Education and Student Experience Committee 2023-24

Governance reporting line: Reports to Senate

Document owner: Senate

1. Origin

Senate is the ultimate academic authority within the University, but it cannot be directly involved in decision making on all matters for which it is formally responsible; the range of business undertaken inevitably means that delegation of powers and responsibility to individuals and to committees is necessary. The Education & Student Experience Committee is a committee of Senate and has delegated responsibility from Senate to oversee the provision of all education delivered under the name of the University of Southampton and the development, implementation and evaluation of the University strategy as it applies to the education and student experience.

2. Purpose

  • To report to Senate on the provision of all education delivered under the name of the University of Southampton, and on matters concerning education and the student experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  • The Chair is responsible for ensuring that any equality impacts against each project/policy/process/procedure have been considered as part of the decision-making process.

Approved by Senate 14 June 2023

3. Responsibilities and activity

  • To oversee the development, delivery and evaluation of the University’s strategy as it applies to education and student experience, including developing policy and guidelines, subject to the approval of the Senate where applicable, relevant to the successful delivery of the aims and objectives of the strategy.
  • To receive regular reports from the Education & Student Experience Programme Board.
  • To transition projects relating to education and student experience into business as usual.
  • To oversee the implementation and maintenance of the University’s regulatory framework for all taught and research degree programmes, routed through the Academic Quality & Standards Subcommittee. Consideration of quality for all postgraduate research programmes will be routed through the Postgraduate Research Quality Monitoring and Enhancement Subcommittee.
  • To provide a forum for sharing best practice across Faculties, Schools and Professional Services.
  • To consider the student voice when undertaking education decisions and promote the contribution of students to decision-making.
  • To steer the University’s preparation for, and participation in, the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and other external accountability and assessments.
  • To steer and lead the University’s responses to education and student experience related to national consultations and input into UUK and Russell Group responses on behalf of the University.
  • To consider data relevant to all aspects of education and the student experience and outcomes.
  • To receive, and respond to, regular reports from committees, subcommittees, and other groups on matters relevant to the ESEC including:
    • (a) Widening Participation
    • (b) Careers, employability and student enterprise
    • (c) Matters related to the student experience (all students)
    • (d) Student wellbeing including special considerations
    • (e) Actions taken by the Academic Quality & Standards Subcommittee
    • (f) Education partnerships
    • (g) Consumer protection law
    • (h) Learning spaces
  • To receive minutes and respond to any reports from the Faculty Education & Student Experience Subcommittees.
  • To reflect on, and where necessary respond to, external bodies concerned with the delivery of education, or as part of the Office for Students (OfS) ongoing conditions of registration.
  • To report issues, as and when required, to the University Executive Board.

4. Reporting arrangements

  • The Education & Student Experience Committee reports to Senate.
  • Between ordinary meetings of the Education & Student Experience Committee, the Education & Student Experience Committee Chair shall have power to act on behalf of the Education & Student Experience Committee on any matter requiring an immediate or early decision. Any decisions taken by the Chair under these delegated powers shall be reported to the next meeting of the committee. Matters requiring an immediate or early decision include such items as:
    • (a) routine business that would not normally merit discussion at a meeting of the Education & Student Experience Committee;
    • (b) matters relating to the implementation of policies that have already been approved by the Education & Student Experience Committee;
    • (c) where permission is given by the Education & Student Experience Committee to finalise approval on completion of specified actions related to an item previously scrutinised at a meeting;
    • (d) matters where delaying a decision would disadvantage the University or put it at risk;
    • (e) in an emergency, or unforeseen circumstances, provided that such action is taken only in exceptional circumstances and, where practicable, in consultation with selected Education & Student Experience Committee members with expertise relevant to the issue.
  • The Education & Student Experience Committee appoints Subcommittees and Working Groups to undertake some aspects of its work. These include:
    • Academic Quality & Standards Subcommittee
    • Education & Student Experience Programme Board
    • Education Partnerships Subcommittee
    • Widening Participation Subcommittee
    • Faculty Education & Student Experience Subcommittees
    • Learning Spaces Advisory Group
    • Digital Education Advisory Group
    • Consumer Protection Advisory Group
    • Academic Integrity Network
    • Deputy Heads of School (Education) Network
    • Senior Tutors Network

5. Constitution

  • Chair: Vice-President (Education & Student Experience)
  • President and Vice-Chancellor (or delegate)
  • Senior Executive Director, Students & Infrastructure (Deputy Chair)
  • Associate Vice President (Education) & Chair of Academic Quality & Standards Subcommittee
  • Chair of Education Partnerships Subcommittee
  • Chair of Widening Participation Subcommittee
  • Associate Deans (Education)
  • Director of the University Doctoral College
  • Director of the Centre for Higher Education Practice (CHEP)
  • Executive Director, Student Administration & Academic Affairs
  • Academic Registrar
  • Head of Quality, Standards & Accreditation (QSAT)
  • Executive Director, Student Life
  • Director of Careers, Employability & Student Enterprise
  • Director of Widening Participation & Social Mobility
  • Director of Library Services
  • Head of Education Services, iSolutions
  • Representative from University of Southampton Malaysia (UoSM)
  • Two representatives from the Deputy Heads of Schools (Education) Network
  • Two representatives (including Chair) Senior Tutors Network
  • Students Union:
    • Vice-President of Education & Democracy
    • Postgraduate Research Faculty Officer
    • Faculty Officer
    • SUSU Head of Representation
  • Officer to the Committee
  • Assistant to the Officer 

    In attendance:
    • Co-Leads, Learning Space Advisory Group
    • Co-Leads, Digital Education Advisory Group
    • Lead, Consumer Protection Advisory Group
    • Lead, Programme Leaders Forum
    • Programme Manager, Education & Student Experience SMP

The Chair may co-opt additional members as necessary (including to act as chairs of subcommittees).

Members who are unable to attend may send a substitute with permission of the Chair.

6. Quorum and frequency

6.1 Quorum

The Education & Student Experience Committee will be quorate with one third of the membership plus one in attendance.

6.2 Frequency of meetings

The Education & Student Experience Committee will meet at least three times per year.

7. Resources

Secretariat support is provided by the Quality, Standards & Accreditation Team.

8. Terms of Reference review

Date of last review: June 2023

Date of next review: September 2024