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Jay's Officer update

Check out what your Officer Team has been up to this term...

Image of BCUSU's President, Jay Dave

 

Here's some of what I've been working on this year so far...

Read Jay's profile

Throughout the last few months, I've been working hard to meet my manifesto goals and ensure that students are better represented at all levels and your issues and conerns are resolved. Here are just some of the results I've been able to achieve so far:

Tackling tuition fee issues

I've been working closely with BCU Finance and International Office to implement a better payment structure for international students.

Our Advice Team received a high number of enquiries from international students that were struggling to make payments and not given sufficient notice for deadlines, resulting in stress, and in some cases access to campus being removed or being unfairly withdrawn from their course.

I worked with BCUSU's Advice Team manager, to discuss the enquiries and emerging issues and met with as many international students as possible to collect their feedback. I raised all information to BCU's Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Head of Finance, and International Office Director to review the payment system in the future.

During a restructure to the University's Board, I will raise this again next term and update any positive changes to fee payments for international students.

Supporting Nigerian students

Earlier in the year, a group of Nigerian students contacted BCUSU fearing withdrawal from their course for not being able to meet tuition fee deadlines.

At the time, the Nigerian economy was suffering from fluctuating inflation rates, meaning the Naira currency was devaluing, causing extremely high costs for Nigerian students.

I gathered all their feedback and contacted BCU's Head of Finance, and Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, expressing students' worries and requested for additional time to be given for payments to be met.

It was reviewed by the University Board and a payment plan was extended for January intake students who had paid 50% of their tuition. It also led to communication from the University for international student to open a UK bank account before arriving in the country, hopefully avoiding similar situations in the future.

Supporting IT issues

Worked with BCU's IT Department to implement an IT toolkit for new students, adding key information about using wifi on campus through Eduroam.

Student feedback flagged that students were falling victim to phishing scams via email and text, and international students were specifically being targeted around their tuition fees. To raise awareness of avoiding these scams, I asked IT to add a section on Cyber Security.

View IT toolkit

Safety on campus

As part of my manifesto I wanted to develop wellbeing and campus safety for students, so in August I attended Safezone's conference in Manchester.

Safezone is an app which gives students direct contact with university's security team in time of emergencies, they also provide help with mental health and wellbeing.

I learned that the app is used effectively at Aston University and University of Birmingham, and could be used at BCU across our campuses. Subsquently, I met with our West Midlands Police Officer liaison and BCU Security, who highly recommend the app and are keen for BCUSU to support implementation at BCU.

Next, this will be reviewed at Campus Life Working Group this term, keep an eye out for updates.

Find out more about Safezone

I am also part of the Independent Advisory Group (includes representatives from all Birmingham universities and West Midlands Police), where we discuss student safety concerns across our campuses and at private accommodations. This has led to WMP having more patrols and presence at our campuses and us working closely to make safety adjustments and communications.

Food on campus

With the Officer Team, we raised concerns about the price and availability of food on campus. We spoke with BCU's Assistant Director Estates & Facilities to review current food offering on campus, leading to the renewal of the Winter Saver Menu, where low cost meals and free meals were provided at BCU cafeteria.

To hear your concerns we have collected your feedback about food prices on campus. We will continue to meet regularly with BCU and ask for changes where possible!

Figurehead for BCUSU

During my time as President, I have encouraged cross campus engagement and a strong physical presence, during first term I attended 30+ induction talks and hosted stalls at Faculty inductions at City South, School of Jewellery, School of Art - delivering pizzas and key information with Union Guides and Wallplanners.

I had the pleasure of attending 9 Big Welcome events including Dudley Zoo, Aston Villa FC Tour, Go Ape and more, acting as a point of contact for new starters. I also, represented BCUSU at key Big Welcome/Fresher events like Big Welcome Party, Freshers Quiz at Eagle & Ball, Student Mixers and Speed Friending.

I have showed support for society committees at numerous events, and on some occassions I have helped organise and set-up cultural events like Diwali and Navratri.

Key meetings:

  • Monthly meeting with BCU Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellor
  • Board of Governors - delivering feedback on student issues and SU updates to university decision makers
  • Academic Board - meetings with Faculty Deans and Head of Colleges (chaired by Vice Chancellor). Attended by me, Luke and Ashween. We talk about academic policies, NSS reports and how to improve BCU's scores and enhance student experience.
  • Regular meetings with BCU International Office, working towards better support during induction time, including activities and information to ease them into life in a new country and introducing them to BCUSU as early as possible

Want to see what your Officer Team are up to?

Follow them on lnstagram

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