Reflecting on my experience as a University of London Student Voice Group member
BSc Computer Science student Caroline shares her experiences of being part of the Student Voice Group at the University of London.
Eager to contribute to the betterment of the student experience, I was thrilled to be chosen for the University’s Student Voice Group. The Student Voice Group comments and provides a student perspective on projects and ideas the University is developing and possesses an important advisory function to the University.
With an open mind, I delved into the group’s objectives and familiarised myself with its remit, fostered valuable connections and gained insights into the experiences of the diverse perspectives of fellow members. The inclusive atmosphere cultivated by both University staff and fellow students resonated deeply with me, creating a sense of belonging and fostering an open dialogue.
From September 2021 to September 2023, I actively participated in the group, relishing the opportunity to shape the student experience. I prepared for meetings, reviewed agenda materials and provided thoughtful feedback on policies and information pertaining to various aspects of student life. One of the most fulfilling aspects of my involvement was serving as a panellist for the University programme reviews and programme approval panels. Witnessing firsthand how the University valued student input and actively considered my suggestions instilled a sense of empowerment and encouragement for me to continue sharing my perspectives. Additionally, the feedback I received from senior leadership further enriched my understanding of the University's decision-making processes, bridging the gap between student voices and institutional governance.
As I embarked on my second year with the group, unforeseen circumstances presented a challenge. I was living in Sub Saharan Africa where we started experiencing severe electricity outages and loadshedding. With a heavy heart, I had to step back from my role as co-chair, unable to fulfil my responsibilities under these unforeseen constraints. At least I could continue serving as a member of the group.
Despite this setback, I look back on my time with the Student Voice Group with immense pride and gratitude. The opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, share my opinions and engage with a diverse range of stakeholders, including University staff and students, proved invaluable. I honed my collaborative skills, learning to effectively work with others to achieve common goals. Moreover, I gained a deeper understanding of the challenges and complexities involved in shaping the student experience, fostering empathy and appreciation for the dedication of those working to enhance student life.
The Student Voice Group provided a platform for me to contribute to the betterment of the student experience. The lessons I learned and the connections I forged will undoubtedly continue to enrich my personal and professional endeavours, empowering me to become a catalyst for positive change in future endeavours.
Caroline studies BSc Computer Science in South Africa.
Caroline Shamiso Chitongo, BSc Computer Science