Michael de Vletter has been confirmed as the next Education Officer of the SU Executive. While he was running unopposed, which might have slightly helped his cause, this was not the only reason he was voted into this position. Indeed his experience is known to have deterred at least one potential candidate who was planning to run. However, speaking to Impact De Vletter said he was “disappointed to be the only candidate running”.
De Vletter has a lot of experience such as working as a Faculty Co-ordinator this year and has previously stated his desire to have a “reupholstered Education Network” based on this experience. In the Postgraduate Question Time he stressed the need to have a more unified education network with course reps liaising with welfare reps on course societies. His focus on value for money, more active course representatives and having ‘more personal’ personal tutors will have persuaded many social science students, who get very little contact hours. De Vletter, as an Ancient History student with four contact hours a week, doubtless understands how frustrating this can be. His plan to impose a society-like hierarchy and structure on the Course Representative system will also have convinced voters that he had ideas about how to implement his plans.
Especially during the Postgraduate Question Time, his plans came over, at times, as a little vague and he admitted that many Education Officers had offered similar ideas regarding getting “grassroots” participation in the Education Network by better integrating Faculty Co-ordinators and School Reps into the Education Network. As there were no other candidates standing, he was never realistically challenged on this, however he did outline how he would ensure this would happen, through getting better dialogue between Faculty Co-ordinators, Course Reps and Welfare Reps.
De Vletter also promised to provide better ways to ensure that students get the mark they deserve, through creating model assessment feedback and moderation. Another of his manifesto pledges involves “better preparing all students for their future careers”, through more career fairs and talks. He also says that the students should know exactly what’s offered by their union, although this probably isn’t the first time that a candidate has pledged to engage more students.