Imperial College Union operates a Network of over 500 elected Academic Representatives across all Undergraduate and Postgraduate programs and research groups, led by your Deputy President (Education).
Your Reps are responsible for identifying issues affecting your learning, such as through collecting your comments and suggestions, which they then raise and work with relevant staff to address. They also work to proactively improve your learning experience and that of future students, by coming up with new ideas and sharing best practices from different parts of College that helps to shape the Union’s agenda.
With the introduction of new courses, changes in technology and teaching methods, and the ever increasing expectations of students, courses will always need to adapt over time. Listening to feedback from students and acting on this information ensures Imperial’s courses are the best they can be, and of the high quality that we expect from a world-leading institution.
Who are your Reps?
There are two main groups of Reps who make up the Union’s Postgraduate Rep Network :
- Your Local Reps who work to engage with staff on course- and Department-levels; the team includes your Reps at different levels for your MSc course or your MRes/PhD program, who are supported by your Deputy President (Education) and your GSU Academic & Welfare Officers
- Your Central Rep Team who work to engage with staff on Faculty- and College-levels; the team is led by your Deputy President (Education) and includes all GSU Academic & Welfare Officers across the College
There are also two main teams of Reps who make up the Union’s Undergraduate Rep Network:
- Your Local Rep Team who work to engage with staff on course- and Department-levels; the team is led by your Dep Rep(s) and includes your Year Reps, who are supported at all times by your Deputy President (Education) and your Academic (Affairs/Liaison) Officers
- Your Central Rep Team who work to engage with staff on Faculty- and College-levels; the team is led by your Deputy President (Education) and includes all Academic (Affairs/Liaison) Officers across the College
You can find all your Reps by searching for your course or research group on the A-Z . Alternatively check the side bar on the ‘Your Union’ section of the website (once logged on), where your Reps’ names will be displayed.
What can Academic Representatives help with?
- Assessment issues e.g. examination timings, coursework feedback
- General learning experience e.g. workload, availability of staff support
- People identification e.g. finding appropriate contacts for personal issues
- Resource issues e.g. ICT provisions, eLearning, quality of learning space
- Anything else relating to your academic experience
“ I was year rep for my second and third years of my Physics degree and I really enjoyed it ”
Mariza, Academic Affairs Officer (2013/14)
I am unhappy about my learning (including research and facilities). What should I do?
Simply email any or all of your Local Reps for your Department . They will ensure that it is brought to the attention of staff, either at the Department’s Staff-Student Committee or directly if the problem is urgent.
Your Local Reps will also communicate regularly with your Central Reps about the state of your course and Department. Your Central Reps will escalate any issues that are persistent and which occur across a Faculty or the College to a high level. You do not need to do anything to make this happen, though you are welcome to contact your Central Reps if you feel it’s appropriate.
If you would like to make a formal complaint about a serious issue affecting your learning and that of your peers, you can contact any of your Central Reps directly.
If you want to talk to someone about a serious issue that’s only affecting you personally, don’t hesitate to contact the Union’s Advice Center as your first point-of-call. You can also contact any of your Central Reps who can direct you to people who can help you.
Any communication you have with your Reps is always anonymized, and we take breaches of confidentiality very seriously.
Do staff listen to students?
A phenomenal amount of change has happened over the years due to staff listening to student feedback.
Recent successes include:
- Removing programming coursework from the Year 2 Bioengineering course.
- Securing a new computer lab for Civil Engineering as part of the AMP project.
- Introducing a meet your marker scheme in Mathematics to improve coursework feedback.
- Extending the writing up period for PhDs to 12 months.
To see recent examples of changes made thanks to the academic representation network in your department see our You Said, We Did campaign.
But it takes years to change a course, facilities or staff – speaking up won’t help me.
A lot can be changed in a year. Whether it’s simply adjusting the air conditioning in the lecture theatre, or purchasing some new software for your department – changes can be made quickly.
Even if some changes can’t be made within the duration of your course, your voice will still help us improve your course and the College for the future. This will benefit you – it makes sure Imperial and your course or program remains the best of the best, and therefore protecting the value of your education in the eyes of your future employers.
Any other questions?
We're happy to answer any questions you have about your Reps and the Rep Network. Feel free to get in touch at any time with: