The Postgraduate Education Officer represents the postgraduate student body in their education needs and progression, supporting academic representatives and acting for improvement with regard to learning and teaching.
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Make Things Fairer, Vote Sarah
Education should be a right not a privilege and outrageous tuition fees make the choice of further education an impossibility to many people. Capitalism is in crisis and rather than going after those who caused the problems (banks and big business), it is everyone else who foots the bill. The Tory politicians in power are a generation who all received or had the option to receive their education completely free, paid for by the State yet now their children or grandchildren are being put into a debt equivalent to the size of a house mortgage before they’ve even set foot into the wider world. The financial burden entailed in entering into postgraduate education today can lead to a great deal of stress that affects our academic output. I promise to fight and fight hard to continue the pressure on the University to not increase tuition fees and to join together with other student unions nationally to demand the government abolish fees altogether.
A very pressing issue for PhD students at Sussex who teach is the recent capping of paid hours that can be worked. Though the university has agreed to remove this cap, it has only been done temporarily. Tutoring is an important part of a PhD as the majority of students will be entering into academia and will need to have adequate teaching skills for their future careers. Capping the hours may potentially limit students abilities to gain adequate experience. I will campaign to make sure the cap on teaching hours remains enforced.
Often the interests of staff, faculty and students intersect and it makes sense that we support each other. This is particularly important to Postgraduate students as the line between student and faculty is much less defined. Some students may go on to be faculty members or become colleagues or co-contributors of faculty. Acknowledging our interconnectivity is important. Supporting other unions (eg. UCU, Unison & Unite but also local issue unions like RMT) and building mutual relationships will not only help make our voice louder and our causes stronger but recognises that our struggle and their struggle are the same thing. We can only win that struggle if we work together and united.
I would like to use my potential position as a representative of the postgraduate community to forge stronger bonds between our union and other unions on campus.