GLASS conducted a poll between the 7th and 11th of October on what issues matter most to students at QUT.
There were 150 responses in total with a strong diversity of faculties, ages and years of study.
It is worth noting that most of the responses were gathered prior to the latest election drama, meaning students may not have been fully across this issue when participating in this poll.
Q1: Which of these issues concern you at QUT?
Students could choose multiple issues from a list of 11, ranging from academic concerns to campus life and political issues.
103 students (68.7% of respondents) said the 0% late submission “instant fail” policy was the most concerning issue at QUT.
Closely following this was the 3-day SWOTVAC (too short) with 89 votes (59.3% of respondents) and then support during placement and internships with 69 votes (46%).
For context, GLASS covered Facebook polls conducted by President Vinnie Batten in StalkerSpace which concerned the late submission policy and SWOTVAC, so this may have contributed to their strong lead.
Below are the full results.
Q2: What is your number 1 concern at QUT?
Students selected one issue that matters to them the most from the same list as question one, though the votes were much more spread out.
As with question one, the top three issues were the same and the late submission “instant fail” policy topped the list at 45 votes (30% of respondents).
The 3-day SWOTVAC followed at 26 votes (17.3%) and then placement/internship support at 19 votes (12.7%).
Below are the full results.
Q3: What’s an issue within your faculty?
81 students of the 150 responded to this question and there are some strong themes and common issues across faculties.
The most common issues were related to assessment and academic issues, which dominated most faculties.
Law students in particular took issue with the move to online lectures over face-to-face classes, and business students joined them to say that 60% exams are too much pressure.
“Communication in regards to assignment responsibilities and how they should be written.” – 1st year creative industries (CI) and science and engineering (SEF) student.
“We need more real-world experiences (e.g. practising lessons in class, using an electric whiteboard, etc). Much of UQ’s class time is spent doing mock lessons.” – 2nd year education student.
Staff complaints were the second-most commonly raised issue.
SEF students referenced poor teaching staff the most, referring to assignments “taking way too long to be marked,” and “lazy unit coordinators who put little effort into the unit.”
One SEF student simply named Dr Jacob Coetzee, a senior lecturer in electrical engineering.
“Being told by a tutor that you’re completely on track for an assignment and they are enthusiastic and supportive, and then when I receive my marks it is a 6 at best and I am given NO feedback.” – 2nd year CI student.
“Disengaged and unavailable tutors.” – 2nd year business student.
Another prominent issue was inconsistencies and overlaps between units and the changes of degrees leaving staff and students confused
“All the units are new and none of the staff are on the same page with how to deliver content.” – 1st year CI student.
“There is so much overlap of content taught in Finance.” – 5th+ year business and SEF student.
“Lack of communication between health facility and school of nursing.” – 2nd year health student
“Constant course restructuring and subject changes.” – 2nd year education student.
CI, Education and Health students also mentioned issues with placement and internships
Flexibility and financial support were issues for both Education and Health students, while CI students find it hard to secure an internship and worry about companies abusing their unpaid work.
Q4: If you could change one thing at QUT right now, what would it be?
Similar to question three, these responses were quite diverse with 83 of the 150 respondents providing opinion.
16 of the responses referred to academic issues or to the placement of mid-semester break near the end of semester.
“Closed captions on lectures (because studying with a hearing impairment is hard as hell).” – 3rd year law student.
“Full time study load being reduced to 2 units a semester.” – 2nd year business student.
“Keep unit content up to date, with yearly reviews and compulsory discussion of student feedback.” – 3rd year SEF student
The next most raised issues were the 0% late submission “instant fail” policy and SWOTVAC.
QUT’s review has concluded that the policy needs to be changed, a huge win for students according to Guild President Vinnie Batten.
One student said SWOTVAC should be “extended,” and one simply wrote “SWOTVAC :(.”
The Guild was also mentioned in a few different contexts.
Some students asked for more support for clubs and increased involvement from the student body.
“More involvement from the entire student body // make the student body more attuned to politics within the guild.” – 1st year CI student.
Another student took issue with the Guild’s politics.
“The Guild is left wing. It seems to be pandering to the few rather than standing for the overall student body.” – 3rd year business and SEF student.
Upon reflection, question five and six could have been executed better. While it’s fair to interpret the 3/5 votes as “indifferent,” that was not how it was presented to respondents. The numbers should have been accompanied by words describing their intention, like “not at all,” for 1/5 and “very strongly” for 5/5. Readers should consider this when interpreting this data.