What change based on student feedback do you think has made the biggest impact on our students’ experience?
Adam: In addition to Scrap the Cap, our swift response to the cost-of-living crisis made a significant difference with support available for a range of circumstances. We launched the King’s Student App in 2022, which is improving how we communicate with students. We’ve listened to concerns from students about timetabling, assessment and feedback and are investing in improving these areas.
Steven: Recognising the stressors affecting students' mental health. A 2019 UK government report found the number of students in higher education experiencing mental health problems has doubled since 2014/2015. Situations like the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis have exacerbated challenges students can face. King’s’ investment in wellbeing services and reducing counselling wait times significantly impacts their experience and engagement, and need the assurance from their university that support is available to them at the right time.
Are there other ways you’ll be working closely together?
Adam: One of the main ways is the Student Success Transformation Programme. This is the central investment programme from which all our improvements to the student experience are being made. KCLSU are partnering with us to shape this. Another is our estates master planning work and placing the student voice at the centre of our continued enhancement of both physical and digital space.
Steven: The cornerstone of our collaboration is the Student Voice Partnership, ensuring students’ voices are central to both King’s and KCLSU’s decisions. We’re planning regular dialogue and projects with teams across the university to keep student perspective at the front and centre of every decision that is taken. Together, we aim to shape an environment that truly aligns with student needs and lets them exercise their voice through refined representation practices.
Will students see a difference in their experience during their time at King’s and what might that look like?
Adam: Absolutely! During their time with us, students can expect their timetables to be available more quickly and with greater accuracy, more content on our Student App, and improvements in communications between academics and students. While some projects in our Transformation Programme may take time, others should be swift, and we want to share progress with you, so you know we’re listening and acting on the feedback you’re giving us.
Steven: Certainly. Students will notice the outcomes as we enhance their voice, representation and visibility at King’s. Our student and academic representatives ensure feedback and insights are taken through university governance and prioritised during decision making with the College Council. Our goal is for every student journey at King's to be enriched, responsive, and reflective of their feedback, so they have a high-quality experience at King’s.
How can students make their voices heard now?
Steven: As a membership-led organisation, KCLSU works with the student body and funds them to develop their own campaigns to help support their community. Any student can sign up to our monthly Students for Change: Campaigning Workshop (kclsu.org), which equips them with the resources and tools to make a change. Beyond campaigns, our student voice activities include work and ideas from Elections, Volunteering and widening the participation of the student community. Make Change (kclsu.org)
Adam: In addition to engaging with KCLSU via Steven and his team of Sabbatical Officers, you can share feedback with your course representatives, through module evaluations or by talking with your tutors and support staff. If you are a final year undergraduate, I hope you will take the time to complete the NSS when it opens in January 2024. 70% of our students responded in 2023, but we’d like to hear from even more of you. Likewise, for our postgraduate taught students – we hope you’ll complete the PTES when it opens in Spring 2024 – as your feedback is truly the most powerful tool for change.
I'll also be holding sessions on campus to hear directly from you about your experiences and share how we’re turning your feedback into action. I hope you’ll be able to join me at one of these events during this academic year.