Medway Student Forum

Medway Student Forum is the best opportunity for the students at Medway to come together to prioritise and discuss the issues that students care about. Chaired by our lead officers, the purpose is to outline the issues and collectively suggest ways to improve them. You talk, we listen, we act.

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Attending and participating in the Medway Student Forum is open to all students. Any student can also submit an agenda item to be discussed at the meeting. Discussions and decisions outline the a course of action for GKSU staff and the lead officers to focus on to enhance your student experience.

Role of Forum and Members

1.

To reflect on the views of your peers.

2.

To give student feedback you receive to the Forum.

3.

Identifying problems, analysing issues and shaping solutions.

4.

To participate in reflective and informed discussion, leading to decision making.

Our decision making will:

Improve the student experience at Medway.

Address disadvantages faced by students in the community.

Enforce what students expect from their Students’ Union and representation.

Medway Student Forum Process

1.

Register

Confirm your attendance to GKSU.

2.

Student submissions

The deadline for submissions will be 5 working days before a Have Your Say Event. Submissions can be made via the Have Your Say platform or email [email protected].

3.

Group discussions
  1. Introduction: information provided about a topic.
  2. Discussion: participants reflect on knowledge and viewpoints.
  3. Solution analysis: options are identified and analysed.
  4. Recommendations: drafted by members through consensus building.

4.

Recommendations for change

Full Time Officers and GKSU collate Medway student feedback to drive change.

GKSU holds a minimum of one Medway Student Forum per term. Dates of the next Medway Student Forums are:

Wednesday 17th February, 5pm
Wednesday 5th May, 5pm

Not a forum for a while? Don’t worry, this isn’t the only way to have your voice heard! If you have an idea, you can submit it on our Have Your Say page and we can help you get your voice heard by other students.

To register your attendance and to submit any issues or topics that you’d like discussed, please complete our registration form.

See what was discussed at each meeting below.

February 2021

Wednesday 17th - Medway Student Forum Minutes

October 2020

Wednesday 21st - Medway Student Forum Minutes

Action Log

Click on the topics that have been discussed this year to see what students have discussed, what needs to be done and our progress

Theme Discussed Action Plan Progress

Students who live too close to campus to be eligible for a permit but still need to drive because they are uncomfortable getting public transport with Covid 10 situation.

GKSU to speak with University of Kent Parking Department to see if they will offer more permits to students this year so students have to use less public transport.

COMPLETED - GKSU made the request and this was the Kent's Travel team's statement - "With parking to enable students resident within the parking exclusion zone to apply for a permit, we have the exceptional circumstance and health access appeals process. If a student believes that it is unsafe for them to travel on public transport currently, they are welcome to submit an appeal, however they would need to demonstrate to the University Parking Panel why this is the case, as the University has been working with the local public transport providers and is aware that they are all following the Government guidelines for providing safe travel."

There is quite a walk across campus and to Dock Yard and it isn’t easy to navigate the Dock Yard. There is a real lack of signage and students have got themselves lost at the beginning of term.

GKSU to speak to University of Kent that more detailed information is needed when expecting students to attend classes on the Dock Yard.

ACTIONED AND AWAITING RESPONSE - GKSU has contacted staff at Kent Business School to flag this as an issue (as Music and Audio Tech courses are moving for next academic year) and has asked if they have any information they could send us.

Some students didn’t even know about the free campus shuttle that University of Kent students can use from Pier Quays.

GKSU to ask the Transport Team to increase their communications to students living in Pier Quays and to help schedule some messages via GKSU social channels.

COMPLETED – GKSU asked the Transport Team to increase their communications to students living in Pier Quays and GKSU have updated their FAQ's to include information about the free shuttle for Kent students.

 

Theme Discussed Action Plan Progress

Wifi at Pier Quays is awful. Both the quality and speed of wifi is substandard and is not only affecting students studies but their mental health because it’s preventing students from being able to socialize virtually.

GKSU to get in contact with the University of Kent and insist that Pier Quays improves the wifi provision to promote the free campus shuttle on their socials posts in Term 1

COMPLETE – The Lead Officer raised this to both Universities who in turn instructed the wifi provider Glide to make improvements to the wifi at Pier Quays.  This was actioned within a week!

The library being open is really important at the moment as it’s a break from working remotely which can be isolating.  Students were unsure exactly what the hours were.

GKSU to send / share regular posts out communications about the library hours and to include this on the FAQ section of our website

COMPLETED – The GKSU marketing team added the library opening hours over the Christmas period and has updated the new reduced hours for Term 2.  GKSU have also shared Drill Hall Library Social posts on their opening hours.

Students wanted some well-being events throughout the year. They feel they are stuck in individual rooms and evenings are particularly difficult. They also don’t know how to access mental health support or counselling.

GKSU to get involved and run a campaign for the next University Mental Health Week. GKSU to liaise with the Universities of Kent and Greenwich’s well-being teams to promote activities to students and the support services.

PARTIALLY COMPLETE – GKSU are currently running a virtual programme of Give It A Go events and will be running some virtual well-being events for the Welcome Back programme. GKSU will also get involved in the planning to offer some well-being activities during the University Mental Health Week.

There is nowhere to complete group work on campus, yet students are set group work and also are desperate to socialize.  Students are having to try and find spaces which actually could encourage students to engage and interact in non Covid secure spaces

GKSU to contact both Universities to see whether bookable group spaces can be offered at The Student Hub

PLANNED BUT ON HOLD – GKSU had made arrangements for bookable Group space for students in the hub but then that national lockdown came about. This will be revisited when The Student Hub reopens.

Students are really struggling with their mental health. Students have identified that it’s difficult to form relationships with their seminar groups as students don’t turn mics or cameras on. Seminars are often really quiet and students said they feel anxious about engaging.

GKSU to promote the Universities Mental Health provision and Well-being Support Services.  GKSU to promote and encourage students who are experiencing isolation to join a Medway Network and specifically the Buddy Network. COMPLETED - GKSU has created a dedicated well-being page under the Advice and Support section of the GKSU website, which links to the Universities well-being and counselling teams, amongst other national support networks and the Campus Chaplain.  Various messages of support have been put through the GKSU social channels which link back to this page.  GKSU also have worked with the Network Chair of the Buddy Network to put on virtual events and sent out wider comms messages about this provision. 
Theme Discussed Action Plan Progress

Seminars are often really quiet, lack engagement and students said they feel anxious about speaking. Students said the lack of interaction between students is a problem (affects mental health and the online learning experience). Students suggested some ideas that may improve this; including ice-breakers, smaller break out groups, mandatory camera on sessions.

GKSU to ascertain how students are finding the teaching and learning experience on a wider scale via an official survey. A full analysis can be conducted on this data and then this communicated to the Universities to improve the student experience.

ACTIONED AND ONGOING – Kent Union’s Online Teaching and Learning Survey is still live. GKSU have actively promoted this and the GSU Covid Survey to Medway students. Once the analysis from this is done, Kent Union and Greenwich Students Union will be making recommendations to the Universities to improve their online teaching and learning provision.