Devika

VP Graduates

VP Graduates MT Overview

A complete update of all your Vice President Graduates did from June to December 2021.

Michaelmas Term Overview Devika VP Graduates

Dear all,  

A very happy new year and welcome back or if you never left, hello again.  

I thought it best to give you a review of my first six months in office before I proceed with explaining what I am planning for my next six months in this position. I value institutional memory and importantly the need to update you with what exactly I have been up to recently as your elected officer.  

In the past six months, I have done the following as your Vice President for Graduates:  

  • Sat on 62 Committee meetings. I sit on multiple committees as a graduate student representative. The list can be seen under my job profile however the names and numbers change frequently because sometimes committees reach the end of their path by achieving their goals, we also have new committees and often existing committees need me to come in as the student voice.  

Some decisions that have come out of the committees includes the following:  

  • Free scanning and fine write offs  
  • Strategies that govern issues  
  • Better and clearer communications for students (currently a whole communications review is underway) 
  • Covid measures and making them student friendly  
  • Graduates Admissions Review  
  • Race Equality consultation process  
  • Extension of grace period for continuation charges  

And several more decisions, many of which, unfortunately we are not allowed to disclose before the University, services or department concerned communicate it to the students in a manner they find appropriate. What I can assure you of is that I am sitting on these meetings and representing the graduate voice, and my priority of graduate streamlining in all these spaces.  

Beyond these committees, some other things that I have done recently like events and projects are:  

  • Meet the SU events 

  • Fresher's fair  

  • Events leading up to Freshers with other elected officers. 

  •  I also pushed for Part time students, mature students and DPhil student socials specifically.  

  • PGCE Induction presentations 10 MCR SU induction presentations  

  • (if you want one in your college - ask your MCR President or email me!)  

  • Presentation for staff on graduate students' mental health and the support needed right now  

  • DPhil Welcome Drinks with Bodleian Library. We had 185 sign ups, 150 students in attendance and 170 on the waitlist. Do email me your feedback – it helps us organise more such events!  

  • Launch of Pilot Graduates Consultation Group (The group will be ready for function by end of January). I am also actively working on the funding bid for it right now.  

  • Preparation for launching Graduate Resource Pack for 2022. I am aiming to have this launched by end of Hillary, so we can have it ready for Freshers ‘22.  

  • I have also been working on internal people and governance changes within the union to help support you better.  

Plans for the next six months  

  • I am pushing for a transparent fee breakdown from the University - you will hear about it from me.  

  • The Resource Pack will be launched and ready to use.  

  • The Pilot Graduates Consultation Group will be launched and potentially functioning, so the University can hear a diversity of graduate voices and not just mine.  

  • A review consultation on welfare services in the University. 

  • A paper on MCR Priorities - college based issues for graduate students  

  • Designing a training module for MCR Presidents.  

  • A graduate priorities paper - highlighting the current needs of graduate students in the University  

  • A potential paper on the need to reimburse students in different areas of the University.  

These plans are obviously subject to change simply in that I do not know what these next six months hold for us as a student body. Often issues and concerns arise for the student body that become more pressing for me as a student representative than ones I was prioritising earlier. My aim and instinct is usually to respond to that than pre-set goals that do not matter as much to the students anymore.  

What I do and will continue to push for however is my primary aim that graduates based streamlining to the University - they need to think of postgraduate students as a separate group with diverse needs, often separate from the undergraduate population of the University.   

Devika, 

VP Graduates