MEET YOUR CANDIDATES: Education Officer candidate Stephanie Koennecker

Stephanie Koennecker

Why are you running for election this year?

I’m running because academics and education is something I feel strongly about and I also think it would help to enhance my career prospects. I have a lot of experience in the university with a number of personal setbacks which upset my education so I’m hoping that my experience will help and that I can pass on my experience to students.

What is the one thing you are hoping to achieve as Education Officer over everything else?

Well, I would say the one thing I am hoping to achieve is to help improve the quality of teaching and the academic and educational facilities in the university.

Can you briefly outline the other key points in you manifesto?

From talking to a number of students on the concourse, some of the issues they brought up concerned a proper qualification for fully-trained lab assistants, and more power sockets in the library, particularly on the top floor. There’s the need to look into the situation of off-campus exams and exam buses; I have been told by a number of students that while the buses are available, you have to pay for them and they can be overcrowded and this can be a problem. I want to investigate more into the BA Connect scenario which I will touch on later.

How will you communicate with students who may have problems with their course or with their grants?

Well I have been on this side myself with a number of personal issues and so if a student came to me with an issue to do with their course, I would arrange to meet with them and discuss it with them and advise them in every way that I can. And if necessary liaise with their lecturer regarding personal problems. I would take every issue that would come to me, that they bring, seriously and I would look into it.

How will you strengthen the communication between students and their lecturers and encourage students to express issues that they may have?

I would promote the importance of encouraging students to talk to lecturers and to make people aware of it. Perhaps arrange staff and student liaison meetings across different departments. And I would also pass on the message to class reps to encourage people.

Do you have any opinion on the BA Connect where a full year of college, including placements and modules, doesn’t go towards final grade students receive?

I don’t think it’s good that a full year doesn’t count towards the final degree grade because work placements are very important for students to gain work experience that could lead to a job upon graduation. So it doesn’t seem fair to me that a whole year of college, including work placements and modules does not count towards the final grade.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

This might be of relevance –  I was a mentor to first year students for two years so I am aware of the number of many issues that students face during the course of their education. Particularly with first years adjusting to college life. The transition from school to college must be the big one and many students can face a number of issues so as a mentor, I was often asked questions by students on various issues. I’ve also experienced a number of setbacks in my own education which had an effect. As the Education officer I hope I can bring this experience to help with their own education.

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