On Wednesday May 8th, the Student’s Union played host to the education conference 2013, a conference aimed at understanding what it is that students expect and want for their education. News Editor Meghan McCabe reports for Label.
The conference was led by Loughborough’s VP Education, Lazar Zindovic, and included talks from Gary Hughes (a higher education consultant for the NUS) and Carol Robinson (a lecturer at Loughborough University and the newly appointed Head of Teaching Centre). Following the talks, students were provided with the opportunity to visit some of the stalls present, such as Endsleigh and the Library, and take part in an open space technology forum, which gave the students the chance to express what they want.
Zindovic began the conference by highlighting one of the main academic aims of the university: “Improving communications and making it better and better and better.” Lazar emphasised the importance of the newly formed position of Programme President in communication and academic success within the university, with Nancy Flemming (current Programme Rep for Geography) adding that she was “surprised by how much involvement you get with the department.”
Gary Hughes furthered the importance of communication within his talk on partnership. Hughes suggested that departmental and educational committees need to consider those who are not being spoken to and reach out to them to help make Loughborough ‘a better academic community.’
Hughes suggested that “you [as students] are the experts on your own experience” and, therefore, need to choose partnership with academic staff and committees as a way of collaborating to improve educational experience at Loughborough University.
Carol Robinson highlighted the importance of the Student Experience Survey to academic success as the questions are created by students and can, therefore, inform staff on student opinions. Robinson also emphasised the importance of a consistency in experience across all departments and the desire of students for high quality staff and lecturers within their departments.
Robinson suggested that staff that make the extra effort in communicating with their students, such as having an open door policy, should be rewarded in some way. The programme reps from the school of science have already implemented awards for fantastic staff members.
Overall, the conference highlighted the importance of communication and partnership between all those involved in education at Loughborough University, and the importance of structure to all departmental programmes in furthering the success of education at Loughborough.