Department of Economics
Departmental Staff-Student Consultative Committee (DSSCC) Meeting
Wednesday 09 March 2016 – Minutes
Student Members Present:
Andreas Charisiadis (Economics, Year 1)
Niranjan Bhardwaj (Economics, Year 1)
Abdul Ilyas (Econ/Stats Year 2)
Victoria Kongoasa (Economics, Year 3)
Alexandra Terizakis (Econ/Geog Year 3)
Dhesh Padiachey (Economics with a Year Abroad, Year 4)
Staff Members Present:
Viv Crockford (BSc Programme Administrator)
Martin Cripps (Deputy Head of Department)
Cloda Jenkins (Senior Teaching Fellow)
Valerie Lechene (BSc Director)
Paula Moore (Secretary)
Christian Spielmann (Senior Teaching Fellow)
Frank Witte (Chair)
Houda Nait el Barj (Economics with a Year Abroad, Year 1)
Kin Kwan Kenneth Fung (Economics, Year 2)
James Yan (Phil/Econ Year 3)
Balli Sarkaria (UG Teaching & Learning Administrator)
Welcome and Introduction
FW opened the meeting.
Minutes of the Meeting held on Wednesday 18 November 2015
The minutes of the meeting were approved.
Matters Arising
NSS Completion Rates – VC circulated a table of responses to date and summarised
the department’s position of 55.6% as very close to the final response rate in 2015
and higher than the position at this time last year. It was noted that an email from the
Head of Department had prompted a high number of submissions and a prompt from
StARs to their peers had also produced a surge in responses. It was agreed that
further targeting would be necessary in order to reach a submission rate of 75%.
Action: staff and students to continue to encourage completion of the survey.
Research Based Education – FW updated the committee on the proposal for 3rd
years and mentioned discussion was in progress. Following this there would be an
update and information posted on Moodle along with a request for feedback from
students which would then be brought to the SSCC and Departmental Teaching
Committee (DTC) for further consultation.
No further matters arose from the minutes.
Course Evaluation Questionnaires (Term 1)
VC circulated and explained a summary table of results. It was noted that the
department had experimented in methods of gathering data (short v long, Moodle v
Opinio and electronic v paper-based questionnaires) in order to discover which were
most likely to improve response rates. It was noted that this issue had also been
discussed and followed up on at the last DTC meeting.
Annual Student Experience Review (ASER)
VC invited comments on the ASER summary (circulated prior to the meeting). VL
commented that many positive changes had resulted from the process and cited the
interactive teaching strategies developed by teaching fellows as an example. No
further comments arose.
External Examiner Reports
MC gave a brief summary and related that excessive noise during examinations had
been recognised as an issue and been taken into account. The External Examiners
are in approval of the standards and competencies to which examinations processes
are carried out in the department.
MC continued with a brief explanation of the role of External Examiners in the UCL
Examination system.
AT enquired as to whether it were possible for students on the
Economics/Geography programme to receive results for their Economics modules at
the same time as other students of Economics, rather than later as has been the
case in the past. VC explained that it was the responsibility of students’ home
department (in this case Geography) as to when to release the grades.
Action: students to enquire at the Department of Geography as to whether
results for Economics modules can be released more timely.
Student Matters
Scheduling issues – AI raised the issue of problem sets for ECON2001 and
ECON2004 being required ahead of the corresponding lectures. VK – added there
were scheduling issues also with ECON3020 where tutorial classes were held in
advance of lectures covering corresponding material. She suggested a possible
solution would be to hold a tutorial class during the Easter break or at the beginning
of Term 3. FW confirmed that regulations would not permit this. Discussion
followed. CJ commented that tutorial-based-learning was different to classes
covering problem sets for which it was more efficient to cover material in advance.
Action: Student members to email the lecturer and FW with specific instances
regarding scheduling issues; FW to suggest possible solutions to lecturers
(such as switching lectures with demonstrations with the effect of frontloading
Online forum – NB asked for an update on the online forum - an issue discussed at
an informal meeting – FW confirmed it was still at discussion stage and there would
need to follow a consultation with the Post Graduate Teaching Assistants (PGTAs)
and then the DTC.
Exam timetable – DP enquired as to when students could expect to receive the exam
timetable. It was confirmed the timetable was not yet available and that the
department is under strict instructions not to publish any information until finalised.
Class photo - VK enquired as to whether there would be a 2015/16 class photo for
finalists. It was confirmed a date would need to be set.
Action: date and time to be communicated to students as soon as available.
Any Other Business
DTC minutes – FW requested that minutes from the most recent DTC (excluding
restricted business) be available at the next meeting and as a standing item on the
SSCC agenda.
Action: secretary to ensure item is included on next agenda.
Final meeting – VK mentioned that this was the final SSCC meeting for year 3 and 4
representatives and expressed thanks to members AT & DP and to the committee
overall for providing a platform for feedback and change. Thanks reciprocated by all.
Change-makers – CJ highlighted that there were two projects ongoing at the
moment: 1) Year 1 assessment; 2) Years 2 & 3 careers and skills. Surveys would be
emailed to students (via Moodle) and co-operation in completing them would be
Meeting closed.
Date of Next Meeting: Wednesday 16 November 2016.