Talking Heads

Source: Cardiff Students' Union

By Cerian Jones

Jackie Yip is the Vice President Education, one of 7 elected officers chosen by you – the students of the University. She represents all 31,000 students on academic interests and leads the 1000 academic reps.

This week I had the opportunity to chat with her about her role as VP. Yip takes pride in her role as well as her achievements, as she defines her job as a collaboration with the university and the students:

“With the help of students, their feedback and my own ideas, I lobby and work with with the university to achieve what the students want. This has included opening the ASSL 24h and increasing the book loan allowances from 15 to 35. These are just a few things that have been achieved through the power of the student voice in collaboration the VP education and the university. I am a trustee of the Union and University which means I have a huge say in the running of both organisations and I ensure students are the heart of everything we do!”

I was really interested to find out what pushed you to apply for the role,

“I was petrified when I came to university as are most new students! And the beginning of my uni journey was either I sink or swim. I was lucky and I made the best friends I could have possibly made, I was happy on my course and everything that came with it. University allowed me thrive and I wanted to give something back from this. To ensure all students coming to the university for the first time would know that it would all be okay and that no matter where you come from, from whatever background, you can thrive here.”

Tell me a bit about yourself, what do you do in your free time?

“I studied music here so I love playing the piano whenever I can, I still sing in the university choir and play in the university brass band! I also enjoy practising yoga with the society in my spare time which is perfect after a long day at the office.”

What are your aims/goals for the year in regards to the university and its students?

“I aim to personalise the student journey as much as possible. Making sure students are empowered to explore beyond the parameters of a classroom and get involved in everything the university has to offer. Whether you go abroad during your studies, you learn new skills in our skills development hub or you consider running for a role like mine!”

Some of our readers were interested on whether you’ve made any progress regarding ending 0% late submission marking?

“It is still an ongoing debate I have with the university. It’s a question of balancing our need to prepare our students for the real world in terms of meeting deadlines balanced with the necessity of penalising students for being only minutes late in some cases

Do you think students are adequately informed of who you are and what you’re doing?

“I think it’s very difficult for students to fully comprehend what we do and I endeavour to be more transparent. It’s incredibly important for me that students know the extent to which I can influence the university on their behalf and things I already do to ensure our students are the foundation of everything we do. I welcome students to be more inquisitive and curious with my role, I would love to share all the amazing things I do to benefit the student experience.”

And finally do you think students are engaged enough or could more be done?

“There is always room for more engagement! Students can truly be involved in every level of the union and University and we welcome that. We want the fresh and innovative ideas from the leaders and role models of the future.”

Jackie Yip, as well as the other VPs are situated on the third floor of the SU and love hearing suggestions and questions from students. It’s incredibly important to know what the people that represent you do to improve your experience at university.

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