It is hoped that postgraduate students will feel more included in the Students’ Union
A new society has been launched to represent postgraduate students.
Majid Ahmed began the MCR Postgrad society with the aim of supporting the personal and professional development of the postgraduate community through social and academic activities.
Along with launching the new MCR Postgrad professional networking platform to bring the postgraduate community together, this society allows postgraduate students to unwind from the stresses of university life and connect with their fellow peers.
The first event is the ‘Postgraduate pizza’ night on the 1st of February from 18:00 to 20:00 in Academy 2 of the Students’ Union. This is a chance for postgraduates to meet other students, discuss any concerns with their representatives and find out more about future events and competitions. Tickets are available online.
Majid hopes that the postgraduate community can be drivers of change in demanding better well-being and welfare services for postgraduate students. He believes this is necessary given the high prevalence of mental issues in postgraduate students, with a recent study published in Research Policy reporting that over half of PhD students suffer symptoms of psychological distress.
The postgraduate community experienced setbacks in the senate on the 7th of December, where they voted against introducing a Postgraduate Executive Officer, prioritising the existing position of Campaigns Officer.
The postgraduate society is still pushing for representation at the highest levels of university life, intending to allow the postgraduate voice to be heard. Emma Atkins, the 2017/18 Students’ Union Executive Education Officer believes that the Students’ Union “greatly overlooked postgraduate students in the past” but hopes that through the emergence of the postgraduate society, changes can be made.
Postgraduate events appear to be gaining momentum.
Plant and Hope for postgraduate students, led by Aleksandra Besevic, returns this semester, where students can discuss well-being and the environment in which they work.
Through these initiatives, it is hoped that the Students’ Union can better represent the 12,000 postgraduate students at the University of Manchester.