By Luke Williamson
A student at De Montfort University appeared on the launch panel of the Festival of Teaching yesterday alongside guests including Leicester mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby.
Thomas Carter, a second-year Journalism student, was invited by the Student Ambassador team to discuss the difficulties of being a student in the pandemic.
Thomas, 20, said: “We spoke about what we can learn from the pandemic, and how we can improve the future opportunities for graduates in the city.
“I said that there is an importance that the Government and local Government start some graduate schemes to keep the students in Leicester rather than just passing through the universities.
“Students also want to hear more plans from the Governments if they have them because we do feel like we have been left behind during this time.”
As well as the city’s mayor, Thomas joined Professor Jackie Labbe, Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic at DMU, and Mark Charlton, Associate Director of Public Engagement at DMU, discussing the power of teaching during the pandemic.
Thomas said: “Online learning was a topic we discussed and the difficulties that we have faced.
“For me, online exams have been the most difficult things to adapt to, but we have all adapted really well to the changes.
“Attendance has improved which is a brilliant thing, but students and staff do need to talk more between themselves to make it better for everyone.”
The panel took questions from the audience to share their expertise, and it was important to Thomas that the audience got to hear the student perspective rather than adults guessing what students are going through.
And the mayor’s appearance impressed Thomas too.
“For the mayor to be there, it showed the togetherness of the city in these times of such adversity,” he said.
The lineup of events for the Festival of Teaching can be found here.