PGR Rep Meetings
As a Rep, you'll be invited to several different meetings which provide you with opportunities to represent the feedback you've gathered from your fellow students. Here's some information about each one.
PGR SEF - Postgraduate Researcher Student Engagement Forum
SEFs are attended by all PGR Reps and a small number of Faculty/Doctoral College & Students' Union staff. The point of this meeting is to serve as an informal forum for you to share the feedback you have gathered with staff, and to discuss key issues and best practice. It's therefore vital that you attend in order to fulfil your core Rep responsibilities.
You can usually expect to attend around four SEFs each year, and the decisions that result from SSLCs will be reported directly to the FRDC via your SEF Chair, who will also be a PGR Rep.
FRDC - Faculty Research Degrees Committee
The Chair of each SEF will sit on the FRDC, and will report up what has been discussed. The feedback you bring to your SEF feeds into this committee, and has the opportunity to make a difference, as the FRDC is the decision-making body for issues within your Faculty. Whilst you would only attend this meeting if you also take on the role of SEF Chair, it's important to know about what this meeting does so you recognise the importance of your attendance at the SEF.
Students' Union Meetings:
Student Voice Forum
Student Voice Forum is your chance to raise issues brought to you by students which affect the wider student body than just those in your research area. The Union will arrange three SVF events to take place each academic year, and will invite all Course Reps, along with other students in representative positions with the Union, such as Liberation Reps.
The Union will also invite a panel of senior University management staff to answer your questions and address your concerns, so these meetings are a really powerful platform to come together with your fellow Reps to communicate directly with University decision makers on the issues that matter to you.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Who will invite me to each meeting?
A: For your Faculty-level meetings, your invitations will come via email from your Student Engagement Forum Chair. For Students' Union meetings, we will send you an email invitation and also use Microsoft Teams to remind you about upcoming events.
Q: What do I do if I cannot attend a meeting?
A: You will need to send through your apologies for absence as soon as you know that you cannot attend a meeting, and these apologies will need to be sent to whoever sent you your invitation to the relevant meeting.
If you are a distance learner, out in industry, or have another physical barrier to attending meetings on campus, you could request to Skype/Microsoft Teams into your Faculty-level meetings, or you may wish to send your apologies for all meetings at the start of the year.
Q: How do I send my "apologies for absence"?
A: You will need to email the Student Engagement Forum Chair who has invited you to the meeting and explain that you will not be able to attend the meeting. You need to do this as soon as you know you cannot attend, and ideally, accompany your apologies with a written report of your gathered feedback.
Q: Can I send through a written report to a meeting if I cannot attend?
A: Yes, absolutely! We encourage that any Rep who cannot attend a meeting submits a written report to be presented in their absence. This ensures that the PGRs that you represent are still heard. Collate the feedback you've gathered, anonymise it, and turn it into a written report that you send through to the meeting organiser along with your apologies for absence.
If you are a distance learner, or out on placement, we would expect you to submit a written report to all meetings as you would not be expected to attend in person.
Q: Is meeting attendance compulsory?
A: Yes, attending the meetings listed above are compulsory in order to fulfil your Rep role. This is why sending in your apologies for absence and a written report are vital, as without doing so, you would be costing your fellow PGRs the opportunity to have their feedback heard.
Q: How should I prepare for a meeting?
A: Ensure that you've been in touch with your fellow PGRs to gather their feedback about the department, their academic experiences, and life at Surrey in general. Anonymise any feedback you've received, and collate this into some notes/a report that you can take with you to the meeting.
You'll be asked to share the feedback you've gathered, so be prepared to explain what your feedback is and what it shows. Be sure to always present feedback in a professional way - be accurate, balanced, constructive, and keep your feedback factual and not personal.