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Education Quality and Policy Office

 

It is expected that each faculty and/or department will have a committee consisting of both senior and junior members (it is important to include representatives of both MPhil and PhD students, as well as undergraduates, unless separate provision is made for the graduate community), at which issues concerning teaching and learning (amongst others) can be raised.

It is recommended that a constitution and remit for the committee is drawn up and that it meets formally at least once a term. Minutes of the meeting should be kept and forwarded to Faculty Board or Teaching Committee as appropriate. There should be a clear line of responsibility for responding to issues raised at the joint committee, including feeding back to students information on any actions taken.

For further information please see the guidance about faculty and departmental engagement with students.

Example 1: SSJC in a faculty not divided into departments

The SSJC meets three times termly (once in the Easter term). Its membership consists of the elected student members of the Faculty Board (two undergraduate, one graduate), a further two undergraduates and a graduate student, the Lecture List Secretary, Administrative Officer, Undergraduate and Graduate Advisers, and Librarian. It is usually chaired by a junior member.

The SSJC receives as regular business the draft Lecture List and timetable and the digest of termly student course questionnaire returns. Formal minutes are kept by the Administrative Officer and are forwarded to the Faculty Board. The meeting of the SSJC is timed to occur just before the Faculty Board meeting so that members of the committee can see and comment on Unreserved Faculty Board Agenda and Papers. In addition, the Chair of the Faculty Board goes through the Agenda prior to SSJC with the elected Faculty Board representatives.

Example 2: arrangements in a department - course consultative committee

The department has no general Staff-Student Joint Committee, since the needs of students, and the structure of teaching, in the three years of the Tripos are very different. Student concerns are actively addressed through termly consultative committees for Part IB courses (which are attended by elected representatives of the student cohort) and Part II of the Tripos, which is attended by the totality of the Part II Class (c. 20 students). In both cases, all lecturers on the course are invited (and, certainly in Part II, are expected to attend). These committees consider questionnaire scores given by the students to the lecturers and supervisors. Any comments made about rectifiable deficiencies are communicated to individual lecturers, or (if more generic) are discussed by the course management committee.