After two years of being Vice President Education, I will be leaving on the 8th July.
Well I guess this is goodbye! After two years of being Vice President (Education), I will be leaving on the 8th July, having handed over to Alexandra Mazilu.
It's been an interesting two years, to say the least. When I was elected in March 2020, I had no clue of what was to come - within two weeks we were in lockdown and the world hasn't been the same since.
Despite all the difficulties though, I wouldn't trade it for the world. While this may seem like a shameless plug for the Union (because it is) being involved with the Student Representation Structure and the Union as a whole has been the highlight of my time at Derby. It has set me up for my career and showed me a path I didn't know existed before. It showed me the power of change and the value of speaking up. It gave me friends and helped me understand other people's perspectives. Ultimately, it made Derby feel like home and gave me a sense of belonging.
While there are things I would have done differently there a few achievements that I am particularly proud of:
Academic Representation Policy
While this work started long before my time, I am taking credit for its resurgence and completion. The policy is the first co-owned policy between the Union and University. It details the role and responsibilities of the Union, University staff as well as the student representatives.
Embedding Sustainability in the Curriculum
For the last two years I have been working on embedding sustainability in the curriculum. The new Learning, Teaching and Assessment Framework (coming in September 2022) includes Education for Sustainable Development as a key aspect of the Framework. Additionally, I worked with colleagues across the Union and university in order to achieve the Responsible Futures accreditation.
I have been involved in the development of the new EEC and authorised extensions process, as well working with our Advice team on a campaign to keep students informed on Academic Offences and Misconduct. During Covid I worked with the university to implement the Safety Net approach and support students affected by the pandemic.
None of this would have been possible without the constant support from Union staff past and present. Thank you so much for always being there for and for challenging me when I needed it. A thank you as well to university staff and senior leadership for making me feel welcome and valuing my opinion and contribution. It has been a privilege to get to learn from your experience.
While I am sad to leave Derby, I am very much looking forward to my next steps. Best of luck to Owen, Alex, Callum and Dom - I'm sure you'll be amazing.