Richard Alderman, Education Officer
Phone: 0114 222 8607
Responsible for all educational matters affecting students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. Co-ordinates and supports student representation within the University, and works with the Education Committee to keep students informed of, and campaign on, academic issues.
Sits on many University committees including University Senate and Learning & Teaching Committee.
I studied French and Russian, and got involved with representing my department through being a course rep, sitting on Students' Union Council and as a committee member for my departmental society. I'm here to help you take control of and shape your education. Over the next year, I want to help students to continue their education outside of the lecture theatre - if you've got a passion, I want your societies and your Students' Union to help you to explore it. I'm going to ensure that Postgraduates have a strong voice through the Union, and make sure that support and guidance is available when you need it. Both myself, the Student Advice Centre and the Representation and Democracy department are here to help, whether you're struggling with a module or want to lead a campaign, so come and say hello!
OBJECTIVE 1: EDUCATION AS AN EVENT
Aim: To empower students to learn in and outside of their department and embed education into their free time engaged with the Union.
- To establish the role of an Academic Rep in student departmental societies accompanied by annual training in order to act as a conduit between departmental societies and departments, and to Student-Staff Committees to encourage more informal student engagement in representative structures.
- To work with departmental societies to increase the number of student-led career development events such as careers, guest and alumni talks.
- To implement a guest lecture series hosted in the Union, and to work with CiCS and the Discover and Understand project to create a student-accessible database of academic talks and research seminars within the university (including those delivered by postgraduates who teach) to increase student participation.
- Aim to work with academics to enable open access to all large lectures for students and periodically to the public, subject to capacity, to pursue the vision of a civic university as a tool for widening participation.
OBJECTIVE 2: STUDENT ACADEMIC SUPPORT
Aim: To ensure that students have the support and resources to succeed in their studies.
- To develop an annually updated guide to university agreed standards on personal tutoring at Sheffield, applicable both to students and academics, as well as a Postgraduate Handbook. This will include a roadmap for tutoring that embeds completion of the Sheffield Graduate Development Programme into personal tutoring to help undergraduate students to identify their skills gaps.
- To ensure that all training on Personal Tutoring has input from the Students’ Union, and ensure all academics with tutoring responsibilities have received appropriate training.
- To work with Student Services to review the Sheffield Mentors scheme and the work of the SALTs to develop a peer-to-peer support programme to supplement support provided by academics and capitalise on the first-hand experience that students can offer to those at lower levels of study..
- To work with the International Students’ Officer, Student Advice Centre and Student Conduct and Appeals Office to reduce cases of plagiarism through increased study skills resources available at the Union.
- To work with CiCS/Estates to open up seminar rooms during exam periods as additional social learning space and develop a promotional strategy., as well as improving the university mobile application (iSheffield) to include computer bookings to encourage the use of computer rooms across campus and improve access to computers at peak times.
- To campaign with the Women’s Officer for earlier timetabling for all students to aid those with caring responsibilities and universal anonymous marking.
OBJECTIVE 3: A STRONG STUDENT VOICE FOR ALL
Aim: To ensure all students have access to the same level of representation, supported by training and evidence-based campaigning for those representing others.
- To work with Marketing and Communications to develop tools for digital engagement with all students who have time constraints to engage with the current structures.
- Work with PROGRESS and the Welfare Officer to develop dedicated welfare and representation tools for postgraduates that do not currently exist formerly provided by the Postgraduate Committee.
- To review the format of representative structures such as timings of Students’ Union Council, to ensure access for underrepresented groups such as TILL students.
- Work with LeTS and R&D to develop a separate training programme for faculty student representatives.
- To offer an accreditation scheme to Course Reps to see the role as skills development as well as quality enhancement.
- Compile all surveys/the QAA Student Written Submission into an annual student voice report, to be presented to the University.