Democracy

Education Officer:
Erin Davies

Erin Davies is the SU's Education Officer.

Hi, I’m Erin your Education Officer for this year. I’ve been here four years studying Law and Sociology, and have spent three years involved in the Union: two as Social Sciences Faculty Rep and last year as the Chair of Council. I’ve also worked in the outlets and been involved in tonnes of socs and sports – I’m a MASSIVE fan of our SU!

This year, I’m looking forward to talking to you about all things academic. I’m really focusing on the quality of your feedback and contact hours so will be looking for some comments on the Hungry for Feedback campaign. My team of Faculty Reps and I will be working very hard to improve the SSLC system. Look out for Education Convention, which will include your chance to quiz the University higher-ups.

If you have any issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. My office is in SUHQ, pop in for a chat, or drop me an email.

Officer Objectives

Click here to see the progress of Erin's aims and objectives for this year.

Blog

  • Thu 20 Mar 2014 15:46

    UPDATE: it looks like it may be fixed! http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/news


    Technology is a wonderful thing; especially when it breaks.

    As I’m sure many of you have already noticed the library website is down. All the information is up here:

    http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/eresources-fix/

     

    But the long and the short of it is, they’re waiving fines on books overdue on the 18th that you couldn’t renew through the normal process (although, they're still following the rule that you can't renew books that are on hold)

    If you need to access online articles, they’re having a decent success in finding other ways to access those resources, so email them at library@warwick.ac.uk with the details (name, publisher, year, all the stuff that usually goes in your referencing) and they’ll see what they can do.

     

     

    I reckon this is the shortest officer blog in the history of time. Here, have a definitive list of the most amusing 404 pages 

     

  • Mon 17 Mar 2014 14:01

    So, who’s panicking about essays and exams? It’s going to start getting pretty busy on floor 5. Don't forget, the library will be open 24 hours a day next term (this is not an excuse to sleep there, I will personally come and tell you to go home if you do!)

    *** EDIT: Just discovered that there is additional space within the library that really under used this time of year! They will be opening the Training Room on floor two for general use unless there is a session already booked ***

    If you’re struggling to find work space on campus, don’t worry! There are plenty of rooms available for you to use! For a start, you can book any centrally timetabled room for group study work etc (I did this A LOT last year, I would highly recommend it). You can do that here. Ant Scott has a handy dandy guide on his resources page.

    There are also tonnes of rooms available on the Westwood campus, and they’ve been redecorated recently so are lovely and shiny. The University has set aside rooms WA101 and WA110 specifically for silent study for Term 3. I’ve also been informed that the Avon Drama Suite in Westwood would make for great group revision.

    The Uni has actually set aside a decent number of rooms on central campus as silent study rooms too, a full list can be found here. Ask your department if they’re intending to book out any rooms as revision spaces as many of them do.

    As I’m sure many of you will have seen, the Rootes Restaurant, as well as being rehearsal space, is also going to become the Dining Grid for some extra revision space. This will, of course, include the microwave facilities Ben fought so long and hard for! This will only be available for a couple of weeks though, so be warned.

    IATL has been very lovely and offered some of their teaching spaces – a booking system for that will be organised soon. Keep your eyes peeled. There aren’t many desks though – this would be suited for someone who’s not doing a great deal of writing/groups wanting to be able to talk through theories.  

    I'll try and update this blog when I hear of more study spaces!

    Basically the crux of this whole blog is that there are loads of places to work on campus. So don’t panic about getting up at the break of dawn to make sure you get a spot in the library. Unless you’re genuinely a morning person, in which case, I have no idea how you do it.


     

     

  • Mon 10 Feb 2014 09:01

    So the first Sabb blog I wrote was about the results of last year’s NSS (National Student Survey). We were very happy with the satisfaction rating last year’s finalists gave us!

    The National Student Survey (NSS) is a national survey, conducted independently by Ipsos MORI. It gathers opinions from mostly final year undergraduates on the quality of their courses. Aimed at current students, the survey asks undergraduates to provide honest feedback on what it has been like to study their course at their institution. The survey is often used by Universities to benchmark themselves against other institutions, while Students’ Unions, particularly crafty Education Officers, will often use NSS scores to help convince an institution to make important changes.

    Warwick Uni really wants as many people as possible to fill this survey out, so you’ll be getting an email very soon. And then another as a reminder if you haven’t filled it out yet. You may as well just go ahead and do it! Also, free lunch! They’re putting a fiver on the eating@Warwick account of everyone who fills it out. That’s a Broven meal deal right there. Or a few drinks in T-Bar. Also some departments may be doing competitions too so keep an eye on that!

    The one thing I ask is when filling out this form is: be honest. If you think that your department is great, that’s amazing! Tell them! If you think there are areas for improvement, then please say it. I have made so much use of the NSS over this past year, particularly the comment section, so it can really make a difference – for example, at the very start of our Sabbatical term, Cat and I went to meet Stephen Lamb, the University Senior Tutor. I took along all the comments made about personal tutorial system (good and bad!) and it helped us get a slot in the Personal Tutor training sessions.

    One last point, particularly for non-finalists, if you have an issue you want addressed, you don’t have to wait until this survey to get it sorted. Talk to your department, or if you don’t want to do it directly, get in touch with either your SSLC representative, your Faculty Rep, or myself.

