Code of Practice on Student Representation

1. Introduction

This document sets out the joint commitment of the University of Glasgow and Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council (GUSRC) to promote an effective and coherent system of student representation. This commitment is driven by the Learning and Teaching Strategy objective “we will build on our strong partnership with students across all aspects of learning and teaching.  We will develop this partnership further by working more closely with the student body further by working more closely with the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) on policy development and engaging students more actively in the co-creation and evaluation of the learning experience.”

Students are represented at all levels of the University’s committee structures (see Appendices 1 and 2). For the purposes of this document the following definitions apply;

  • GUSRC College Convenors represent the students of the particular College in which they are registered and are members of GUSRC Council[1]. GUSRC Postgraduate Convenors represent Postgraduate Taught and Research students in the particular College in which they are registered and are members of GUSRC Council. The PGR Convenor represents PGR students throughout the institution.
  • GUSRC School Representatives represent the students of the particular school in which they are registered and are members of GUSRC Council.
  • ‘Class Representatives’ are representatives from an individual class, course, subject or programme.
  • ‘PGR Representatives’ are representatives of research students of the particular Graduate School in which they are registered.

[1] Elections to the GUSRC Council are organised by the GUSRC and governed by GUSRC constitution


2. Principles

The University of Glasgow is committed to receiving and responding to student feedback in order to monitor and enhance the quality of the student experience within the institution.

It is important that a positive culture exists in which the Schools/RIs makes explicit its commitment to receiving and responding to students’ views and to discussing current learning, teaching and research issues with them.

For the purpose of this Code of Practice, the phrase “Staff-Student Liaison Committee (SSLC)” is used to describe the various Schools/RIs committees which provide a formal opportunity for Class and PGR Representatives to give feedback to their School/subject(s).

The SSLC exists to provide an effective and coherent system for communication between staff and students.

All students have the right to representation at the SSLC.

The training of Class and PGR Representatives is key to the successful operation of SSLCs and responsibility for providing this lies with GUSRC, with input from the University.

The University will recognise and record on the student’s transcript periods undertaken as a Class or PGR Representative, subject to confirmation of training having been completed, the annual feedback questionnaire on the Class or PGR representative experience is completed and confirmation from the relevant Schools/RIs that the term of office as a Class or PGR Representative has been completed. A student need only attend training once for this to be recognised. Training attended in the past four years is considered valid. Beyond four years, a representative will be required to attend a further training session to ensure currency.


3. Role of Class and PGR Representatives

Class and PGR Representatives exist to represent the students in their class, course, programme, or subject. Schools/RIs are expected to engage Class and PGR Representatives routinely in the decision-making committees and processes and to consult them, formally and informally, on decisions with an impact on the student experience, As a minimum, Class and PGR Representative should be invited to, attend and contribute to two Staff-Student Liaison Committee meetings per year. Good practice indicates effective student representation will go further than this with an effective formal and informal partnership developed between the Schools/RIs and Class and PGR Representatives.  


4. School/Graduate School Responsibilities

Heads of School/RIs are responsible for ensuring that there is an appropriate mechanism in their Schools/RIs to facilitate the election of Class or PGR Representatives. It is expected that all Class and PGR Representatives should be elected. Heads of Academic Administration are responsible for identifying members of staff, as appropriate to the structure of the unit, to take responsibility as the Student Representation ‘Contact’ and confirming this with the Senate Office. The role of these individuals will be to record and update student data on My Class Reps for inclusion on the student’s HEAR.

Student Representation Contacts are responsible for recording the elected/appointed Class or PGR Representatives and the area they represent in My Class Reps by the beginning of Week 4 of each semester.

After the final SSLC meeting of the session, Student Representation Contacts must update My Class Reps to certify that Class or PGR Representatives have completed their term of office. Student Representation Contacts will be issued with a reminder to carry out this task. Attendance at Class/PGR Rep training will be confirmed on My Class Reps by GUSRC.

Information about the student representation system and on how GUSRC can support students and their representatives should be included in student course handbooks and should be incorporated into the induction process for new staff.

Each School should have at least one Staff-Student Liaison Committee and hold at least one meeting of the SSLC per semester. It is recommended that the first meeting of a SSLC should not be held before week 6 in order to allow time for class reps to be elected and consult with their constituents. Committee membership should include a minimum of one Class Representative for each year/ level/ course/ programme as appropriate and the membership should be majority student where possible. Each Graduate School should have at least one SSLC. Committee membership should include a minimum of two PGR Representatives from each School dependent on student numbers and geographical locations. See Appendix 1 for more details.

Where student numbers are high, or where the composition of students is diverse, Schools/RIs academic units may wish to establish a Staff-Student Liaison Committee for individual courses, groups of courses, or programmes, as appropriate.

Depending on student numbers and geographical locations, it would be appropriate to elect or appoint Class Representatives as follows: up to 50 – 1 or 2; 51-150 – 2; over 150 – 3 or 4.

If a School has established SSLCs for individual courses and programmes there should also be an overarching School SSLC which will have an overview of the business considered at course and programme SSLCs and responsibility for taking forward matters identified for the attention of the School.

The overarching School SSLC should include student representation from individual course and programme SSLCs, and the elected SRC School Representative for that School, and should meet at least once per semester.

Heads of Schools/RIs are responsible for ensuring that matters raised at SSLCs are reported and, where appropriate, discussed at the School Learning & Teaching Committee, School Graduate Studies Committees or raised at College, and outcomes reported back to students via My Class Reps.

