News Article

What happened at Rep Conference 2021

Last Thursday (25th March) the Students’ Union hosted it’s annual Programme Rep Conference!

This year, despite the event being entirely online, we wanted to do something bigger and better.

This event was all about providing an opportunity for Reps to hear from:

  • High level trainers and speakers,
  • Experts in Higher Education
  • And the Leaders of the University and Students’ Union.

What happened?


The event opened with a welcome speech from the Vice President Education Ruqaiyah Javaid, who has been working hard with our Programme Reps to continue creating a culture of change in how the University acts on students feedback. She spoke about the conference events that Reps could look forward to and highlighted some of the areas she is working on this year including on the No Detriment policy and the Digital Inclusion project.

The Deputy President of the University, David Bolton joined to thank Reps for their hard work this year and the sabbatical officer team’s work who he described as critical to this year’s student experience and answered Reps questions in a Q and A. 

How to become a leader:

Stephen Dowson (Stand and Be Counted) hosted a session all about turning Programme Reps’ experiences into leadership skills.

Stephen underlined the essential attributes of a leader and revealed to Reps the simple secrets to becoming a good one; to lead others, it all starts with believing in yourself!

We hope this session has inspired our reps and unlocked their potential to lead in the future.

The Power of LinkedIn for Business:

This session was all about how Reps can boost their LinkedIn profile to support their careers and progression.

Jennifer Corcoran (My Super Connector) is an expert in LinkedIn training and showed Reps how to set up their profile, make connections and network and use the platform as a tool to set them up for success!

We hope every Rep that attended now knows how to set up an amazing LinkedIn Profile!

Turn your Rep experience into an amazing application:

Following these sessions, Reps were able to put their work this year into practice. We are grateful to the City Careers team for hosting this workshop in which Reps were able to find out about: How to analyse a job specification, use the STAR technique and use their experiences this year to make their applications better!

The Panel Event:

One of the biggest highlights of the conference was our Panel of speakers. Reps were able to hear from experts in Higher Education - and their informative and engaging arguments about whether ‘Students deserve better than they’re getting’.

The panel chaired by the Vice President of Higher Education from the National Union of Students – Hillary Gyebi-Ababio and featured Jim Dickinson of WonkHE and our very own President and Vice President Education – Saqlain Riaz and Ruqaiyah Javaid sharing their experiences and thoughts about the issues students are facing.

The expert panel discussed the cost of education and tuition fees, highlighted some of the work being done to improve the student experience and deliver what students need and motivated the Reps to get involved and continue representing every student at City.

Saqlain Riaz (President)

Ruqaiyah Javaid (VP Education)

Hillary Gyebi-Ababio (Vice President of Higher Education at NUS)

Jim Dickinson (Associate Editor at WonkHE)

And Finally – an opportunity to network and provide feedback:

We know it has been a busy year for students, Reps and Academic Societies.

To hear their experiences this year and provide an opportunity to meet people in different roles, the conference ended with a session all about networking and discussing the issues students have faced this year.

We welcomed Academic Society leaders to the session and used breakout rooms to discuss the experiences that student leaders have had and how the Students’ Union can support them.

We enjoyed listening to the conversations taking place in the breakout rooms and hearing what Reps and Societies have been getting up to and look forward to more opportunities for collaboration in the near future!

Did you attend the conference and want to share your feedback?

You can do so here: