Amy Fox

Writer. Editor. Bad at blogging.

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Concrete: First years to receive Higher Education Achievement Report

Students starting UEA this year will be the first to graduate with a Higher Education Achievement Report (Hear) alongside their degree qualification.

The Hear takes many different aspects of students’ time at UEA into account. This includes a breakdown of all modules taken across the degree, including retakes, but will also acknowledge awards, extracurricular activities and sports achievements which have been verified by the University.

The report will be an electronic document which follows a standard format across all of the 109 universities who have already signed up to adopt the system.

Students will be able to view the report throughout their degree, with a view to encourage them to stay motivated and start thinking about employability as soon as possible. In a blog post for the Guardian, University of Leicester professor Bob Burgess, chair of the steering group introducing the Hear, said: “At a time when students have just started to pay higher fees, the Hear is a clear example of how universities can provide greater value. For employers, it offers the chance to see in more detail what students have achieved at university and make comparisons between job applicants.”

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Concrete: Students protest outside David Willetts lecture

Words: Amy Adams and Oliver Balaam.

Universities minister David Willetts was met with strong opposition by students when he visited UEA to give a lecture on philosophy and government. A protest, organised by undergraduate Cal Corkery and approved by the Union of UEA Students (UUEAS), gathered outside the lecture theatres half an hour before the event began. Corkery, along with UUEAS officers Meg Evans, Matt Myles, Tash Ross, and postgraduate officer and president of the GSA John Taylor, met with Willetts prior to the event to ask questions directly.

Speaking to Concrete after the event, communications officer Matt Myles said: “It was good. We didn’t expect to change his mind but we did expect to get our points across, which I think we did really well. We informed him of the motion of no confidence and we challenged him on A B margins and bidding systems as well as research frameworks.”

Corkery added: “We obviously understood that we weren’t going to get any concessions or major slip ups from him but we put across the views of UEA students pretty well, which is all we set out to do.”

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Concrete: Survey snubs hubs

The hubs, which were introduced in September 2011, have received mixed feedback throughout the year. Most of the concerns surrounded the lack of receipts in the new system, and the time taken for work to be returned.

The survey revealed that 83.4% of students would prefer a receipt when coursework is handed in to protect against potential losses. While students are able to check receipt of their coursework on E:Vision, for most this does not appear to be enough. Overall, 60.2% said that their study support experience was made either worse or “a lot worse”, with 26.5% saying that it saying it had not changed.

Commenting on the results, UUEAS academic officer Meg Evans told Concrete: “The hub survey has produced some very interesting figures and comments from students. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be analysing the results, writing to the University and lobbying for the changes that students want to see.”

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