We are listening to you!

We look back at a few of the highlights of the academic year so far and a few of the changes that have been implemented as a direct result of student feedback.

We are very proud to say that the Kennedy Building is the home of Economics. It is a fantastic, modern building, with numerous social and study spaces to help build our community. We hope you consider it your learning home. We wanted to lean into this virtue and encourage the use of the Kennedy Foyer for some relaxed study or a bit of group work, and so we introduced the Kennedy Lending Library, including copies of The Economist, as requested by Student Representatives, and donated by members of the academic faculty.

‘We wanted to give an opportunity to our students to borrow various economics textbooks while working at Kennedy. Many faculty members donated their textbooks to the library at Kennedy, and we are able to cover core textbooks of the many economics modules. We are hoping to extend the coverage of the books to encompass the textbooks of all economics modules.’ School library lead Dr Ilhan Guhner told us.

We’ve also launched some new incentives for students embarking on their dissertations. The Digital Resources Directory has been put together by our Divisional Liaison Librarian Andy Prue especially for economics students.

‘We wanted to create such a list for a long time because it is helpful both for students looking for dissertation topics and also for academics when students approach them with a specific topic. Moreover, it is a community resource that keeps growing because both students and supervisors can suggest other freely available datasets to complete it. For example, this morning a student suggested the Uganda Bureau of Statistics and I have invited academic colleagues to suggest other datasets too. Hence, I am convinced that this list is going to grow.’ Dr Adelina Gschwandtner told us ‘Just write an email to me or Andy and he will add it to the list.’

We were also thrilled to launch the Kent Economics Graduate Research Journal, which is a repository that showcases the great research work which the University of Kent’s Economics undergraduates produce in their final year.

‘This first issue of the Kent Economics Undergraduate Research Journal features contributions from 14 of the final year dissertation students from the class of 2022.  Papers were chosen for inclusion because of their clear merit, based on objectivity and quality of the work and the intellectual novelty displayed in the work.’ Professor Alastair Bailey and Dr Amanda Gosling explained in their editorial.

We really hope you find these resources inspiring and helpful as you approach this culminating part of your degree.

Our School and the (three times) award-winning Economics society have always worked closely together, and we support them to run student-led events within the School. This has led to events that represent the discipline and your range of interests within it. These events include the annual Economics Society Summit, the upcoming trip to Westminster, the Kennedy Casino night as well as more regular talks such as the special session on the mini-budget.

Your voice has helped highlight the need for us to focus our attention on your wellbeing. We are continuing to run our regular weekly mindfulness drop-ins and 5 week course is returning this March, and we work closely with our Student Support team to ensure you have excellent pastoral care.

“Student Support really helped me to come back from intermission and transfer to a new course and School. I’ve had regular check-ins and support with filling out mitigation/extenuating circumstance documents throughout all three years and they’ve contacted my lecturers to find ways I can adapt my schedule to support my needs.” Student Feedback

We are always being asked to provide more opportunities for skills development or exam support, so we have improved and developed our offering from SLAS to meet your requirements and concerns, we’ve developed very well received exam preparation sessions, and last term was the launch of our new APM group study sessions, including support from SLAS and our Library Liaison to help you improve your referencing and make the most of library resources while you study.

The Student Voice Forums this year have been full of enthusiasm and activity, and we couldn’t end without mentioning the excellent speakers who have visited us such as Professor Jagjit Chadha, Director of NIESR, and visiting Kent alumna, now Senior Economist at the Bank of England, Dr Jack Meaning. The School has pushed for student concerns to be given rapid responses, with Moodle announcements being used to respond at a modular level. Over the last three years we have adapted our teaching and assessment to ensure a high quality of learning and your wellbeing, including additional support during exam revision. And we couldn’t end without mentioning the excellent speakers who have visited us such as Professor Jagjit Chadha Director of NIESR, and visiting from Kent alumnus, now Senior Economist at the Bank of England Dr Jack Meaning.

We couldn’t have focused on the changes you needed without hearing your feedback through, the various channels available to us, including the NSS and Student Voice Forums. So we asked one of your divisional reps to tell us about their experience so far this year.

What it means to you being a rep?

It means that I can have a platform to share concerns or proposals to improve our relationships with our professors and to do better in our modules.

How have you enjoyed the journey so far?

I have enjoyed it a lot since I met new people through being a rep, whom I can work together to help our fellow students.

What is the most rewarding experience, so far, being a rep?

The most rewarding experience for me personally is the opportunity to attend staff and academics meetings, where I can listen to various internal problems or suggestions and that way, I can understand better the situation and propose new effective solutions.

How did the Student Voice Forum go and what you feel it brings to the school community?

The Student Voice Forum went well and I appreciated the effort being put by our Student Experience Coordinators. They really care to listen to our feedback and they do try their best to make a change for the better! Without them it would have been really hard for our voices to be heard.

Do get in touch with our reps if you have any concerns or suggestions, consider becoming a rep yourself, and make sure you complete the NSS so that future students can continue to benefit from the feedback!

Find your reps here: Find My Rep | Kent Union

Complete the NSS here: National Student Survey : National Student Survey (thestudentsurvey.com)