LUSU hosted a forum on Tuesday Week 10 to try and understand the issues postgraduates are facing.
The meeting, which was a way for current postgraduate students to express concerns and issues about university life, was held in Bowland North and had a turnout of around 20 people. Members of LUSU feel that they aren’t sure what the problems are with postgraduate students, so this small gathering was a method of discovering some specific issues postgraduate students face.
Amongst the issues that were raised were the strikes which took place on Tuesday and Thursday Week 10. Some students were concerned that important lectures had been cancelled and not rearranged. As a result, a number of students lost on out important information.
Car parking was another issue which was raised and many students expressed frustration at the lack of spacing available. One suggestion raised was the possibility of installing a multi-storey car park to free up more space without taking over new land.
Rebecca Strong was a student particularly dissatisfied with Grad College in saying “it’s not just socials but the services that we’re provided”. Whenever she wanted to enquire about services she said that “emailing took up to three weeks”. Also on the quality of socials, another student noticed how there was no Christmas Ball for Grad College whereas all other colleges had them.
Another concern was that the level of action the university sees in the vacation times is minimal as most services close for the holidays. One student said, “They’re forgetting that there are many students still here using the facilities”, affecting not only postgraduate students but international students too.
When the group was asked if one thing could be improved, some students suggested the problem of teaching. Another student wanted to “review the quality of work”. He added “Some essays feel like the tutors are setting them just because they have to”. Strong also added to the discussion that she has only one lecture a week. “When I’m paying the amount I am, I’d expect to have more interaction with the tutors”. As the cost of postgraduate study can be expensive, there were further worries about whether there would be any changes, due to the rising fees of undergraduate degrees.
Robbie Pickles who helped run the forum admitted that LUSU is only just learning what the problems are for postgraduate students so that it can be expected there will be more opportunities like this to help tackle issues and implement changes.