Fullt navn: Victoria Slaymark
Hvor studerer du i dag? Sogndal
Hva studerer du? climate change management
Hvilket studieår? 2
Hva stiller du til? Medlem av arbeidsutvalget
Førstevalget ditt: Sogndal 100%
I have a strong understanding of how HVL works. For my masters thesis I am writing how to improve the sustainability of HVL. I have carried out a questionnaire to find out students’, staffs’, and affiliates knowledge in sustainable development, their engagement and inclusiveness in HVL activities, and whether they feel their voice can be heard in decision-making. I have had contact with many of the different staff including researchers, administration, leaders and library staff, students from all departments, SAMAN, and also with those at the other HVL campuses. Through this I have a very intimate understanding of HVL and the barriers that we face to improve HVL. From my survey, and being very engaged in all HVL activities, I have a very good understanding of what students and staff want to see change. Therefore, I have have a strong understanding of what needs to be done to improve the general environment of HVL Sogndal. This being: we must improve our communication platforms for ALL at HVL. I have been student representative before at my previous university. I was an ambassador for the students sports association. I worked to develop and promote a mental health project where we ran a support scheme for those with exercise and eating disorders. I also worked as a ‘sports buddy’ where I was a casual training friend for anyone that needed help or wanted support. I have represented HVL Sogndal at our recent HVL conference “Bærekraftig utvikling ved HVL – hvor står vi, hvor går vi?”. I have been in communication with many members of studenttinget and studentråd, where I have learned a lot about the work that you do. I believe I am very well informed, and have the right attitude to carry out the work of this position to my full potential.
Hvorfor stemme på meg?
I am, and have been, a very engaged and active student who cares a lot about the development of HVL Sogndal. I believe I am very friendly, very approachable, open, and inclusive for all. I understand that I do not speak Norwegian, and that it might appear strange I am applying for this position in a Norwegian Høgskule. I have had no opportunity to learn Norwegian whilst I have studied at HVL, but I have tried to teach myself. If I gain the position, it will provide me with the PERFECT opportunity to learn Norwegian and I promise to do my best to learn the language. So far I have not found it barrier between myself and other students that I do not speak fluent Norwegian.
For my masters thesis I am researching how to improve the development of HVL, with a focus on ensuring that we can continue to grow in a sustainable way. I have based my research on asking all students and staff at HVLI consider all development dimensions of HVL Sogndal from how we can improve in regards to the environment, the social inclusion of all, and how to improve the courses we offer. I am a specialist in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and I have SEVERAL ideas how to apply this to HVL to improve the quality of education and the HVL environment. From my masters thesis I have a strong understanding of HVL. I have knowledge of all of the courses we offer, as well as a strong connection with the administration staff and HVL leaders. I am aware of the barriers we face in our development, and have many ideas how to overcome these. I list below some examples of the ideas I have.
Improve education quality: I want to improve the quality of education through improving communication between all. Most specifically student-teacher, student-administration, and student-leader communication. An example of this being to change the feedback forms of courses. I wish to have a more dynamic evaluation form where students are constantly asked at the beginning of the course what they wish to learn in their courses and throughout their courses, not just at the end. I wish time allotted per week where students give their opinions to their teachers. This will give more ownership to students in their own learning.
I also wish to introduce pedagogic courses for teachers. Currently many teachers are researchers with no pedagogic background. I believe it is very important to have the availability for these teachers to improve their teaching skills. We already teach pedagogy at HVL Sogndal and train future teachers: why not use this resource and offer education to our very own teachers? I also wish to develop web-streaming of classes. HVL Bergen have a media lab where they wish to increase the digitisation of classes. This means that lectures and courses at the different campi can be open assess for all.
Improve study spaces: Currently it is a struggle to find a spot to study on campus. I wish to develop our studies spaces. For example, I wish to remove the circular tables in the library and replace these with rectangle tables such that hold the computers. This will significantly increase the number of spaces to study.
Increase student representation: I wish to strengthen and improve the role of student representatives. Currently student representative have 2 meetings a year all together. This is not sustainable as 2 meetings is not enough to be able for student representatives to share the student’s voices they represent. In the studiebarometeret survey students feel least satisfied with feeling their voice can be heard. In my masters thesis I asked students specifically to rate whether they feel their voice can be heard at HVL: they answered 2.1/5. We have room for improvement! Student representative are a vital role to help change this. I believe the number of meetings should be increased to at least once a month. I wish to improve their role by running workshops with them, and to make meetings more inclusive and dynamic. I wish to also introduce incentives for student representatives to give praise to the work that they do.
Improve communication with students: I wish to improve the means to reach students. One idea is to enforce university emailing system. This could be done at the beginning of the year: when students receive their student cards, they should also receive their university email. It should become a policy that staff and students can only communicate with each other through university email. In my masters thesis I also ask students who they rate communication with them about HVL activities. 70% of students rated communication to be very bad – ok. So we must work on this! Improving communication with students is vital to ensure that all are informed about HVL activities and opportunities.
HVL Community spirit and engagement: I wish to strengthen the engagement of students in Sogndal community projects and involvement in HVL activities. I wish to run more activities for students to strengthen HVL community spirit and atmosphere. Often students come to school for their classes, and then go home. There are few activities outside of class to get involved with. Some examples include to increase the number of voluntary clubs such as a debating society, an environmental society, a sustainability society etc. I also wish to hold more open access lectures to educate students in topics other than their study courses. For example, there could be a weekly lectures where we invite different teachers, researchers, and students at HVL to share their work. Another idea I have is to start an HVL Sogndal online magazine which we publish monthly.
Improve social cohesion: I wish to improve the community spaces on campus. Apart from the Kantine and new coffee shop there are very few places for students to ‘hang out’. The current sitting areas are not inviting to sit. Student transport: I wish to push for better bike storage on campus and safe bicycle routes. Currently the bike parking is uncovered. If bikes are left they are damaged by the rain. I want to implement a samskjøring scheme: either an app or a facebook page, to encourage those who must use other methods than walking and biking to school to share their transport.
Improve sustainability: For my masters thesis I am giving recommendations how to improve the sustainability of HVL. 84% of people at HVL think HVL is not sustainable- half-way sustainable, and 80% of people want to learn more about sustainability. So I want to help them! My first idea is to start a student working group for sustainability. I have already had several people message me who wish to get involved and start this group! I also want to work to include sustainability in to all courses at HVL. I wish to not only improve our environmental sustainability, but also social sustainability of HVL such as student social engagement and inclusion.
Strengthen inclusion of international students: Now that HVL offers more international students, I believe it’s importance to strengthen their inclusion into HVL Sogndal life. I wish to work to source resources to offer language courses. This is vital for their integration into HVL Sogndal. One idea is to ask language pedagogy students if they wish to be informal teachers. We could also start up a ‘buddy’ system where we pair up internationals with a Norwegian speaker, where they meet have have regular Norwegian conversations. We could also start a ‘Norwegian cafe’, where you can meet once a week to speak and learn Norwegian.