1. What do students need to know about Programme Review?
I think students need to know what the purpose of the review is, so they understand what problems could potentially be addressed through it e.g. diversification of assessment and the curriculum. After this, they need to know what the process for review is and the different ways that they can inform it.
2. How are the School and the Students’ Union working together?
There are two ways in which the School and SU are working together on this. First, I sit on the programme review team and can feed directly into what is going on. For instance, when the templates for the review was sent around I was able to give my thoughts on it at an early stage. It also means I am directly kept in the loop.
Second, as part of this, there are programme review teams consisting of students. We helped the School by reaching out to students we thought would be interested in this opportunity, such as SSLC reps and Academic Board reps.
3. What have you learned from being involved so far?
I have learned that people at LSE do genuinely care about the students and are doing what they can in their respective roles to support them. For example, the people in the programme review team have put in countless hours and late nights to create a review document, and guidance, that works.
They have consulted widely, taken these comments on board, and adapted things accordingly to ensure that departments are supported enough to be able to deliver on this. It isn’t just this team, but they are one example of the many people that students will never have contact with, but who are working really hard to help them.
4. What do you hope Programme Review will achieve?
I hope programme review leads to greater diversity in assessment and in the curriculum. University is the time in which you develop a huge range of skills that will support you in whatever you choose to do after graduation, but that is not currently the case for many students. I think diversity in assessment will serve to make students more excited about their education because they are able to explore concepts and ideas in new ways.
If it leads to diversity in the curriculum, this would also be great because LSE is an international university and the curriculum should reflect that. Moreover, the diversity in the curriculum will lead to greater diversity of thought which can only be a good thing.
5. Why should students get involved in Programme Review?
Programme review is a really good opportunity for students to find out why their courses are structured the way they are and have faculty in their departments explain what outcomes they think students then get. It also means that if students are dissatisfied with the justifications offered, they have a means of forcing through change that is more reflective of what they want.
For example, if they are primarily assessed by exams, it would give them an opportunity to explain why other forms of assessment, such as a video, or long essay or presentation, would be better for that course. It’s also a chance for students to really consider what their education currently looks like and whether that is what they expected when they came to university. Students who are involved are also gaining incredible skills, such as in methodology, that they will be able to use later in life.