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Postgraduates are set to have their own space in the library, LUSU’s Vice President has told SCAN.
Joe O’Neill, the LUSU Vice President (Education) has revealed to SCAN that a postgraduate study space will be built into the library following its £15 million refurbishment. The current plans are for the space to have provision for 30 students at any given time, though there is scope to expand this should demand require it.
There have also been discussions over undergraduate access to the study space during the exam period, though at the time SCAN went to print O’Neill was unable to confirm this. “It was felt that if it was sufficiently warranted, the space could be opened up for that period of time” O’Neill said. “Though it must be stressed nothing on that side of things has yet been 100% decided.”
Talks are also underway to try to gain a social space on main campus for postgraduate students, as well as plans for more “academically social” events specifically for postgraduates. Ideas include a “research student coffee morning” to allow postgraduate students to network and socialise with their peers. With many postgraduate students living off campus, Grad Bar is not considered sufficient as it is so far from where most postgraduates study.
Other areas under discussion by the Postgraduate Board, LUSU Council and Academic Council include allowing more postgraduate students to join sports clubs. While efforts by LUSU have prevented the University from scheduling lectures or seminars for undergraduates on a Wednesday afternoon – allowing these students to take part in the sports clubs and societies which tend to regularly meet or compete at this time – this is not the case for postgraduates. Sports clubs and societies are considered by the Union as a good way for students to get involved in University life. Erica Lewis, who sits on the LUSU Trustee Board and is helping to work on several of these initiatives, told SCAN: “postgraduates cannot often join sports clubs, or go to [University] Senate if they want to, because classes get in the way.”