Introducing Postgraduates Consultation Group (PGCG)

Most in the University of Oxford are aware of the lack of postgraduate engagement. Our present representation structures are not working as well as we would like them. To reenergize existing systems such as getting more postgraduates to stand for sabbatical roles and be more active in university data collection exercises and events, Devika, VP Graduates 2021-2022 created the Pilot Graduates Consultation Group (PGCG), now to be known as the Postgraduate Consultation Group (PGCG). 

The group was envisioned with the aim of ensuring that Graduate voices are strong within the University community and that a diverse range of students are a part of this. It is a complement to the student representation structures that exist but aims to tackle the time commitment and access issues that can affect Postgraduate students more so than Undergraduates.

The Pilot Graduates Consultation Group, therefore, is a consultation (not representation) panel of varying number of graduate students from different courses, divisions and categories like student parent, carer, part-time students etc. with the aim of helping the University engage more postgraduate students. It is the first leg of PG engagement and something novel as opposed to our existing undergraduate dominated representation systems.

To give it a two-pronged goal approach to the PGCG; in terms of a short-term view, it directly engages students with the University in a fruitful communication. A defined and identified space for postgraduate students to engage with relevant University stakeholders and Students Union without wasting time in several attempts to get the postgraduate opinion. With regards to a more long-term goal, the mere presence of the group is a testament to increasing postgraduate engagement with the University.

Postgraduates often miss out on said representative and engaged roles because of lack of time and inconvenience, the group in its organisation and core principles attempts to address that by creating a conducive and comfortable environment for all members to have a voice. It is the first step towards removing potential barriers that keep postgraduates from engaging with the University while enabling them to be a part of the conversations which in long term will shape and positively change our postgraduate engagement as an institution.

Get in touch for a consultation or otherwise:

If you would like to get in touch with PGCG please email the current student chair (Ricardo: ricardo.delucaetuma@st-hughs.ox.ac.uk) or current VP Graduates (vpgraduates@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk)

Here are our Terms of reference: Terms of Reference PGCG

VP Graduates have been mandated to support the PGCG by Student council till 2024-2025. - Read the mandate here

Timeline for Pilot Graduates Consultation Group (PGCG) 2021-2022PGCG Governance Committee

September 30, 2021: Idea Inception

October 2021: Stakeholder Engagement and Lobbying

November 2021: Application Forms Released

December 2021: 70 Applications Received, 35 Candidates Shortlisted

January 2022: Second round and 33 Candidates Interviewed

February 2022: First PGCG Meeting

March 2022: Van Houten Funding Application Submitted by VP Graduates 2021-2022

March 24, 2022: Ricardo De Luca E Tuma, Elected as First Chair

May 2022: Van Houten Fund Bid Successful with £27,700 in funding

May 3, 2022: Hannah Zamor, Appointed as Financial Officer Appointed

May 20, 2022: Governance Committee 2021-2022 Formed

June 2022: Student Council University of Oxford, mandates VP Graduates to support PGCG    till    2024-2025.

Note: Consultation work by the group with the University began March 2021, itself.

Pilot committee of PGCG

Here are the first and current members of PGCG. These student members have sat on consultations and trainings since January. The have contributed to the very building of PGCG and its set up.

  • Ricardo de Luca e Tuma (First elected student chair)                         
  • Hannah Zamor (First Finance Officer)
  • Joshua EE
  • Daniel Tate
  • AnneMichaela MacDonald Brodaric
  • Monika Václavková
  • Yanelle Cruz Bonilla
  • Asia Hoile
  • Sheila Lumley
  • Patricia Yaker Ekall
  • Natasha Said Ali
  • Iyone Agboraw
  • Gurpreet Kaur Bharj
  • Udai Dhamija
  • Amanda Nuttall
  • Devika (VP Graduates, 2021-22)

Current Committee**

Same as the Pilot Committee above

**This section will be updated annually with current membership.

            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support for PGCG

For a successful funding application and launch, the group had the support of various members of the University community:

The group has the full backing of Oxford SU.

Beyond SU, the group is supported and endorsed by the following University stakeholders:

Professor Martin Williams, PVC Education?

“I am very happy to support this proposal. It promises to be a valuable route for gathering student opinions and wishes on both academic and broader student experience matters. I wish you success with the proposal. Please keep me informed of progress.”

  • - Dr Saira Shaikh (Academic Registrar)
  • Professor Bettine Lange, Assessor 2021-22

“…I support the principle and key points of your funding application Devika.”

  • Ms. Louise Clarke on behalf of the Bodleian Libraries, Interim Director Bodleian Libraries

“The Bodleian Libraries welcome the formation of the PGCG by Devika, as a key partner in designing services to support graduate needs and endorse the funding proposal as one method to increase engagement.” 

  • Graduate Access Committee 2021-22

(Member include: Professor David Gavaghan (Chair), Professor Paul Wakeling (York), Professor Nick Brown, Dr Anna Clark, Professor Gail Preston, Professor Alexander Betts, Ms Devika (VP Graduates 21-22), Professor Stuart Conway, Dr James Robson, Dr Nadia Pollini, Mrs Nicola Cooper-Harvey, Mr Richard Gill, Mr John-Paul Roche, Mr Charlie Greenhill, Dr Eleni Kechagia-Ovseiko, Professor Rob Gilbert, Ms Sara Smith, Mr Andrew Vivian, Ms Kate Davy (Secretary) Apologies: Dr Nihan Akyelken

  • AAD Student Experience Group

(The pay structure and grant request reflect the changes requested by AAD and Dr Saira Shaikh. It was their intervention that helped PGCG secure the Van Houten Fund).

“The idea of a PG consultation group is also endorsed by AAD’s Student Experience Group, so long as any payment to students was made at an appropriate hourly rate (not lower than the Oxford Living Wage) and was not a lump sum honorarium.”


Gratitude

I, Devika (VP Graduates, 2021-22) on behalf of the PGCG, also extend a huge thanks to Dr Saira Shaikh and Dr Jane Sherwood for their dedicated help with the successful funding application.

 Kate Dawson (CEO) for mentoring through the process of set up and application.

Daisy O’ Connor, Jordan J.F. Smith and Melanie Duncan, for their wonderful support.

This project would have not reached the stage it has, without all these wonderful individuals.

I can only hope that the group continues and is of aid to those who need it, in the same wonderful spirit of staff and student collaboration, that has brought it into existence.