Your Voice at SOAS.
Your Voice at SOAS.

Your Programme and Department Reps are students, elected by you, who volunteer their time to listen to your feedback and tell the university what needs changing.

This is a source of information for Reps, potential Reps and any students who want to understand the role and how you are being represented!

Need to contact a Rep? Click here.

Current Rep? Click here.

Want to become a Rep? Click here to view the current vacancies.

What do Reps do?

They attend major decision-making meetings with staff at SOAS. By sharing your views with Reps, you know it’s getting to the right people.

Reps can’t fix everything. Usually, problems on your course are resolved slowly. Reps are trained to navigate the complicated, bureaucratic system on your behalf, or signpost you to the best person who can help if it’s a personal problem.

How is the Rep Network structured?

There are three types of Rep: Programme Reps (previously known as Course Reps), Departmental Reps, and College Reps.

Programme Reps are the largest group, and you would usually approach them first if you wanted to give feedback about your course. Once elected, there is:

  • One Rep per foundation class
  • One Rep per 50 undergraduate students per year of study
  • One Rep per Master's programme
  • One MPhil Rep per department
  • One PhD Rep per department.

Generally, these are the tasks Programme Reps carry out:

  • Gather feedback from students in person, by email or via the Tell Me About It reporting process.
  • Log feedback received so it can be collated
  • Attend numerous important meetings with SOAS management, relaying the feedback from students and advocating for them.

Department Reps are more experienced reps who have slightly different responsibilities. When elected, per department there is one undergraduate student, one Master's, one MPhil, and one PhD. Their role is similar to the programme reps, as they still gather feedback from students. Their additional responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating and leading the Programme Reps in their department
  • Attending specific department meetings.

College Reps are students who are paid by the SU to represent the collective views of the three colleges at these meetings. Additionally, they are experienced leaders who support the training and guidance of the volunteer Reps. There are six College Reps, one undergraduate and one postgraduate per College.

What do Reps gain from the experience?

Reps are volunteers who choose to spend their time making a difference for students. In many ways, this is its own reward. Specifically they:

  • Directly contribute to positive change at SOAS
  • Ensure the views of students inform changes to their courses and experience
  • Help students feel heard.

In the process, Reps gain valuable professional experience and learn skills, such as:

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Finding mutually beneficial solutions
  • Understanding business organisation and management structures.

As a thank you to the Reps for their service, the SU will provide a letter of recommendation, upon request, to help them when applying for jobs.

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