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We have an amazing network of over 1,900 Academic Reps who have dedicated themselves to improving education at UCL and supporting their fellow students wherever they are studying this year. The Academic Rep of the Year Awards set out to recognise and celebrate their work.

The awards are conferred based on the following criteria: 

  • The Rep has worked hard to reflect student views and ensure these are taken into account in decision-making
  • The Rep has proactively sought to work with staff to improve education at UCL
  • The Rep’s work has resulted in changes which have positively impacted the education of UCL students

This year we received a record number of nominations, with 310 nominations for 139 individual Academic Reps. Students and staff across UCL have nominated reps who’ve dedicated themselves to representing students and gone above and beyond in their roles.

Each winner will be recognised and receive a prize and the overall winner will be announced at the UCL Education Awards on 9 June.

Aishwarya has been nominated for going above and beyond in her role, for being incredibly proactive and accountable. She made sure to communicate students’ concerns and needs to the faculty from early on. She sent an open letter to the staff which resulted in the reduction of workload for the student cohort. Aishwarya has also made a booklet containing advice and tips to prepare her peers for 2nd year. She also advocated for timely feedback and recorded lectures with transcripts, to increase the accessibility of the teaching material. Aishwarya was commended for her immense support for mental health and wellbeing in the faculty, as she also co-led a UCL Changemakers project centred around this topic. As she was a co-chair of the SSCC, she was deeply involved with the faculty’s work. She constantly communicated student issues to the UG programme director through regular meetings. “Her interaction with UCL staff has been proactive and consistent” and she “always kept herself accountable and transparent”.

Charlotte has been nominated for her immense efforts and support to improve student life” during this difficult year. She was praised for being a proactive first-year Rep, who successfully communicated students’ concerns to the department.  Charlotte has also “successfully collaborated with the other academic reps […] to improve the quality of the provision of mental health”  in their department and she was also actively involved in the organisation of several social events. She has participated in and co-hosted a series of informal poetic nights in the department and has also led the departmental book club. Charlotte was highly commended for creating a strong sense of community between the students.

“He is a model academic citizen and his achievements as a rep are all the more impressive for it.”  Highly praised for his initiatives and proactivity, he has been deemed an “invaluable resource”  and has immensely improved the life of PGR students and faculty staff alike. As an “exemplar of staff-student collaboration” Javier makes sure that student voices are heard and represented. He has created, organised and executed the first ever PGR Student Conference in the Faculty of Brain Sciences. He also chairs and organises the Faculty’s Rep Forum, which allows for productive discussions and feedback across departments and reps in the faculty. Javier has also had a “positive impact in ensuring diversity”  at the Faculty and across UCL. As the Faculty Representative, he has co-founded and chaired the LGBTQ+ STEM @UCL Network. He has gone above and beyond as a PGR Faculty Representative, has created long-lasting changes and improved the experience of PGR students.

Ritwika has been described as a “compassionate leader” and a diligent and supportive Academic Representative. She has been nominated for her tremendous support for the student cohort and her effective communication between staff and students. Ritwika has been praised for making sure that student voices are being heard in decision-making processes. Her work has resulted in changes which have positively impacted the education of […] students”. As a friendly, responsible, cooperative, and enthusiastic Rep, students felt comfortable to approach her with problems, which she was always eager and quick to solve.

Sonal has been highly commended for the immense amount of work she has put into creating a better student-staff relationship and a better learning environment this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. She has been described as invaluable, outstanding, empathetic, and truly exceptional. She was nominated for her outstanding communication skills and her ability to bridge the gap between the student cohort and teaching staff. Sonal worked with individual instructors as well as [the] program director to make sure online courses have been at the highest possible quality while putting minimum strain on students”. She was successful in relaying students’ concerns to staff and made sure that student feedback was used to make positive changes. In addition, she also cared about [the] academic and non-academic well-being”  of her peers and was an integral part of the student body.

Zedong has been highly praised for her hard work, countless efforts and thoughtful help”, and for being a proactive representative. She has been great support for her student cohort this year, both academically and non-academically. She actively communicated with teaching staff and relayed feedback and concerns from students effectively, not only within IOE but also on an institutional level. She has been an active participant of the SSCC meetings and the Annual Student Experience Review. Due to Zedong’s continuous efforts to bridge the students and the department over the past year” , the programme leader and teaching team are considering opportunities for possible offline communication for the next year.

Yanna has been nominated for her hard work throughout this academic year. She has made sure that students’ voices are being heard and acted upon. She was also praised for being a helpful point of contact for her peers. Students felt comfortable asking her for clarifications regarding academic and career related problems, like marking, deadlines and internships. This academic year she was worked on improving the availability of materials on Moodle, coordinating activities to accommodate students across various time-zones and creating study groups to support students with their practical work.

“Myra is at the frontline to fight for representation and changes that impact the cohort and has made a real impact on students’ education.”  As a Lead Rep, Myra has been nominated for her tireless and continuous work for improving the student experience. She has gone “above and beyond in her methods of collecting the students’ opinions”  and used the results from a survey to create a 12 page report for the SSCC meetings. She has also hosted regular office hours and organised meetings for all Reps. Myra has also made sure that student wellbeing was not neglected, and hence created a Zoom link that is open 24/7 for students to use whenever they need to socialise, or work together.

“They have gone above and beyond in their efforts to identify students’ views, represent them at staff meetings at many levels, and broker positive changes to the MBBS course.”  Somar, Anika and Fady have worked incredibly hard this year - both as a team and individually – to improve medical students’ lives. They have effectively communicated with staff and asked for more transparency from the Faculty, through an open letter. All three reps were exemplary in using Unitu, providing timely responses to their peers. They have also collaborated with UCL Surgical and Medical Societies and introduced a Virtual Common Room for the student cohort and created a Treasure Trove with all the teaching materials. Somar and Anika have also created a ‘Have Your Say Survey’ so that the Faculty could better understand students’ needs and worries. The two reps have also developed an iBSc booklet to better aid second year students. Anika was also praised for chairing panel-like Q&A events for staff and Reps and for creating the RUMS Opportunity Bank, which included information about scholarships, Summer programmes, etc. Somar has been highly commended for representing UCL medics on a national level as well.

Claudiu has been nominated for being “highly proactive” and for making an exceptional contribution to student engagement and making the student voice heard”. Claudiu wears many hats: not only is he the lead representative, he is also the chair of the GOS ICH SSCC and the organiser of the ICH 3MT Competition. He has assissted with multiple events during the year, such as induction sessions and open days. “He has worked extremely hard to represent student views, and has devoted much time and effort outside of his studies to promote positive change and improvements within the GOSICH and the wider UCL community”.  Claudiu has been praised for his efforts to create and maintain a tight-knit student community through various social events throughout the year. He has been described as “very energetic and reliable” and as an “enthusiastic planning team and volunteer member”.

“He is an exemplary role model for all reps, showcasing the value of communicating with students across year groups, openly discussing concerns directly with lecturers when they arise and maturely engaging with the programme leadership team to find ways forward to problems that arise.” Ed has been commended for his exceptional work as a rep, not only for his year but across all year groups. He has been a key figure this year and has supported all students and staff with remote learning, by creating multiple “how-to” videos. Ed has demonstrated very good communication skills as a rep and “he has also modelled the value of talking directly to staff when you have concerns”.  Despite being a 2nd year Rep, Ed has tirelessly helped and provided support for first-year students and final-year students alike. “He has shown confidence engaging with peers in upper years, and alumni, and again worked in a professional way with staff.”  He was an active participant in SSCC meetings and also contributed to the ASER report, making sure that student voices and feedback are being heard.