Appendix 1 – Guidelines on the Operation of SSLCs
1. Remit and Membership of the Staff-Student Liaison Committee
Each SSLC should have a formal written remit, which should be reviewed annually to ensure that it provides the opportunity for the discussion of current learning, teaching and research issues.
Schools and Graduate Schools are expected to publish the remit of the SSLC.
The SSLC may discuss any business relating to the overall student learning or research experience including matters raised by students and matters on which the Subject, Schools or Graduate Schools wishes to seek student views. The following topics are typical of items that can appear on the agenda of an SSLC:
- The development of new or review of existing courses/programmes.
- Consideration of Course Evaluations results - the outcomes of student evaluation of courses and Subject, School or Graduate School responses to any issues raised. Summary and Response documents should be a standing item on the agenda.
- Assessment criteria, assessment deadlines and the adequacy of feedback
- The adequacy of learning resources (eg learning accommodation, timetables, reading lists, library resources etc.).
- Quality of teaching.
- Student support and guidance procedures.
- The research student experience.
- Employability and transferable skills development.
- Annual Monitoring Reports and the responses from the School/College and the University in relation to identified issues.
- Internal reviews of the subject (e.g. Periodic Subject Reviews, Graduate School Reviews).
- Accreditation visits by professional, statutory and regulatory bodies.
- Topics of ‘discussion’ raised by student body e.g. via My Class Reps.
The SSLC should not discuss personal matters relating to individual students or members of staff. However, members of the committee should be reminded of alternative mechanisms through which such matters can be raised.
Students should normally make up the majority of the Committee.
Students should be consulted annually on whether they wish to assume responsibility for chairing the SSLC and on the method of appointing/electing the Chair. An identified member of staff should support a student Chair and may act as Vice-Chair.
The Chair and other office bearers should be elected or agreed by the SSLC at the first meeting of each academic year.
Class and PGR Representatives should NOT be appointed as Secretary of the SSLC
The Class or PGR Representatives should be published on My Class Reps. Representative details may additionally be published on Moodle, student noticeboards, and Subject, Schools or Graduate School websites to facilitate student interaction with those who represent them. Contact details and photographs should be included, subject to the permission of the relevant parties.
The staff membership should include members of staff with specific remits for Learning and Teaching and Student Support. Representatives from the Library, Careers Service, Learning & Teaching Centre, Research & Enterprise and other Student Services should be invited to attend meetings as appropriate.
2. Agenda and Minutes of the Meetings
The person responsible for the production of the agenda should send a timely reminder about the forthcoming SSLC to members of the committee together with a note of the deadline for the receipt of agenda items.
Minutes should be taken at each meeting. The SSLC should identify agreed action points and assign them to specific individuals, with stated time lines/limits.
Minutes should be made available to all members of staff and all members of the relevant student body via My Class Reps. Minutes may additionally be published on Moodle, a dedicated noticeboard and the Subject, School or Graduate School website. Minutes of Subject SSLCs should be considered at the overarching School SSLC.
3. Conduct of the Meeting
Staff should be aware that students might not be familiar with some of the commonly used jargon and acronyms and should try to avoid these where possible. Often a glossary of terms specific to the subject area can be helpful.
The Committee should agree action in response to issues raised, who will take it and by when, and receive reports on action taken at the next meeting. It is important to provide feedback to SSLCs and Class and PGR Representatives on action taken, and also on why it may not have been possible to progress an issue. In doing so, Schools and Graduate Schools can demonstrate that they are committed to the process and take students’ issues seriously.
Actions and outcomes should be clearly posted on My Class Reps as an ‘Announcement’ or as a resolution to an ‘issue’ which a Class or PGR Representative has raised (amending the status to ‘complete’).
Where an issue is ‘complete’ but no action is taken, this should also be announced on My Class Reps with the reasons for no action clearly stated.
If an academic or Subject concern cannot be resolved at the SSLC, it should be referred to the School and/or College Learning & Teaching Committee or Graduate Studies Committee. In addition, unresolved issues which require the attention of the College or the wider University should be highlighted in the Annual Monitoring Report for the relevant course, courses or programme. Class and PGR Representatives may also raise their concerns with the appropriate GUSRC School Representative, College Convenor or GUSRC Postgraduate Convenor if they feel that an issue is not being dealt with appropriately or quickly enough.