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The University of Southampton
Student Voice

Your Union

Students chatting in the Students' Union
You can make change through the Union

The Students' Union is here to represent your voice at every level and ultimately make your university experience as enriched as possible. 

The Union is run by students for students and every year, you choose a team of seven full-time officers to lead their work, supported by a number of part-time officers. You get to decide what the Union does and, because of that, your feedback is of great importance.

How the Students' Union looks after your academic interests

The Students’ Union runs the Academic Representation system through the elections and training of Academic Reps (Faculty Officers, Academic Presidents and Course Reps), its independent Advice Centre and the You Make Change website, so that you can feedback about your academic experience and implement changes at faculty and/or course level.

The most important reason why the Union has Course Reps is that they provide an honest and well-informed student view about the quality of teaching and learning they receive, thus enhancing the student experience. The Union works closely with the University to make those changes happen.

You can see some examples below showing how the Students’ Union’s Academic Reps have taken on student feedback to represent your academic interests.

Winchester School of Art (WSA) societies - We heard: That you would benefit from having the option to join a wider choice of societies at WSA.

So we: Set up the brand new Watercolour Society that meets regularly in WSA Cafe. This is a great step towards increasing the number of clubs and societies that we have across sites. 

Facilities - We heard: Through the You Make Change website that we're lacking in suitable breastfeeding areas for student parents.

So we: Have installed privacy blinds on our Union meeting room windows. All of our meeting spaces are now available for breastfeeding and we will put stickers up to indicate that they could be used for this purpose. 

Pre-sessional students - We heard: That you would benefit from taking part in more welcome events when you first came to Southampton.

So we: Put together a highly successful programme of events for our Pre-sessional students to welcome them to Southampton. We organised a trip to bath and two fantastic opportunities to watch Southampton F.C play at St Mary's stadium. 

Faculty of Business, Law and Art - We heard: That you would prefer some deadlines to be moved and that you would benefit from more catch-up tutorials.

So our Academic Reps: Worked with the University to move deadlines as appropriate and to arrange for tutors to offer more catch-up tutorials where possible. Academic Reps led on this piece of work and have, in turn, helped to ensure that there is more support available and that students can better manage their workload. 

Faculty of Engineering and Environment and Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences - We heard: Some students would like for recorded lectures to be better utilised.

So our Academic Reps: Have worked with our Academic Reps to expand the use of recorded lectures so that students have more flexible opportunities to learn. 

Faculty of Humanities - We heard: You say you would like it to be easier to submit your assignments.

So our Academic Reps: Have been working hard to move whole departments over to using the TurnItIn system to make the submission of assignments much easier. 

Faculty of Health Sciences - We heard: You would like a unisex uniform to be available for all nursing students.

So our Academic Reps: Have now introduced a unisex uniform to help promote equality and inclusivity. They have also helped the Faculty to roll out practise visitors so that students are better supported while on placement. 

Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences - We heard: You ask say that the tutorial system could be more effective.

So our Academic Reps: Have worked closely with the University to revise the tutorial system based on student feedback so that teaching is better tailored to the subject. 

Faculty of Medicine - We heard: Your results were not released in a timely manner.

So our Academic Reps: Worked closely with the University to ensure that results were released on time, helping to reduce concerns among students. 

Students playing football
Southampton University Football club has long been one of the most prestigious setups on the south coast.
Equestrian team
The Unions Riding Club provides all types of riding at every level.
Students playing hockey
Team Southampton Hockey (Ladies) fields a variety of teams welcoming all abilities.

Sports and Societies - We heard: That the experience of our sports and societies members could be improved in a number of ways.

So we: Worked successfully with the University and the Sports and Wellbeing service to request that they review their membership offering, as well as making Intramural sign-ups free with the Sport and Wellbeing membership. All this has been aimed at encouraging sports participation and healthier wellbeing a a lower cost.

Making change across all our campuses

Aerial shot of Highfield Campus.
Highfield Campus from above
Student painting
The Union have made a number of changes at Winchester School of Art due to student feedback.
Photo of Boldrewood Campus
Boldrewood Campus

You said: Improve the Freshers' offering at Winchester School of Art (WSA).

We did: The Students’ Union ran 11 Freshers’ events at Winchester School of Art, including Silent Disco and the WSA Freshers Fayre.

You said: We want microwaves to be more readily available in the café.

We did: Following student feedback, the Union’s WSA Student Committee worked with the University to get two microwaves in the WSA Café for students to use.

You said: Give us more study time at Boldrewood campus.

We did: The Students' Union Academic Reps secured increased opening hours for the Boldrewood campus.

 

Education

Photo of students celebrating at winter graduation
Winter graduation now takes place due to student feedback.
Lecture taking place
The Union has put in a number of changes to help give you a better education.
Students meeting
A special considerations policy has been put in place for Postgraduate Research students following feedback.

You said: Help Postgraduate Research students with special considerations.

We did: The Union’s Postgraduate Committee secured special considerations policy for PGR students.

You said: Organise winter graduations for Postgraduate Taught students.

We did: The Union arranged for the University to organise winter graduations for Postgraduate Taught students.

You said: Lobby MPs to get postgraduate loans for students older than 30.

We did: The Students’ Union ran the #CapsOff campaign, lobbying MPs to get PG loans available to those older than 30.

You said: Improve the way students are represented academically.

We did: The Union has worked really hard to improve academic representation on campus, reaching a higher level of elected academic reps.

View the Students' Union Representation Report Join the conversationFind out about changes within your Faculty
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