Student representation on committees
University-level Committees and Forums relating to the Student Representation System
Student Voice Group
A joint committee of the University and the Students’ Union, which provides a forum to explore and debate issues emerging from feedback from students, and propose measures to enhance the student experience. Read our Student Voice Group Terms of Reference 2020 (PDF document).
Student Representative Steering Group
The Student Rep Steering Group reports to the University’s Student Experience Committee, and is run jointly by Sheffield Hallam University and the Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union.
It’s purpose is to:
- Ensure the consistent delivery of the student rep system, including course representatives, departmental representatives and student representation on University and Students’ Union committees
- Evaluate and improve the student rep system to ensure that it contributes to the ongoing enhancement of courses and University and Students’ Union services
- Ensure the student voice is at the heart of University decision making, and to develop and implement institutional policies and approaches relating to the NSS Student Voice questions (Q23-26)
Membership includes both academic and professional services leads from colleges, departments, and Student and Academic Services, as well as Department Reps and College Officers. It is chaired in rotation by the College Officers, and the agenda is agreed by both the University and the Students’ Union. For enquiries about the Student Rep Steering Group, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Committees and Forums which include Student Representatives
Diagram of relevant committees and forums at College and Department level
Based on 2020/21 (updates pending for 2021/22): Student Representation on Committees 2020-21
Department Student Boards and College Student Boards
For implementing University wide decisions and running the Student Rep process in Departments and Colleges. College and Department Student Boards ToR 2021 (further updates pending)
Course-level staff-student committee meetings
Staff-student committee meetings provide students with an opportunity to voice course feedback and experiences that have been brought to their attention by their fellow students. It is also a chance for students to find out important information, have a say on prospective changes, and influence the future of the course / department / college/ university. The staff-student committee meeting aims for a partnership approach between Student Reps and university staff which will influence short-term and/or long-term quality improvements to the delivery and experience of the course.
The format of meetings varies greatly according to whether it is a formal committee or informal forum, and whether the meeting is at course, department, college or university level.
It’s often a good idea for staff and students to identify in advance some specific areas for which they are seeking feedback , as well as providing opportunities for feedback on topics which are raised in the meeting.
Typical areas for consultation at staff-student committee meetings include:
- learning environment / resources
- academic support
- assessment and feedback
- placement support / work-based learning
- staff-student communications
Supporting Student Reps in meetings
Before the meeting
Where possible, Student Reps who attend formal committee meetings at Department, College, or University level should be given the opportunity to discuss the agenda beforehand with the Chair or Secretary, to ensure that they are familiar with the topics which are to be discussed, and to ask for clarification on the expectations for their participation in the meeting. Student Reps should:
- Read the agenda and any relevant papers once circulated, and look over the minutes of the last meeting
- Collate views from students and fellow Student Reps on the topics to be discussed (contact the Secretary or Chair if you need clarification)
- Let the Secretary know if they want to request an addition or amendment to the agenda
Student Reps are asked to represent the views of their cohort, rather than just bringing forward ideas which are important to them personally.
During the meeting
We have developed guiding principles for staff-student committee meetings which set out some basic recommendations for staff-student meetings.
- Student Reps should:
- Take part in discussions
- Listen to others
- Represent the views of fellow students
- Be constructive where possible, and build towards positive solutions
- Ask for clarification where needed
- Make notes on anything they need to feed back on, or consult fellow students about
After the meeting
Feeding back to students the responses to their feedback and the outcomes of any meetings (‘closing the loop’) is a vital part of a successful student representative system.
- Use an action log to record the main topics of discussion and any agreed action, with a clear indication of timescales.
- Send the list of actions directly to the reps after the meetings, so they can publicise it with their peers.
- Make actions meaningful and, if an issue cannot be addressed, explain why.
- Keep students updated on any developments in response to their feedback.
Student Reps should:
- Keep their fellow students updated on any developments in response to their feedback.
- Feedback to the whole cohort of students where possible (e.g. post updates on course Blackboard site, social media, newsletters, website, etc.).
The university has introduced a Summary of Discussion and Action Log template, to record the topics discussed at staff-student committee meetings with Course and Department Reps.
The University has a public statement on its commitment to including student representation in our committee structure.
|Last updated: 9th March 2022 – Natalie Brownell ADD Team|