My name is Omer Wasim and I am a Post Graduate Student running for the position of Mature Students’ Officer. I am an active member of the Students’ Union and can often be seen around campus informing students of upcoming events and trying to receive feedback and ideas.
I am standing for this post as during my time at Soas, I have personally found that mature students’ are under-represented. Going to university when 21 and above can be a different student experience. As most mature students do not live on campus and often have to commute meaning their voices are not always heard and they are unable to fully get involved in student activities.
I would like to be the person to change this and encourage mature students to become more active and for them to have someone to go to for assistance in putting their views across. It can be seen those mature students struggle to be heard. I would encourage more social events for mature students to easily meet other mature students from their degree and other degrees. It would be beneficial to meet others who can relate to the work and responsibilities that you may have outside of the university. The underrepresentation of mature students is a problem not just at Soas but other universities too. However, through seeing people that I know go through this I would give the task at hand all of my time and energy to improve the university experience for mature students, especially as it can be a frightening and stressful time.
I am a friendly person who is approachable to tell your views and ideas to. I genuinely believe in improving mature students experience at university as they deserve the same rights as other students and I will be determined to achieve this.
As a mature student, I can fully appreciate the diverse and complex needs of the part-time and mature student body, and additional concerns commonly faced such as balancing study and family life, the need to work, childcare/career demands and more complex financial needs. If elected I would seek to represent Part-Time and Mature Students by becoming the recognised voice of our cohort, by actively seeking your opinion and concerns on the issues that affect your studies and academic life.
A termly Mature Student Convention to bring together our community to discuss welfare and campaign issues: take feedback on the work of the Mature Student Officer and raise issues to be discussed by our Mature Student Community.
Applying for postgraduate study can be daunting and we need to make sure that students are supported in their course and funding applications. I would aim to establish a mentoring system, where Undergraduate Students are partnered with Post Graduate Students in the same department or faculty to support them through the application process.
Arrange a monthly social lunch for all Mature students creating a sense of community and facilitating the idea of making friends.
Organise a Mature students conference giving Masters & Research students the opportunity to present their work to the student community. Bridge the gap between the University and Mature students.
Usher in global leaders/experts to organise internationally significant events by associating with various PG/Research Departments.
The government wants to limit the number of international students who can come here to study. I’ll fight nationally to resist any attacks against our international student community and to defend freedom of movement generally.
Mental health: Breaking the stigma around mental health that may be affecting some students to not report it Get more funding for counselling and well-being services.
Fresher’s fair: I will make sure that we have more and better events and activities for postgraduate students, in addition to events which promote integration between postgraduate and undergraduate students.