School/RIs should retain a file copy of each minute for review purposes – i.e. Annual Monitoring, Periodic Subject Review, Graduate School Review - and should publish the minutes on My Class Reps shortly after the meeting.


5. Election of Class and PGR Representatives

Information about the Class and PGR representation system should be provided by Schools/RIs as part of their induction for new students.

It is expected that Class and PGR Representatives are elected rather than selected or appointed. If there are insufficient candidates to merit an election, volunteers may be appointed to the role of Class or PGR Representative with the agreement of the group of students that they will represent.

All students have the right to stand for election to become a Class/PGR Representative and Schools/RIs are asked to ensure that part-time students are afforded the same opportunity as full-time students.

Schools/RIs should ensure that all candidates are invited to present their case for election. Schools/RIs have discretion to determine the most effective mechanism for this e.g. My Class Reps, email, lecture.

Elections for Class and PGR Representatives should be completed by Week 3 of each semester to allow Class and PGR Representatives to sign up for Training from Week 4 onwards.

Support materials are provided on the Senate Office website: Student Representation and MyClass Reps.


6. My Class Reps

My Class Reps also hosts the Class and PGR Representative Training Booking System and is the vehicle for Schools/RIs to record Class and PGR Representatives for the purposes of recording the role on a student’s transcript.

My Class Reps also has a space for students and their student representatives to communicate and discuss their learning experience. It exists to facilitate discussion, engagement between students, their representatives and Schools/RIs, and to allow Schools/RIs to demonstrate action in response to student feedback.


7. Provision for Class or PGR Representatives

Training for Class and PGR Representatives is available through Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council. Students at remote/Transnational Education sites and online/distance learners should also have the opportunity to undergo training. Training will normally be offered between Weeks 5-9. of each semester.

A Class/PGR Representative Handbook is available to reps who attend the training.

Class or PGR Representatives will be provided with time in lectures or seminars to consult on any issues to be raised and feedback any outcomes of issues raised previously.

Where materials cannot be provided electronically, Schools/RIs should provide Class and PGR Representatives with reasonable access to printing and photocopying facilities to produce materials for representative business at no personal cost.

GUSRC will provide clear communication routes to facilitate dialogue between Class and PGR Representatives and the representatives that make up the GUSRC council.

The University will provide My Class Reps to facilitate dialogue between Class and PGR Representatives, GUSRC College, School and Postgraduate Conveners and students.

The University will record on a transcript periods undertaken as a Class or PGR Representative, subject to confirmation of training having been completed, confirmation from the relevant Schools/RIs that the term of office as a Class or PGR Representative has been completed, and completion of an annual Class Rep Survey.


8. Responsibilities of Class and PGR Representatives

Class and PGR Representatives are responsible for gathering and presenting the views of those they represent to their Schools/RIs and for reporting the outcomes to them.

Class and PGR Representatives are expected to liaise with their GUSRC School Representative, GUSRC College Convener or GUSRC PGR Convenor, as appropriate, on any matters of concern or interest.

Class or PGR Representatives are expected to attend meetings convened by their School Representatives, at least twice a year (GUSRC College Convenors or PGR Convenor may be in attendance).

Class and PGR Representatives are expected to take a leading role in sharing information, participating in discussions and in recording issues on My Class Reps.


9. Responsibilities of GUSRC

GUSRC is responsible for providing training for Class and PGR Representatives.

GUSRC is responsible for providing Schools/RIs with text about the services that it offers for inclusion in student course handbooks.

GUSRC is responsible for the provision of training resources including the Handbook for Class and PGR Representatives.

GUSRC is responsible for facilitating opportunities for dialogue between Class and PGR Representatives and GUSRC School Representatives, GUSRC College Convenors and GUSRC Postgraduate Convenors.


10. GUSRC School Representatives

GUSRC School Representatives are elected by the student body from a list of nominations received in accordance with the constitution of GUSRC.

GUSRC School Representatives have membership of the GUSRC Council[1].

GUSRC School Representatives should be the point of liaison between Class Representatives and GUSRC College Conveners. They should convene meetings with Class Representatives at least twice per year.

GUSRC School Representatives have the right to attend school meetings relevant to the student experience e.g. SSLC, Learning & Teaching Committee, Board of Studies or to appoint a deputy to attend in their place.

A GUSRC School Representative will be entitled to attend SSLCs within their area. As a matter of courtesy, Class Representatives should advise the Head of School or Chair of the SSLC of their intended attendance prior to the meeting.

[1] See diagram of GUSRC structure in Appendix 2

 


11. GUSRC College Convenors and Postgraduate Convenors

GUSRC College Convenors and Postgraduate Convenors are elected by the student body from a list of nominations received in accordance with the constitution of GUSRC.

GUSRC College Convenors and Postgraduate Convenors have membership of the GUSRC Council[1].

GUSRC College Convenors and Postgraduate Convenors liaise with students who have been elected as School, Class or PGR representatives.

The GUSRC College Convenor and Postgraduate Convenors have the right to attend College meetings or Graduate School Committees and to appoint a deputy to attend if necessary.

Where the GUSRC Postgraduate Convenor is not a PGR student they are permitted to invite a PGR Representative to relevant committees

A GUSRC College Convenor or GUSRC Postgraduate Convenor will be entitled to attend SSLCs within their area. As a matter of courtesy, Class, School or PGR Representatives should advise the Head of School or Chair of the SSLC of their intended attendance prior to the meeting.