A New Year: A New KU?

Posted on October 13, 2011

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Well the academic year has quite firmly started. Fresher’s week now feels like it was months ago and I am once again feeling the pressure that the return of students brings to a student officer…

Giving induction talks to students is one of my favourite parts of fresher’s weeks. You walk into a large lecture theatre with 300 students who look like rabbits caught in the headlights! Many of whom are still suffering the after effects of the previous night and the onslaught of information that confuses even the most knowledgeable of students.

Whilst I try as hard as I can to be jovial and welcoming and calming, I also always use a quote that I think is good for students to think about from day one.

“You have 450 days of University left, what will you do tomorrow to change your life?”

It is frightening to consider that the amount of teaching time you have in a three-year undergraduate experience is so short. But the question is one that is equally valid for me as a student officer and also for the University.

“What will we do tomorrow to change someone’s life?”

University Strategic Plan

The University has recently begun consultation on the new strategic plan. We have a new Vice Chancellor and a new Chair of the Board of Governors and the wind of change seems to be blowing in the University.

Some of the questions the University has to answer are difficult ones; the changes to Higher Education Policy have created a chaotic environment to try to plan in. One of the biggest questions that are being discussed is about distinctiveness…

What will Kingston be known for?

Clearly throughout the tenure of the last Vice Chancellor – Sir Peter Scott, Kingston was known as the widening participation University, a particular passion of Sir Peter’s. We are also known for having huge diversity within our student body which I think is something we should celebrate.

One of the key things Kingston has been is comprehensive in its offering of courses and subjects. Will that remain the case in 10 or even 5 years time?

Should we focus on our roots as a Polytechnic offering excellence in vocational courses…? Should we focus on certain subjects such as Science Engineering and Computing? Or Business and Law? Or Arts?

These questions offer an interesting debate into what Kingston should be.

What will I do tomorrow?

As President of the Students Union, I am fortunate enough to sit on the Board of Governors and have some input into these debates. However in my election campaigning I said I want to listen to you…!

As such we will be undertaking a road show to gauge student opinion on What You Want from KU?

We will be doing this on every campus and giving you the chance to say what you think!

Keep an eye out for more details of this over the next few weeks!

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