Feature SU elections Student view by Andrew Hamilton
The UCSU elections for the year 2011/12 have been running throughout February and March. Nominations opened on 14 February and closed on the 18 February, and campaigning began on 21 February followed by the actual voting process, open to students studying at any campus across the university, from 4 – 9 March.
Current UCSU Representation Sabbatical Martin Dodd says “Elections have been good for a year that has had so much going on. Nominations have been good and interest is high, although as always I am sure hand-ins will be a mad dash in the last few days; it is just the way usually.”
The SU sits on all the major university committees and has access to the university’s senior management and faculty staff.
Union Official positions in the UCSU include full- time and paid, as well as part-time volunteer positions, including cross-campus Sabbatical roles and more localised non portfolio officers.
Volunteer positions include elected representatives for women, LGBT, part-time, postgraduate, ethnic minority, mature and international students, a representative for each of the faculties and a representative for the sites of Tower Hamlets, Energus, Whitehaven and Barrow.
On the Coalition plans to cut higher education and raise tuition fees, Martin Dodd said “On the rise in fees and funding cuts I think it’s obvious to say higher education is going to get increasingly volatile over the next few years, but contrary to recent history the University of Cumbria is actually well placed to improve student experience from these changes”.
Andrew Hamilton studies English with Creative Writing at the Lancaster campus.
Cumbria hosts national Assessment in Higher Education Conference
The university will be hosting the third ‘Assessment in Higher Education’ conference on 6 July, 2011 in the Learning Gateway, Carlisle. The conference is a collaboration between the University of Cumbria Study of Higher Education Network, the Northumbria University Centre for Excellence in Assessment for Learning and the British Educational Research Association Higher Education SIG (special interest group). It is aimed at all those working in higher education with an interest in the practice and research of assessment, including lecturers, staff in learning support and those with responsibility for the management and quality assurance of assessment.
The conference themes are: assessment design, marking and academic standards, involving students in assessment & feedback, assessment for learning, and assessment technologies. It will be an opportunity to debate concerns and increase understanding of assessment practice. It will provide the opportunity to share innovations, reflections on practice, research and evaluative studies with a particular focus on the voice of the practitioner, working to improve assessment in their programmes and institutions. It will look to the future as well as critique the past, exploring potential in new forms of assessment and e-assessment. Overall, it will focus on the pragmatic, the possible, which balances the need for assessment that supports learning and student satisfaction whilst meeting demands for quality assurance and standards.
The conference will begin with a keynote lecture by Professor Sally Brown Emeritus Professor of Higher Education Diversity in Learning and Teaching at Leeds Metropolitan University, who will speak about her research on Innovative Assessment at Masters Level.
A number of delegate places with a reduced fee have been reserved for university staff. For further information and registration go to www.cumbria.ac.uk/Services/CDEPP/Events/CDEPPEvents.aspx
or email CDEPP@Cumbria.ac.uk
Research fellow appointment
Following her PhD viva, Susan Wakenshaw was offered a Research Fellow appointment at Exeter University School of Business and she started on 1 March. Dr Helen Woodruffe-Burton says: “It is a wonderful tribute to our Graduate School that she has secured such a prestigious appointment and an achievement for the Business Group here at Lancaster.”
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