News Article

Rebecca's experience being an Academic Board Member

Autumn Elections are here and you can now nominate yourself for a number of different positions, one of these being the Academic Board Member role. We asked Rebecca about her experience of being an Academic Board Member, including what she enjoyed and also why she would recommend becoming a member to other students.


I have not been a King’s student very long, as I only completed a year-long Postgraduate Taught degree in Law (LLM). Still, I always wanted to make the world a better place. So, in my free time, I go clean up the Thames with Thames21. That’s just around the corner from many of King’s campuses, such as my own, Strand. And although I am from Germany, I want to improve the local life around me, including students’ lives. That is part of the reason why I chose to run for my current position in the Student Union (KCLSU), VP Postgraduate. And also, part of the reason I ran for the Academic Board Student Member for the Dickson Poon School of Law potion last year.


What drew me to Academic Board specifically is that it is the second-highest decision-making body in King’s. It was created through the Charter that created the university in the first place. Thus, it has an enormous responsibility for how King’s operates academically. In addition, the Academic Board has the delegated authority of the Council (King’s ultimate decision-making body) for the regulation of academic work, such as teaching, examining, and research. So, for example, last year, we looked at the degree algorithm. As a result, we decided that 1st year would not contribute to the final degree classifications. This decision means that students who have little experience, or preparation for university academics, would not in effect be penalised for that background. This policy can allow a first-generation university student to achieve just as good of a degree as a student from a public boarding school because any grades they have in the first year are not attributed to their final degree result.

While I was deciding to nominate myself for the Academic Board position, I thought about understanding how King’s works internally. It is such a complicated beast that I am still learning how it operates in my current role! But this opportunity certainly allowed me to see how UK’s Higher Education works in practice, and at a world-famous university nonetheless.


As the Academic Board oversees and decides on anything to do with academics, understanding what the student representation role encompasses can be challenging. Most importantly, is actually attending the meetings, reading the (sometimes 200+ pages!) papers, and preparing adequately. That means paying attention to detail and critically reading the information you are receiving. However, KCLSU will train Student Members and have pre-Board meetings to discuss important points, making this task more manageable. What takes the most courage is speaking up in a discussion between a group of more than 50  Senior Professors, Deans of Faculties, Senior Managers at King’s. When people who had much more experience in Higher Education asked for my opinion, I was at first intimidated. I found reminding myself that this is what I’ve been elected to do allowed me to overcome that fear and complete that job. Essentially, a lot of the work is in questioning why decisions are made the way they are, operationally, and from different points of view. Students have one, Staff have one, and King’s Administrators have one. Your job is to ensure that the Student viewpoint is not forgotten.


Which brings me to my final point: Why nominate yourself for such a position? Well, you get to meet me! On a more serious note, you understand student issues, not just from the Student perspective but also from the Staff. You learn to become a more critical thinker as you analyse the materials provided. And you get to meet students from other faculties that you might have never met or interacted with otherwise. It’s great to build your network at King’s, looks good on your CV, and allows you to (hopefully) feel more like you have a place where you belong at King’s.


If you want to represent your fellow students and develop a range of transferable skills, you can nominate yourself for a position until Monday 10 October at 12pm. To find out more about the different positions you can nominate yourself for, click here!


Cookies allow us to provide the best experience using our kclsu website.

Read about how kclsu handles data , and more steps you can take to protect your data.

Select the optional cookies, and scroll down to give consent.