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Caroline Arnold believes additional and hidden course costs is the most important education issue students face. She explains that “We need to lobby the University to publish course costs and to reduce some of the ones which are currently provided.
“Students shouldn’t be paying for field trips, they shouldn’t be paying for compulsory plays they need to see and the library loan system doesn’t reflect this either. We often force people to buy textbooks racking up costs of over £100.”
Arnold has held a number of positions across campus, including Representative for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Education and Welfare Officer at Furness College and currently Cross Campus Officer for Education. She stresses the need for video lecture capture, allowing students to catch-up on missed lectures.
“We do have facilities to do lecture capture…but it needs to be across courses. We need to have a resource that can be created for everyone to use. But also so that if people do have other responsibilities or disabilities that they can go back and see those lectures if they’ve been missed.”
Alongside tackling additional costs and video lecture capture, Arnold’s third priority is improving employability opportunities. “I don’t think we offer enough, I think careers fairs and careers workshops and that kind of thing aren’t specific enough to students a lot of the time.”
Arnold would address this by offering “an alternative to a careers fair and flip the tables and showcase our students to employers”. The benefits of this, Arnold says, would be “students get the chance to display their work and have experience in presenting it, building up those skills but also so that they are interacting with people in their area. I’d want to embed it in the careers service… [and] make it more specific in the departments.”
Library facilities are also on Arnold’s agenda. “We have 24 [opening] hours which is great but that makes the library open, it doesn’t make it better… it needs a lot of work still. We don’t have resources available to students that we should.” Furthermore, Arnold believes “We need to revise the loan system”
Current assessment and feedback systems are “not as good as they should be” and Arnold says “I’ve led campaigns last year on assessment and feedback and we’ve got a good amount of feedback from students on the quality and identified areas of issue that we need to address but it hasn’t properly been taken to the University yet.”
Furthermore, “I don’t feel that LUSU has always had academic experience at the top of its agenda”, claims Arnold, “For me it would be keeping the resources up, lobbying for more…and keeping the academic issues at the forefront of people’s minds so that even when people are dealing with other issues they are looking at the academic impact of it.”
Arnold says she has “passion and drive” and believes her unique selling point is that “it’s taking things back to student issues. It’s not me coming in and saying that is what I believe students’ issues are, I’ve gone out and spoken with people.”