Students get loud and proud to help make a difference

More than 40 students met with staff from Stoke on Trent College to share their views and ideas about campus life.

The Learner Voice Conference on Friday, January 21st, allowed students to get voice their opinions about what they think the college could benefit from moving forwards and how their learner experience could be enhanced.

The discussions included lobbying the local council for a new zebra crossing outside the Cauldon Campus to help keep fellow students safe, Wi-Fi access throughout the campus and improved signage for new students and visitors following the recent developments across both campuses.

Calvin Austin, Learner Involvement Co-ordinator at Stoke on Trent College, said: “This is about us gathering student opinions and taking action. It also gives them the chance to feedback to fellow students about the action been taken by management on their behalf. It’s a proactive way to engage in an informal way.”

The group also explored current campaigns being led at a national level by the National Union of Students (NUS), the campaigning body for student rights, in relation to Further Education.

Kathy Jackson, Student Liaison and Wider Activities Coordinator, at Stoke on Trent College, said: “It’s really important to us that the Learner Voice Conference isn’t just a box ticking exercise, we want to make a real difference.

“We want the students to understand the importance of the learner voice and empower them by highlighting how they can get involve in campaigns and initiatives both locally and nationally on behalf of fellow students.”

As part of the college’s commitment to a wide-ranging enrichment programme, students also voted on new clubs to be added to the line-up including movie club, cooking and LGBT+.

Micky Riddell, Assistant Principal and Head of Curriculum at Stoke on Trent College, said: “We are always trying to get better and help make the student experience the best it can be.

“We want to drive forward a continual difference, helping find a way to make the improvements, raised by learners, happen. After all, the students are what makes this college.”

The Conference also looked at what actions had been taken since the last meeting and how issues raised by the students had been resolved.

Mr Austin, added: “Looking at how their ideas and feedback have shaped the college so far helps our learners put their trust in the college and that they will be heard.

“It’s not just about giving views and making a difference to others though, the Learner Voice Conference helps the students build up their confidence, communication skills, presenting, as well as lead to pathways in life they may had not considered before.”

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