FACULTY OF LAWS
STAFF STUDENT CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE (SSCC)
Staff Student Consultative Committee
Friday 25th May 2012
MINUTES
Present:
Ms Olga Thomas (Chair)
Mr Mark Blakely (MB) – Director of the Taught Graduate Programmes
Ms Marlene Cox (MC) - LLM Programme Administrator
Professor Alison Diduck (AD) - Director of Research Studies
Mr Nick Grant NG) – President of the Student Law Society
Mr Rishik Menon (RM) - Senior Student Representative
Mr Joseph Spooner (JS) – Research Student Representative
Mr Stephen Gurman (SG) - Laws Careers Consultant & Employer Relations Manager(by invitation)
In attendance:
Ms Anna Antipova (AA) (Secretary)
Apologies for absence were received from:
Rob Chambers – Vice Dean (Education)
Gemma Burridge - LLB Programme Administrator
Iris H-Y Chiu – Senior Lecturer
Myriam Hunter-Henin - Senior Lecturer
Jennifer Leitner – LLM StAR Representative
Stuart Bruce (SB) - LLM StAR Representative
1. Welcome and Introductions
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked the group to introduce themselves. Consent
was given to the meeting taking place despite the number of staff present being greater than the
number of students
2. Minutes of the meeting of 30 November 2011
The minutes of the last meeting were confirmed.
3. Matters arising from the minutes
3.1
Academic Support Feedback: OT explained that the issue of student hours had been raised
and discussed at FTC. A decision had been taken to formalize and, as far as possible, standardize
the process for meeting with academic members of staff and to co-ordinate the publicizing of student
hours instead of this being left to individual tutors. The Faculty’s policy was clarified: each academic
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member of staff is required to make himself/herself available for 2 hours per week for meetings with
academic or personal tutees. Part-time teaching staff do not have personal tutees and are not
required to have student hours; their academic tutees should raised subject-related queries with the
course convenor or relevant lecturer. A list of the student hours of all staff will be compiled at the
beginning of the academic year term and publicized to students. Tutors will also be encouraged to
post their student hours outside their offices.
ACTION POINT: OT to ensure that the student hours list is compiled and posted outside the
Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Academic Services offices, in the student common room and on
the student intranet..
3.2
National Student Survey 2012: OT reported that the Faculty of Laws met and in fact
exceeded the publication threshold of the NSS and achieved its highest response rate to date with
56% of finalists responding. OT explained that results will be made available to the Faculty in the
autumn term and presented in the next meeting of SSCC.
3.3
Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR): OT explained that from 2011 all UCL
undergraduate students who first enrolled in 2011 will receive a Higher Education Achievement
Record (HEAR):a document that will record student academic achievement in more detail than the present
transcript and will include more detailed module information and verifiable non-academic student achievement
undertaken as a result of being a registered UCL student. OT thanked the student body for assisting her
in compiling a list of all the extra-curricular activities undertaken within the Faculty which had now
been submitted to the HEAR working group..
4. Chairperson’s Business
4.1
Appointment of Law Careers Consultant: OT introduced SG and his post as Laws Careers
Consultant & Employer Relations Manager to the students and explained that with the appointment of
SG the Faculty will be expanding the careers programme for students.. SG explained his role and
noted that he will be building on the work of Prince Saprai, former Faculty Careers Tutor, and Patrice
Ware, UCL Careers Service, when addressing the career needs of students. Students will also now
have access to bespoke careers one-to-one sessions in the Faculty offered by SG Monday-Thursday.
A survey will be circulated at the end of the academic year to assess the student satisfaction with this
new provision.
4.2
Student Law Society Committee: OT reported that a new Student Law Society Committee had
just been elected into post. She took the opportunity to thank the outgoing committee members for
their excellent work and the exceptional number and breadth of events and student activities
organised during 2011-12 and to congratulate them on their success in Mooting and other
competitions. She also expressed gratitude for their engagement in a healthy dialogue with the and
hope that an equally collaborative relationship can be developed with the new committee.
5. International Student Barometer
OT presented the Student Barometer and International Student Barometer (SBISB 2011-12) data,
thanked the student body for taking part in this survey and placed emphasis on its usefulness to the
Faculty, particularly as compared to the NSS.
The data relating to learning satisfaction was reviewed and the Faculty’s particularly strong
performance and improvement in the quality of lectures, academic course content, organisation and
smooth running of courses and virtual learning environment, which exceeded both the UCL and the
UK averages, were noted. Reference was made to the Faculty’s successful implementation of the
minimum Moodle requirements in all courses as a possible explanation for the high satisfaction rate
for virtual learning environments. Concerns were raised by the Faculty’s performance in relation to
Learning Support/ Getting Time from Academic Staff, which is considerably lower than UCL and the
national average. It is hoped that the implementation of the Student Hours policy will help improve
this. It was noted that satisfaction rates relating to coursework feedback remain higher than elsewhere
in UCL but still below the national average despite the introduction of the student feedback form and it
was agreed that we should continue monitoring this closely.
It was also noted that the Barometer also indicated that the top three decision-making criteria of
applicants choosing UCL Laws were teaching quality, Institutional/Qualification/ Departmental
reputation and rankings and that 56% of students were influenced in their decision to choose UCL
Laws by friends (who were/had been students here). The quality of the student experience was
therefore of paramount importance in terms of recruitment.
6. Laws Annual Monitoring Report 2010-11
The Laws Annual Monitoring Report was considered. It was felt that the comment in section C as to
there being “nothing that can be done about these (library) problems” was inappropriate and that
mention should at least be made of the Faculty’s attempts to secure further library resources. The
indication in part B of the Student Evaluation questionnaires section that there were no key strengths
in the Faculty’s teaching was considered odd and the student representatives confirmed that positive
comments had been made about the Faculty’s practices during the evaluation exercise.
ACTION POINT: OT to communicate comments to Professor Rob Chambers, the author of the report.
7. Student Issues
7.1
Jurisprudence essay – NG reported that there did not appear to be any standardised guidance
on quantity or quality of feedback provided by Jurisprudence essay supervisors and that students
were unclear as to what their expectations should be or disgruntled as to the variance in feedback
quantity.
ACTION POINT: OT to discuss the matter with the course convenor and ensure that guidance is
issued to individual supervisors .
7.2
European Union Law and Human Rights LLB Module – RM expressed concerns that students
were not clear about the exam format in this subject. OT explained that this was the first year in which
the course had been run but that email communications and Moodle postings had been sent to all
students by both the EU Law convenor in the first term and the Human Rights convenor clarifying the
format of the exam.
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Staff Student Consultative Committee