Student Staff Voice Committee (SSVC) Guidelines

Role of the Student Staff Voice Committee (SSVC)

(a)   The SSVC provides a forum for staff and students to discuss matters of mutual interest.

(b)   SSVCs are chaired by a Student Voice Representative with support provided by a member of academic staff. Meetings are held at least once per semester and minutes are taken by a secretary provided by the School.

(c)   SSVC meetings are important because:

  • It allows staff and students (Student Voice Representatives) to discuss ideas and to solve problems.
  • It forms the basis for the representation of students’ views within the programme or School and identifies concerns which require consideration beyond the programme or School.
  • It is a formal, qualitative means of consulting students and gauging their opinion on academic matters and soliciting suggestions for improvements/enhancements.
  • It provides a mechanism for obtaining student feedback and communicating action taken in response to feedback.

Core Responsibilities

Each SSVC should have a formal written remit, which should be reviewed annually to ensure it provides the opportunity for the discussion of current learning, teaching or research issues. An exemplar agenda is available via the link at the bottom of this page and the main items for consideration are as follows:

  • To discuss matters raised by students, and matters on which the School wish to seek student views.
  • To consider the outcome of student evaluation of programmes and modules, and the School’s response to it.
  • To share External Examiner Reports, and School responses to such reports.
  • To share reports from across the University, regarding student experience, allowing the opportunity for feedback.
  • To inform students, and seek feedback, on proposals for new programmes and changes to existing programmes, as well as sharing the outcomes from validation events.
  • To share the outcome and actions of any School reviews (e.g. Internal Quality Audit (IQA), professional body accreditations, etc.).

Core Membership

  • At least two elected Student Voice Representatives of each student cohort studying on the programme.
  • Representatives of the academic staff of the School (whose number shall not exceed the number of Student Voice Reps).
  • The Education Officer from KeeleSU, who may attend any SSVC.
  • Representatives of students from programmes outside the School taking modules from the programme offered by the School, as necessary and previously agreed by members.
  • Representatives from areas of the University such as the Library, Careers & Employability and Student and Academic Services may be invited to attend meetings as appropriate.

While the above constitutes core membership, SSVCs are not closed, and any student who is studying on the programmes in question may attend.

Conduct of Meeting 

  • SSVCs must meet at least once per semester. Additional meetings may be held by agreement, and must be held if requested in writing by at least three members, or 25 students, or half a single cohort, whichever is the smaller.
  • SSVCs must be chaired by a student (unless no student representative wishes to be appointed chair). An identified member of academic staff should support a student Chair.
  • SSVCs must be minuted by a secretary provided by the School, and minutes published in a form accessible to all students. SECs (School Education Committees) should receive the minutes of SSVCs to take oversight of any issues/actions for the attention of the School.  The minutes should also be provided to KeeleSU and made available to students.
  • SSVCs must agree actions in response to issues raised and receive updates on actions taken.
  • The Committee should not discuss personal matters relating to individual students or members of staff.

Agenda and Minutes of Meetings 

  • The Chair and supporting member of academic staff should agree an agenda for each meeting, which should normally be circulated to members of the Committee at least 5 working days in advance of the meeting.
  • Student Voice Representatives and staff members of the Committee can ask for items to be included on the agenda.
  • Student Voice Representatives should identify items for the agenda by consulting students in advance of the meeting. Schools may wish to facilitate this process by means of an e-mail reminder.
  • Draft minutes should be prepared promptly and circulated to all members of the Committee.
  • Schools should provide incoming Student Voice Reps with copies of minutes from the previous year for information and continuity.
  • Schools should retain a copy of the minutes for review purposes – e.g. IQAs.
  • Attendance sheets and minutes should be sent to su.voice@keele.ac.uk for HEAR accreditation purposes and for the information of the KeeleSU Education Officer.

The Suggested SSVC agenda template has been produced to support the operation of SSVC meetings.