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Morgan Saunders is highly informed about the government’s involvement in Higher Education and wants to utilize this detailed knowledge in the role of VP Education if he is successful.
When asked about his reasons for running for the role, he said: “Everybody at University wants to get the most out of their education. There have been some incredible changes implemented but there is still more we need to do as a Students’ Union”. Saunders told SCAN that he is passionate about student advocacy.
Saunders is a 2015 FST rep and a 2016 FASS rep which, he says, highlights his ability to organize. He says the academic rep system is “#SafewithSaunders”. He has also been on several committees at his time at University, such as Grad ball 2017, Roses 2015 and Cartmel College Extrav 2015 and the Intellectual Property Games 2015-present.
When asked about his unique selling point, Saunders said that he is someone who can stand up against the Higher Education and Research Bill. He argued that “people may think it is too late to make a difference. But there is still time to stop this bill”. He believes the Union should also lobby Lancaster to Freeze the Fees. He also said that he plans to consort ISS and introduce a ‘Contact your rep’ app on iLancaster, among many other things which are more detailed on his manifesto.
In addition, Saunders said he will set up a dedicated postgraduate FTO position if he is elected and also launch focus groups to support Postgraduate Research students where both Masters and PhD students can come together in order to address postgraduate issues.
When asked about the NSS Boycott and TEF rankings, Saunders said that he thinks the Union made the right decision in allowing students to have their own choice, as the student ultimately knows best. In regards to the TEF rankings, Saunders hopes that Lancaster University will get gold. However, he said that the rising tuition fees are not acceptable. He will combat this by setting up forums and conducting campus wide surveys to get their views.
Saunders’ manifesto states he will lobby the government to Freeze the Fees. When National Unions (such as NUS and UCU) have already lobbied the government with no success, SCAN asked why his lobbying would be any different. Saunders replied by saying that the problem was that pressure has been moved off the issue. He ensured however that “if students want more protests, I will personally book the buses and be outside of Westminster”.
He also mentioned introducing a peer mentoring scheme, which is a promise current President Rhiannon campaigned on. SCAN asked whether he knew the current progress towards this. Saunders replied that he believes Rhiannon has talked with faculties and it is currently in review. There are a few logistical issues with how they can fit this in with students’ timetables.
Saunders mentioned that he wants to include research skills in the Lancaster Award and said that by having it ingrained in the Lancaster Award, it can address A-Level transition.
Trivia: Saunders was aware of all the faculties on campus.