What is Academic Representation?
Academic representation is the system in which students use their voice to make changes to their educational experience. Each course or department should have a system for academic representation, which will usually consist of elected representatives who will attend meetings with departmental staff to represent the views of the students on their course. The academic representation system is a key part of a university's quality assurance measures, and guarantees that courses are informed by student needs, concerns and thoughts.
Who are the reps?
There are more than 600 course reps who are elected by their cohort across the university. In some departments or faculties student representatives can be called student reps, department reps, faculty reps or course reps. For clarity at Oxford SU we refer to these students as course reps. These course reps will usually be elected in early Michaelmas Term, and be in place for a full academic year. Your department or faculty should make it known to you who your course reps are.
Oxford SU is currently working on a 'Find My Rep' system, but until this is in place, if you are unsure who your rep is ask your department or email Jade Calder, VP Access & Academic Affairs.
As well as our course reps, we also have 8 divisional reps, and two Continuing Education (ContEd) reps. The divisional and ContEd reps represent the views of students in their division and ContEd as a whole. We have two reps for each of the four divisions, and two reps for ContEd.
What do they do?
The core function of any student representative role is to represent the student voice. From course reps, to div reps and ContEd reps to our sabbatical officers, they are all in their position to represent the student voice to the university. There are many mechanisms through which course reps and div reps represent your voice. They attend key departmental and divisional meetings in which they feedback the thoughts, concerns, and ideas of the students they represent to feed into changemaking at the university as a whole. They liaise with the students they represent to ensure that they are aware of what the needs and concerns of their students are, and so they can adequately feed this back into the university. They may also choose to run their own projects and do their own campaigning on key issues for the student body. For example, through the lobbying and campaigning work of previous divisional reps, the University voted to remove the Graduate Application Fee. Divisional reps are also members of Student Council and feed into the SU's democractic governance structures. All of our course, divisonal and ContEd reps are a vital part of our changemaking structures at Oxford, and are actively working on improving your educational experience.
How do I get involved?
There are many ways in which students can get involved in representing the student voice to the university.
- Run to be a course rep - These elections usually take place in early Michaelmas Term through your department or faculty
- Apply to be a divisional rep - Applications for divisional rep positions open over the Summer vac
- Run to be a Sabbatical Officer - Leadership elections take place in Hilary Term
- Talk to the reps about your opinions - All of these reps are open to hearing your student feedback for them to feedback into their representative work