De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s latest Course Rep of the Month has spoken about how she has helped represent her fellow students.
Maheen Saif, a third-year Healthcare Science (Audiology) student, has been named as the latest Course Rep of the Month – an award open to all 655 Course Reps at De Montfort University (DMU).
Course Reps are the vital link between students and their lecturers, and are responsible for letting academics know about the key issues that students face.
Maheen, who has been a Course Rep since her first year at DMU, explained: “When I started in my first year, there weren’t really any major problems. But in our second year it was really messed up; two modules were delayed, there were last minute cancellations and it was basically all over the place.
“But we took the feedback from the students, put it to the programme leaders and they took it onboard to fix the problems.”
There have been other wins, too. As a nursing course, Maheen’s programme runs from July until April – though this can cause problems with finding accommodation for placements.
“Once you found out where you were working, you technically only had two months to sort accommodation,” she said. “Over the past year I took the feedback and put it to the programme leaders again.
“The university now pay [an amount towards] accommodation and travel expenses. We also get £100 in our final year for employability expenses like traveling to interviews.
“I think it is really good that we have been able to put students’ views to [the programme leaders] and they have taken all that onboard. Everyone on my course is so happy.”
This isn't the first time that Maheen's work has been recognised; she was also named as Action Deafness' Volunteer of the Year in 2016.
And Maheen has encouraged any DMU student to become the representative for their course.
“You can make such a massive difference in both the university and to yourself,” she explained. “At the end of the day we are paying to be here, so it make sense to make the most of every opportunity!
“I think it’s all about recognising where the gaps are and working as a team in putting those points across.”
Augustus Mbanasor, DP Education at DSU, said: “Course Rep of the Month is a way of recognising Course Reps who have stood out throughout the month, submitted wins or have made a genuine impact that has bettered the university experience for the students that they represent.
“I have named Maheen as the latest Course Rep of the Month because she managed to submit three wins in November; which included the introduction of a new lecturer for a module on her course.
“Being able to stand up and voice concerns is exactly what being a Course Rep is all about, and that is what Maheen has done.”
To find out more about becoming a Course Rep, click here. If you are a Course Rep and want to report a ‘win’ from your programme, you can use the form here.