Student Reps are the voice of the students on their course or in their research group. They provide a vital link between the student body, the University and the Students' Union and they work hard to make sure that student opinions are heard, and teaching and learning experiences for the students they represent are as rewarding as possible.
As a Student Rep, you’ll attend meetings at Programme, School and Faculty level to ensure representation is embedded at every level of decision making within the University. This allows you, as a student, to play an active role in shaping the delivery of your education.
You’ll probably be asked to attend around 4-5 committee meetings a year. You’ll be expected to spend time preparing for these meetings by speaking to your fellow students to ask for their comments and views.
There’ll also be lots of other opportunities to get involved in additional projects and consultations - so the amount of time you spend working as a Rep can vary depending on your other commitments, your passion and desire to engage. For example some of the projects Student Reps have been involved with recently include wellbeing events for research students, a housing advice event for students in University accommodation and a nationally recognised campaign on “Fairer Funding for Nursing Students”.
Student Reps come in all shapes and size - whether you’re a passionate campaigner with strong views about higher education or a real people person with a commitment to student wellbeing and engagement you can have a real impact.
You need to be a good communicator in order to gain feedback from those you represent and to present ideas and feedback to committees, have organisational skills to manage meetings around your other commitments, and a positive and creative approach to problem-solving to work with University staff to deliver the best for students.
You will join a committed and enthusiastic community of over 1000 Student Reps working to make the University of Manchester a better place to study. Our newly created society for Student Reps (RepSoc) provides opportunities for Reps to socialise and share ideas.
You’ll also get the opportunity to engage with some interesting projects across the Union and University and further afield - recently we have offered places for NUS Course Rep Conference and a ‘Women in Leadership’ event.
You’ll be invited to attend a variety of training workshops to support your development - including sessions on Personal Effectiveness and Meetings, Public Speaking, Canvassing Student Opinion and an Introduction to Campaigning.
My name is Snehalatha Padavala, and I am currently pursuing an MSc in Corporate Communications and Reputation Management. I am from India, and have completed an undergraduate degree in Journalism, Psychology and English.
I have been a student representative since October 2015, and it has been an incredible journey so far. I decided to be a student rep because I believe that representing a multicultural class is a wonderful learning experience, and I enjoy taking on responsibility. The most fulfilling aspect of my role is that it provides me the opportunity to interact with individuals belonging to diverse backgrounds, and in turn open my mind to different perspectives. I am very grateful for this experience as I am relatively introverted, and it has definitely helped me step out of my comfort zone.
Towards the end of our first semester, our class was informed that an important course module will no longer be available the following semester. We were extremely shocked on hearing this as many of us had decided to study at Manchester Business School due to the availability of this module, and had made this explicitly clear during the application process. With the Student Union’s support, my fellow student rep Tom and I secured 57 signatures out of a class of 60 on our petition. Following several meetings, we managed to prevent the module’s closure. Although it was rather stressful at the time, in retrospect, I am glad I had this experience as it not only allowed me to put theory into practice, but also proved that half the battle is won with perseverance.