Postgraduate- September Activity Report

The month involved a variety of different activities across advocacy, play, and voice based issues. Key touchpoints for student engagement were the USASA 21st and PG induction, which both gave an opportunity to connect with the wider student body. Additionally, the CISA event was a highlight, and demonstrated the need to give equal focus to international students on campus.

25/08/15 – STUDENT FOLLOW UP

A student emailed regarding academic issue, responded via email.

Recommendation

N/A

3/09/15 – STUDENT ADVOCACY ISSUE

Met with a student regarding and academic issue. From speaking with the student they were harshly treated by one of the university staff, so we discussed the issue, and did a handshake with Michelle from Advocacy who was very helpful and supportive. There were several emails back and forward during the process.

Recommendation

N/A

4/09/15 – BOARD MEETING/REVIEW PAPERS

Reviewed board papers for the upcoming meeting, several important issues were on the table including the presentation of the paper I’d been working with USASA on regarding student representation on boards. The board approved the proposal with further work to be done.

Recommendation

N/A

11/09/15 – EMAILS/LOGISTICS FOR THE POSTGRADUATE INDUCTION

Several emails back and forward in regards to setting up the postgraduate induction. Attempts were made to get USASA material in the gift packs however this came to no avail.

Recommendation

N/A

 

17/09/15 – USASA Birthday Party

Attended the USASA 21st party. The event was well organized and attended, and it was great to be able to continue to engage with students involved with USASA.

Recommendation

N/A

 

16/09/15 – OUT OF SESSION APPROVAL UNI COUNCIL

An out of session approval came through for University Council, which for the first time I disagreed with a proposal that came through. Without going into details about the issue itself, the decision came to council about being recommended by the awards committee at UniSA so my position was widely against the popular trend. It created some stir, with a number of council members sending personal messages, while some voicing their protest publically.

Recommendation

N/A

 

18/09/15 – Meeting with Chancellor

Following my recommendation against the proposal sent to staff, the Chancellor asked to meet and we had a lunch time session together to discuss the issue. It was a robust discussion and good to spend time with Ian.

Recommendation

N/A

 

19/09/15 – Follow up with process for divisional boards

Ongoing discussions with Jason about progressing the student placement on divisional board initiative.

Recommendation

 

20/09/15 – English standards for PhDs

Online discussion with other board members about English level standards for PhD students. The issue is a valid one raised by Anthony Hooper, which is particularly important for PhD programs with heavy written components. There are several ‘flaws’ in the current system – the first being that many international PhD students upon their application to UniSA are submitting heavily edited written pieces in their application. This skews the assessment process for UniSA staff and is therefore difficult to manage.

Recommendation

n/a

 

21/09/15 – Exam Supervision Jobs for PhDs

Several job roles arose for exam supervision which I posed on the relevant PG Facebook pages. The positions went within a few hours.

Recommendation

n/a

 

28/09/15 – PG Induction

Attended the PG induction and gave a presentation about what USASA does. The presentation slot was just under 10 minutes, and it was good to be able to mingle with new PG’s after the presentation.

Recommendation

It’s essential that the next PG representative continues to engage in the induction process. It’s a key touchpoint for the PG community, and it’s important to keep connected to this.

28/09/15 – CISA Dinner

Attended the CISA dinner to see what CISA was doing and engage with the international student community. The international student community is close to my heart, as the majority of the PG students I work with and I myself, are internationals. Lenny Ho did a great job in facilitating the event.

I did however have concern over one of the speakers – whose argument basically was that because the international student market was so large (she kept quoting $18 billion I believe), that universities should listen to ‘us’ internationals – therefore we need to make noise because they don’t consider us. I think it was a negative tone, and from sitting on multiple levels of the university don’t see that the wider university is ‘anti-internationals’ at all, however there is a disproportionate focus on local students. These types of arguments; which to be honest will be found in all ‘advocacy’ type groups, I don’t see will ever help – and if we want to get involved more with groups like CISA then our USASA reps need to be sure to keep these views in check.

Overall however, it was a good event and generally support what CISA is doing.

Recommendation

It’s important that USASA gives relative weighting to international students, and CISA is a way in which this can be done.

 

28/09/15 – Jobs from Career Hub

Posted jobs that came through career hub to the relevant Facebook pages.

Recommendation

n/a

Continuous activity

Preparation of activity report

University Council obligations

USASA board meeting

Regular career updates

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