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National Postgraduate Committee

Ordinary General Meeting held on 24/11/07

At Nottingham Graduate School

1.1. Sederunt and Apologies


Amelia Moore - Sheffield University

Hamish Stewart - University of Nottingham

George MacFarlane - Open University

Yousuf Joondan - University of Essex

Derek Sparks - University of St. Andrews

Sarah Weeks - University of Bristol

Armineh Soorenian - University of Leeds

Joy Kaimi - Cardiff University

Danquah Fred - York University

Margaret Davine - MSU

In Attendance

Natasha King - University of Bradford

Akinfola Olusotirini - Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

Christina Yan Zhang - University of Loughborough

Thomas Winzen - University of Sheffield

Tom Crooks - University of Sheffield

James Sheard - University of Nottingham

Takao Noguchi - Oxford Brookes University

Karen Adomako - University of Greenwich

Xanthe Larcombe - Bangor University

David Thurkettle - NPC Chair

Maja Jankowska - University of Bedfordshire

William Cooling - NPC Minutes Secretary

Duncan Phillip Conners - NPC Gen Sec.

Tim Roll Pickering - NPC Treasurer

Peter Campbell - NPC Const. Sub. Comm


Victoria Townsend (NPC MSC), Simon Felton (NPC MSC), Jim Ewing (NPC Scotland Chair)

1.2. Chair´s Address

David Thurkettle had nothing to add to his remarks that opened the day, except to say thank you to the delegates and let them know how much he had enjoyed the day.

1.3. Minutes

The minutes of the AGM at Keele University were not available. The meeting agreed to postpone this agenda item.

1.4 Matters Arising

There were no matters arising as there were no minutes.

1.5. Motions

5.1. Equal Opportunities Motion

Armineh Soorenian introduced the Equal Opportunities motion that seeks to improve provision for visually impaired students.

Derek Sparks seconded the motions.

David Thurkettle and Margaret Devine discussed strengthening the resolves section of the motion so that it refers to the whole NPC and commits the NPC to action. The `Equal Opportunities Officer Resolves´ section is changed to the `NPC shall campaign to´.

Vote: Aye - 9 Noe - 0 Abstain - 0

5.2. Motions from the floor

5.2 i. Disabled International Postgraduate Motions

Duncan Connors introduced a motion on behalf of Armineh Soorenian to increase the representation of disabled international postgraduates within higher education. He assured David Thurkettle that it is achievable.

Voting: Aye - 9 Noe - 0 Abstan - 0

5.2.ii. International Postgraduate Motions

George MacFlarene introduced as a block four motions concerned with international postgraduate education. These four motions are:

NPC calls for the completion of the Bologna process by 2010.

NPC calls on all student unions to facilitate the creation of international student forums

NPC calls on universities to establish hardship funds for international students with funding being made available from international student fees.

NPC calls on all universities to be transparent in the setting of international student fees

The four motions are voted on together, as a block

Vote: Aye - 7 No - 0 Abstain - 0

6.0. Agenda Items

6.1. Funding for Equivalent and Lower Degree Courses

George MacFlarene talked about the problems that have been caused by the Government´s decision to withdraw funding for those doing a second degree when they already have the equivalent or a lower qualification. He says that the Open University is running a campaign against this decision and is asking all Students´ Union and related groups to get involved. He asks the NPC to help with the campaign.

There is broad support for the campaign and for the Management Sub-Committee working with the Open University in support of the campaign.

6.2. Publications

David Thurkettle suggested that the NPC should create a publication that helps Students´ Unions improve the international postgraduate experience.

George MacFlarene suggested that the NPC could produce a template International Postgraduate Handbook for Students´ Unions´ to base their own on.

Matt Gayle says that such a publication could be integrated into his project about the international postgraduate experience.

Duncan Conners says that this issue should be referred back to the Management Sub-Committee for more discussion. The meeting agrees.

7.0. Reports

7.1. Financial Report

Tim Roll-Pickering introduced the financial report.

David Thurkettle explained that Keele University have yet to cash the cheque for the conference accommodation

Matt Gayle asks about what progress there has been in billing affiliates. Duncan Connors answered and said that there had been good progress so far.

The Report is accepted.

7.2. General Secretary Report

Duncan Connors had nothing to add to his written report

Report is accepted

7.3. NPC Scotland (Chairperson) Report

No report was forthcoming due to the absence of Jim Ewan. However, David Thurkettle and Duncan Connors both say that progress has been made in terms of rebuilding the NPC in Scotland and Wales.

Report is accepted

7.4. Conference Secretary

George Macfarlane gave an oral report. He says that 14th August is the provisional date for the conference and the NPC will receive the Open University rate.

Report is accepted

7.5. Communications Officer

David Thurkettle gave an oral report on Oleg´s behalf; praises the latest edition of PN.

Report is accepted

7.6. Equal Opportunities Officer

Armineh Soorenian had nothing to add to her written report

Report is accepted

7.7. Project Officers

(i) Matt Gayle gave an oral report about the work he has done for the NPC. This had including representing the NPC at meetings of CHESS and QAA and at the recent UKISA/NUS International Students Training Conference. He also talked about helping to organise the NPC Cardiff training event.

Duncan Connors thanked Matt Gayle and Will Cooling for helping with the organisation of the Cardiff event.

(ii) No report from Victoria Townsend as she was unwell. Duncan Connors gave an oral report on her behalf and says that he will be helping with her project.

(iii) No report from Andre Oboler but Duncan Connors said that he is in Israel and is beginning to do some good work there.

All reports are accepted.

8.0. Election of Officers

8.1. Project Officer - One Position

There were two candidates - Hamish Stewart and Re-Open Nominations

Hamish Stewart `s project was to survey Students´ Unions about what systems them use to ensure postgraduate representation within their organisation, and then to use this data to produce a document that would recommend to Students´ Union what systems have proven effective.

Hamish Stewart was duly elected.

9.0. Any Other Business

There was no other business.

End of meeting.