  • Wed 29 Jan 2014 16:22

    This week is a big week for me. Not only was the second Education Convention on Tuesday, but it is also the launch week of our Hungry for Feedback campaign (which is why pacman is currently rolling around the website).

    I have a plea for you all – please fill in the survey as it will help me drive up the quality of the feedback you receive. And please, please take the time to get involved with educational issues.

    Warwick University is amazingly diverse – as proved by One World Week which is this week – but the one thing we all have in common is every student here is a student, they’re all working towards those letters behind their name. While this seems like an insanely obvious point to make, it is something worth remembering. Myself and others in the SU work tireless to make sure that your degree experience is the best it can be, regardless of UG/PG status, what faculty you’re in and whether you’re full time or part time.

    Its why I’m disappointed that so many people missed out on an excellent opportunity last night to come to the Q&A panel for Education Convention – I got some of the most important people in the University to come and answer student questions directly, as well as Rachel Wenstone, VP Higher Education of NUS (in her own words, she basically does what I do on a national level).

    Issues from a new humanities building to PG funding, Widening Participation programmes to the heating bill of Tocil and Claycroft were covered (below I have bullet pointed all the issues discussed). There was also ample opportunity to put forward issues that could be followed up on – Ken Sloan, the University Registrar, left with two pages worth of notes on things he had to investigate.

    I sincerely hope that in future people will take full advantage of this opportunity. It can sometimes be hard to see what the Education Officer does as I spend a lot of time working on issues behind the scenes, but this was the opportunity to see the work the Union does on a daily basis for you and your education.

     

     

    Issues covered:

    -          Nigel Thrift’s payrise

    -          Strikes; including departmental responses to strike action and contribution to hardship funds

    -          “Corporate”isation of universities

    -          Careers and Skills opportunities

    -          Accommodation on campus, availability and prices

    -          PG loan scheme

    -          Arts student funding

    -          New buildings to appear on campus – Humanities, teaching building, NAIC (National Automotive Innovation Centre)

    -          Privatisation of student services, eg accommodation & food outlets (elsewhere – Warwick does not do this!)

    -          Study/Research spaces on campus

    -          Widening Participation; Warwick’s been doing things for ages; scheme for PG widening participation

    -          Hidden course costs

    -          Bursaries

    -          Heating costs of Tocil and Claycroft

    -          Leamington Learning Grid and expansion plans

    -          Personal Tutorial system

  • Mon 16 Dec 2013 10:59

    Cuts to the NSP

    Recently, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced that planned cuts to the National Scholarship Programme (NSP) would be brought forward a year. This means that there will be less government money for scholarships and bursaries across the country for the academic year 2014-15. The NSP was established when fees rose from £3000 to £9000 per year, in an attempt to ensure that university access was not restricted to the wealthiest students.

    The Good

    One of the most positive things to come out of this is that the bursaries will now be purely cash bursaries – fee waivers and accommodation credits are no longer being considered. This is excellent news, as having the freedom to use that money in the way that is most beneficial to you is extremely important. Fee waivers aren’t really a way of making University more accessible, given that they potentially amount to a couple of grand from a £9000/year loan that you’re not paying back.

    The Bad

    Unfortunately, what the cuts mean for Warwick is that we’re losing about £ 3/4 million of government money from our bursaries. The University are covering £ 1/2 million of the gap, in addition to the £2million they were intending to overspend on bursaries. However there is still a shortfall, which means there will be less money going in students’ pockets.

    The Ugly

    I personally believe this is another example of under-30s drawing the short straw. Type “Generation Screwed” into Google and you’ll see a load of angry articles about how people our age are struggling.  And not just here -  everywhere. All over Europe, the under-30s are struggling to get jobs, get a mortgage and afford to pay the bills. While we’re on a difficult job hunt, we’re having our Job Seeker’s Allowance cut. We’ve lost our housing benefits. We’re forced to live with our parents for longer (don’t get me wrong, I adore my mother, but I never want to live at home permanently ever again!)

    In Britain, Labour wanted a minimum of 50% of young people going into Higher Education, and yet they have to take out potentially huge loans. According MoneySavingExpert[1], the new loan system has an interest rate of 6.3%. Some graduates could end up paying back DOUBLE the amount of their loans (approximately £80K if you’re on a 3 year degree).[2]

    This is before the sale of the loan book. I am genuinely concerned about the potential implications for future loan book sales –with up to 85% of students never paying back their loans[3]; private companies are going to want higher interest to recoup their investment.

    Normally I’m not one to get “political”, but there’s only so much depressing news you can hear before you start to get really angry with the state of affairs in this country. The problem is, many young people don’t vote - 46% of the under 30s answered “none of the above” when asked who they would vote for off a list[4]. I honestly don’t blame them.

    The EMA has been scrapped. Aimhigher has been scrapped. NSP is being scrapped. Investment in young people is being scrapped. Is it any wonder that 75% of 18-34 year olds don’t trust politicians?[5]

     

Contact Me

Erin's office is on the 2nd floor of SUHQ.

My Election

The election for Education Officer takes place during the Officer Elections in Term 2.

View vote count.

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