Amie was a student member of the TEF panel, 2016-18
'Students need to be heard when there are changes in the higher education sector. Not only that, they need to be there at the table, shoulder to shoulder with everybody else and have their concerns and praises acted upon.
'The TEF panel is a mixture of academics, employment and widening participation experts, and students, all working together.
'Being a panel member was a fantastic opportunity for me, as a student, to have a voice in educational policy and process.
'I initially doubted whether I was good enough to be a part of this, and I felt nervous. But as I started to contribute, people listened to me and valued my opinion which was a real confidence boost. I joined this process at the age of 23 and as much as people say age doesn’t matter, when you’re being referred to as an expert it can seem really odd at first! But keep in mind: you are the person who has experienced higher education most directly, most recently.
'As a panellist, I reviewed institutions alongside assessors, and was part of the wider considerations and judgements as final decisions on outcomes were made. I was involved in the process in its entirety, and had the opportunity to network with some incredible people. I learnt so much from everyone involved.
'Current work in the higher education sector is inspiring because it is looking more closely at what different types of provider do. Excellence comes in all shapes and sizes. Importantly, we’re asking questions such as: is practice inclusive enough, and closing attainment gaps? Are all students getting the employment outcomes they wanted?
'The education sector as a whole at every level has been grappling with this for a long time, and now as the TEF enters its next year and continues to evolve and adapt, perhaps it can get some answers and reward the hard work everyone is doing to provide a truly excellent education for all.'
This post was originally published on the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s website on 26 September 2017.