One of the key strategic projects outlined in our 2020/21- 2024/25 Access and Participation Plan was the creation of a Student Expert Panel as a means to strengthening our commitment to moving from a culture of consultation through to true partnership, and developing a more systematic approach to listening to student stories. The University of York has a strong culture of representing the student voice across all areas of the institution and all stages of the student lifecycle. As a university, we understand the importance of giving our students a voice and acknowledge that if we have a better understanding of the lived experiences of different groups of students we will be better placed to create more effective mechanisms to try to tackle the existing gaps in student access, success and progression.
The Student Expert Panel is a collaboration between the University, YUSU and the GSA and the first group were recruited in November 2019. Since then, the Panel has expanded and is now made up of around 20 undergraduate, postgraduate, home and international students from a diverse range of backgrounds.
The Panel is an important source of advice and challenge for the University as a whole, but particularly in relation to its access and participation and EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) work. The Panel acts as a ready-made, diverse focus group and is also proactive in the creation of its own priorities and projects.
The Student Expert Panel are able to provide student insight to colleagues across the University when developing new initiatives, and reflecting upon or evaluating existing interventions. By engaging with the Panel you will be better able to ensure that diverse student interests and views are considered in your decision-making and day to day work.
Examples of projects and engagement:
- Co-creation of the Represent York Symposium events designed to facilitate conversations surrounding race, racism and anti-racism on campus
- Focus group on UTC's interdepartmental/cross faculty work lead by Barry Lee
- Consultation on the key objectives for the University strategy
- Development of content for the Next Steps to University MOOC with Lifelong Learning
- Members of the central Admissions' Contextual Offer Making Transitions Working Group
- Members of the University's Access, Success and Progression Steering and Delivery Groups
- Interview panellists for the recruitment of the Academic Liaison Librarian and Inclusive Learning Adviser
- Members of the new Schools EDI working group
- Consultation with the Study Abroad team regarding the University's proposal to the Turing Scheme
- Focus group with Careers and Placements to consider the impacts of Covid-19 on student employability and opportunities