Collaboration, Innovation and Approachability at the heart of Partnership Agreement

By Ross Leven - 17 June 2021

RGU’s values are integral to the university’s core and are embedded in every aspect of the organisation.

Partnership is a crucial aspect of the student experience at RGU and is underpinned by the University’s values of Collaboration, Innovation and Approachability.

Whether it be teaching and learning, assessment and feedback, extracurricular activities or decisions around investment in the campus, an open dialogue between the University and the student body ensures that students’ priorities remain top of the agenda.

The Students’ Union and University work closely to facilitate a range of activities, events and projects that contribute to this partnership. Through the work of the student presidents and vice presidents, student school officers, class representatives, equality champions and student activity leaders, students help to shape the RGU and our community.

One key aspect of this close relationship between the University and RGU:Union is the Partnership Agreement. Each year both groups agree on a set of objectives that allow us to explore different topics together and develop ideas to deliver enhancements for the student experience.

A look back at the 2020/21 Partnership Objective:

Our objectives for last year was aimed at better understanding expectations relating to Equality, Tolerance and Respect and to build capacity for culture change within RGU. This took on special meaning and significance in the face of the pandemic and the events surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.

We took several meaningful actions to meet the aims and objectives through the year. Early in the year we supported the establishment of the student-led Black Liberation Network and staff race equality network, which both focus on supporting staff and students while furthering discussions around equality and diversity at RGU. By reacting to feedback from students and staff, these groups have provided a safe space for meaningful support and discussion and continue to support hundreds of members of the RGU community.

In October 2020, the Union and University also came together to recognise Black History Month. A calendar of activities and events throughout the month allowed the Black Liberation Network to work alongside both organisations to engage with students and staff through a series of safe space discussions and panel events. The Student Partnership Objective also allowed the month’s activities to form the basis for tangible changes within the University.

During 2020/21, the University expanded its Report and Support platform, initiated a review of the Dignity at Study and Work Policy, and implemented changes to its committee structure to ensure that discussion between staff and students could inform decision making at the highest levels of the University. These changes have ensured that staff and students are not only treated fairly within the University, but that they also have a direct channel to feed into the University’s decision making bodies.

While we may have a new objective for 2021, we will continue to build on the progress we made last year around this theme.

The success of activities relating to last years objectives continue to have a positive impact on the University and our community. In recent weeks, it’s been great to see the University continue to strengthen it’s commitment by recruiting an Equality Diversity and Inclusion Advisor. This post allows the University to further develop key activities and initiatives relating to equality and diversity.

Emerging stronger through the 2021/22 Partnership Objective

Given the devastating impact of COVID-19, the University is prioritising work streams that focus on post-pandemic recovery. The Student Partnership Objective is one of many interlinked enhancement activities planned over the coming months.

The 2021 Partnership Objective will reflect on RGU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and consider how we as a university can focus on our wellbeing, emerge stronger and remain equipped for the opportunities and challenges of the future.

Recognising the value of the broader student learning experience, and whole person education in preparing graduates for the future, the objective will explore; what’s worked well, what we’ve missed, and future opportunities, related to: Physical health, Mental health and Social health.

How can you get involved?

In order for this year’s agreement to be another success, we need your help. We are inviting all staff and students at the University to be part of the work we undertake to ensure the University community emerges stronger from this pandemic.

Post pandemic, what improvements should take place to our community’s wellbeing? The 2021 partnership objective is your opportunity to be part of these conversations.

Throughout the year we will organise a range of events and activities and your participation is key to ensuring our success.

For more information, visit RGU Union.

 

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