With the Trinity Education Project set to enter the consultation stages, Trinity students have a unique opportunity to influence how teaching takes place in the College – what subjects we study, how we’re taught, and how we’re assessed. Traditionally, however, students are poor at engaging with such consultation, and there is a significant danger that this opportunity will be missed.
Every student in Trinity has complaints with regards to how their course works, whether that be related to the quantity or nature of assessment, the nature, or complete lack, of online learning, or the structure of the academic year. This project will seek to address these issues, but can only do so effectively if enough students engage with the process. The project may or may not effectively soothe many of the issues that plague Trinity, but without input from the largest cohort of the Trinity community it will have little chance of doing so.
While most of the project’s recommendations will not be introduced immediately, Trinity’s future reputation is hugely important for its current students. If Trinity’s reputation continues to fall internationally then so do the reputation of our degrees, and, as such, it is in every student’s interest to ensure that the steps Trinity takes in the future are ones that actually benefit the College.
Indeed there is a danger that without the perspective of students, decisions that could be deeply unpopular will get the green light. The Students’ Union, for example, currently has a mandate to advocate for Christmas exams – a mandate that was voted on by students who are no longer in the College, and one that they may wrongfully fight for unless current students tell them they want otherwise.
If nothing else, if students fail to engage with a project as important as this, College will see it as a reason to not ask for their opinion again – and that would be a deeply dangerous thing.