In August, we welcomed four students who started their placements here at the Centre for Learning & Teaching in the Student Engagement team as well as in the Student Voice team in the Students' Union. This month, the Student Engagement Ambassadors tell us about the work that they have done over their first three months. We also hear from Luke, whose specific focus is on the theme of Employability, as he tells us about some of the exciting opportunities he’ll be working on over the next month.
Our roles as Student Engagement Ambassadors involve working with students and staff to explore ways in which we can embed the core themes of Curriculum Transformation into the curriculum, as well as the life of the institution as a whole. Each of us represents one of the four core principles identified by students as areas that they want to see developed further at the University: Research Engagement, Inclusivity, Sustainability, and Employability.
Since we began our placements, we have worked hard to fully understand the best way to go about persuading students that their voice within the decisions made about the University is extremely important. In September, we were given the opportunity to attend the RAISE conference in Sheffield, which focused on showcasing a broad range of examples of student-staff partnerships and student engagement projects from a number of different institutions across the UK. The four of us really enjoyed the conference and took away lots of ideas and good practices, which we hope to implement here at the University. Over the next few weeks, we will be working on sharing these ideas with staff in the form of a podcast of our “WOW” moments from the event, so stay tuned for that!
We have also been working with staff and students to begin creating resources that departments can use within their own student engagement activities for Phase 1 of Curriculum Transformation. Some of our highlights have included running different activities at the Undergraduate Open Day in September to gather the views of prospective students about learning at the University, as well as introducing ourselves and presenting our ideas around our themes to over 50 academic staff at the Directors of Studies forum in October.
Ambassador Spotlight – Luke Parr (Employability)
"My first few months in the role have been pretty hectic, filled with lots of meetings with various teams around the University whose purpose it is to make our students the best possible version of themselves, in order to help them be able to get the best placements, graduate jobs, and even local part-time jobs. My personal highlight over these last few months has to be the Skills and Employability Week which was held on campus in October. Being able to help out with all of the events during this week, as well as being able to talk to students about what they value most at the University when it comes to needing help with their employability skills, has cemented in my mind the importance of my placement role.Over the next month, I will be working with students to gather their ideas around how employability can be embedded into their curriculum, and work on promoting more student-staff partnerships and community partnerships around campus. The first of these activities will be the workshop that I am running at the Academic Reps Conference, looking at how students can embed employability into their assessments by allowing them to create their own assessments. I will also be looking at students’ ideas on how the Careers Service can help address any employability-related issues they may have, through the Student Advisory Board for the Careers Service. Another project that I am working on is called Reconnect, which is part of the University of Bath Enactus society. This project is run by students, in partnership with the Careers Service, to encourage more opportunities on campus and in Bath for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder to improve their employability skills."
Over our first three months, we have learnt so much about what it means to work within Professional Services at the University, and have also had the opportunity to see first-hand all of the incredible work that is done by staff to help engage their students. Even though the transition from being a University of Bath student to becoming a member of staff here has felt weird at times, it is an amazing experience which we hope to explore further over the rest of the academic year!
[left to right] Tamara Reid (Inclusivity), Alice Palmer-Ross (Research Engagement), Matthew Dawes (Sustainability) and Luke Parr (Employability).