is available for students facing extreme hardships. Details can be accessed through the following link: Student Funding

For academic and thesis support, appointments with academic librarians can be scheduled using this link: Academic Librarian Appointments

Mubarak Babalola
Mubarak Babalola

VICE PRESIDENT OF ACADEMIA

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