The Secret Life of a PhD Student
I’ve teamed up with the Herts Success team to deliver to you guys two networking events called The Secret Life of a PhD Student. A chance for you to come and meet the PhD students and ask anything you might want to know about becoming a student forever. The opportunity to become an academic is open to all – so come along and get to know how you can start the journey 🙂
Date and times:
26th of February on College Lane the Oval Cafe 1-3pm
The conversation with UH management regarding the need for free printing credit goes something like this:
: Students pay a lot to be here so they shouldn’t be paying extra course costs like printing
UH: do you have evidence that students feel this way?
: Yeah, 100+ petition signs... value for money survey... student rep forum... all show loads of students think the should be covering their printing
UH: Giving them printing credit could cost £50,000 a year – what should the university cut in funding to be able to cover this cost?
: obviously I am never going to say services that are directly student-facing should be cut, but I don’t know what money is going into stuff which students are unlikely to ever see the benefit of to tell you that money should be reallocated to printing service
UH: you should look at how we spend money to advise what we should cut to cover printing
: you're employed to run the university, not me, I'm here to tell you what student want to see their tuition fees spent on. And I’m tell you it is their printing, at least £5 a year, to supplement their learning since students are ultimately here for an education
UH: ok, we will see how we can prioritize library service in our budget planning
Some weeks later
: what's the update on printing credit?
UH: didn’t you say you're going to tell us what you want to see cut for us to give printing credit?
So, yeah, the fight continues.
Almost 2,500 of awesome people filled out my survey on timetables – thanks so much!!!!! really helped me gain an insight on what you want to see on your timetables. The main points that came out is the great (and potentially severe stress) of timetables being upon first release. The great of long gaps (which I assumed previously but it's great to have this data to back it up! And students believing they should have at least one day off, without it having to be a Wednesday/ Wednesday afternoon. Timetables is a big priority for the university right now so I know this feedback will be . Positive change is coming guys 🙂
Autism Awareness in Higher Education
2 April 2019 is World Autism Awareness Day. For the Autism Awareness campaign at UH I have found three brilliant Best Practice guides written by researcher Dr Marc Fabri from Leeds Beckett University, who led the “Autism & Uni” project (www.autism-uni.org). One guide is aimed at HEI managers and senior academics, one for lecturers and tutors, and one for professionals supporting autistic students within or outside HE Institutions, so for example disability services.
The Autism&Uni project ran for 3 years until 2016 and was funded by an EU grant. The main project aim was to help autistic students navigate the transition from school into university. Project partners came from 5 European countries and they all worked together to create the guides and also a toolkit for autistic students.
The guides are all very informative on the student experience of an individual on the spectrum, provide a lot of personal quotes expressed by individuals with autism, include great tips on how they can be better catered for at a HE institution, all packed up in a very readable layout and language.
The guides are available online in several languages and have been downloaded thousands of times. By printing our own copies at UH I plan to circulate the guides to relevant staff members so they gain a better understanding of students on the spectrum. I particularly look forward to circulating the guide for lecturers/teachers since I am proposing that each teaching department holds a “Learning and Teaching Coffee Time” and discuss what they’ve learnt from the guides and how they can embed this awareness in their own teaching practice. I'm so glad to have so many positive responses from staff members on this campaign already, and I am really looking forward to see it come to life :)
The Autism&Uni project is now officially completed, and Dr Marc Fabri is working on a new initiative called IMAGE which looks at the transition from university into employment (www.imageautism.com). It’s kind of the next logical step and it’s a really important one because autistic graduates can find it really hard to get a job after university.
Thank you for reading! Feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
See ya :D