Edmonton, Alberta – The University of Alberta Students’ Union (SU) has completed its submission to the University of Alberta’s Institutional Strategic Plan
Following the installation of David Turpin as president and vice-chancellor in November 2015, the University of Alberta launched a collaborative process to identify the goals and strategies that will guide the institution’s growth in the coming years. The Students’ Union submission highlights undergraduate priorities that must be addressed in the final version of the Institutional Strategic Plan.
“The students are the largest body on campus, and we want to make sure that the student experience is the best it possibly can be. That doesn’t just mean great classes, but all the other factors that contribute to student life,” said Fahim Rahman, the SU Vice President (Academic). “We are talking about the quality of teaching in the classroom, and also about the costs of post-secondary education as well as students’ ability to become active citizens both on campus and as members of society.”
The submission addresses four major areas of importance to undergraduate students: affordability, high-quality teaching, opportunities for transformative learning, and building a sense of community on campus. Recognizing the challenges facing post-secondary institutions across the country, from uncertain government funding to rising enrolment, the Students’ Union suggests a variety of innovative measures to address each of these areas.
Some highlighted suggestions include:
- Increasing the number of courses taught using Open Educational Resources, which are teaching, learning, and research materials in the public domain that may be used freely by students and revised by instructors
- Celebrating excellence in teaching by rewarding the achievements of quality instructors while also investing in faculty recruitment to improve the student-to-faculty ratio
- Creating a centralized office that will prioritize experiential learning as an integral part of the undergraduate experience
The SU is pleased to see the University of Alberta emphasizing the need for a collective strategic plan with input from all members of the U of A community. In the same spirit of cooperation, the SU worked closely with undergraduate Faculty Associations and the University of the Alberta Students’ Council to identify priorities and draft this submission.
“It’s tough for any one person to represent the 30,000 students on campus, so to quote the Beatles, we do it with a little help from our friends,” said Rahman.
The SU is the official body that represents the nearly 30,000 undergraduate students at the University of Alberta. It acts as a strong advocate for students both on campus and at all levels of government.
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