Student Voice Groups (SVGs), formerly known as Student Staff Liaison Committees (SSLCs), are made up of elected student representatives and members of staff. They provide an accessible arena for students to discuss with staff issues connected to teaching, learning and student support. They also provide an opportunity for the academic department/school/centre to consult with students and receive feedback on new proposals.

Key principles of Student Voice Groups

All SVGs are guided by the following principles, which aim to ensure that SVGs:

  • provide an accessible forum to enable students to discuss teaching, learning and student support issues with staff in an open manner, within the framework of the formal structures. The academic department should consult with SVG on new proposals, including changes to courses
  • encourage the resolution of issues and improvements at a departmental level. Issues raised through the SVG should be discussed regularly and promptly at staff meetings[1]
  • ensure that discussions and resulting actions are documented and disseminated to the student body represented through the SVG. This is key to the success of SVGs.
  • ensure that issues which remain unresolved are escalated where necessary to the relevant Faculty Education Committees. This is to ensure that such issues can be escalated within the University and debated more widely
  • operate with transparency through the publication of SVG minutes to all current students and the Students’ Union. This would typically be through the departmental website.

[1] SVGs are not the place for students to air their personal grievances

Aims and objectives of Student Voice Groups

  • To facilitate greater communication between students and academic staff.
  • To identify areas of concern to students and/or staff.
  • To assist student input at all levels of decision making.
  • To disseminate examples of good practice within the department.
  • To promote engagement of student participation in quality assurance and enhancement.

Student Voice Group membership

  • The Head of Department shall be a member of SVG ex-officio. Relevant Directors and Tutors may be included in the membership. It is recommended that students should be in the majority present at all SVG meetings.
  • Student membership of SVGs should be drawn from the nominated Year Representatives as determined at student representative training. They should represent undergraduate and postgraduate (taught and research) programmes, each year, and means should be adopted to ensure that representatives can obtain the views of part-time and distance learning students (where appropriate)[2].
  • SVGs shall be chaired by the Head of Department (or his/her nominee), normally a member of academic staff. The Head of Department is responsible for any decisions reached by the committee and that specific action points from the meetings are fulfilled.
  • The secretary to the SVG shall be nominated by the Head of Department (typically the Departmental Administrator).
  • Observers shall be invited to attend the SVG at the discretion of the Chair.

[2] The Student Members must be the official Representatives of the Department(s) elected through the Students’ Union.

Student Voice Group meetings

  • SVGs should normally meet three times per academic year.
  • SVGs must be publicised to the wider student body so that they may inform the student representatives of any issues.
  • It is recommended that the agenda for the SVG should include the following as a minimum for the standard items:
    • Chair’s report on developments or updates from any actions points from the previous meeting
    • consultation with students on Annual Review of Courses reports, External Examiner reports, Satisfaction survey outcomes and Student assessment of module and teaching
    • new and revised programme developments (if any)
    • review of the relevant handbook (annually)
  • The unconfirmed minutes of an SVG meeting, as approved by the Chair, should normally be posted on the relevant department/school/centre webpage, or any other appropriate places, normally within 10 working days of the meeting.

Policy review

The policy is reviewed annually by Senate and/or an appropriate Senate sub-committee to ensure it remains fit for purpose and continues to meet effectively the needs of students, the University and the Students' Union.

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