Submission by Politics student accepted by Parliamentary Select Committee

ParliamentA student from the Faculty’s Department of Politics has had their work accepted by a Parliamentary Select Committee.

Undergraduate student Alice Day made a Submission of Evidence as part of a Parliamentary Studies module during the final year of her Politics degree at the University of Sheffield.

Students studying in their third year can choose to comment on an ongoing parliamentary inquiry, with the opportunity to say something new, different and imaginative.

“I decided to write my submission on the current Business, Innovation and Skills inquiry into ‘Assessing Quality in Higher Education’.” said Alice.

The inquiry focused on the government’s plans to introduce a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the impact it could have on quality assessment, students, academics and universities. One of the main concerns for Alice arose from the proposed framework that came from the government’s productivity plan.

“As a current student, any potential framework created could affect my university experience so I felt I had something insightful to say on the issue.”

In Alice’s submission, the main arguments centred on students being the best judges of quality within higher education institutions and how, if we are to have some form of quality assessment, it must maintain students as its core judges.

“A further challenge was mastering the culture of Parliamentary writing. Approaching a piece of work with a very different form of writing meant I had to undertake translational research to ensure I was using the appropriate format.

“As a student paying £9,000 per year I also found it hard not to say anything too extreme in relation to the plans for fee-raising powers to be associated with the TEF.

“From conducting my research to inform my submission, I have developed my understanding of the difficulties in finding information about parliamentary proceedings.”