4.4 Staff-Student Liaison Committees

The departmental tutor (DT), departmental manager or programme administrator in the case of some masters’ programmes are responsible for arranging a termly meeting of the Staff Student Liaison Committee (SSLC) for all taught and research students. Some departments such as Social Policy have a joint SSLC for all taught and research students. In other cases, such as the European Institute separate SSLCs are organised for different masters’ programmes. They are also responsible for overseeing the process of nominating/electing student representatives both to the departmental SSLC and to represent their department at the Undergraduate Students' Consultative Forum. Departments organise this differently (often depending on their size). In Economics each student can vote electronically for candidates to represent their interests in elections that take place early in the Michaelmas Term. 

The DT, or other designated staff, are also responsible for arranging membership, preferably this is through an election process, however, it may be necessary for appropriate staff to select students where elections are difficult (for example with first year students who do not know each other). The election/selection process should be completed by the end of week four of  Michaelmas Term and names and email addresses need to be sent to the Student Services Centre by the beginning of Week 6.  All students should be aware of the opportunity to become programme representatives and the procedure should be publicised as widely and transparently as possible eg, at Departmental Orientation, by email or on the departmental website.

The SSLC meeting agenda should include opportunity for students to discuss all aspects of undergraduate teaching, such as comments on the quality of teaching in lectures and classes, Library and IT services and any other issues that staff or students wish to raise. In addition, there are number of standing items that should be on the agenda, during the Michaelmas Term these are; terms of reference, membership and guidance for the Committees, External Examiner comments from the report on Undergraduate and Taught Graduate Programmes, feedback on orientation, updates on proposals and effectiveness of programme and course changes, the use of feedback meetings and office hours and participation in various survey’s LSE has participated in (eg, NSS).  During the Lent Term mechanisms for feedback on student work should be the standing item and the following should be included regularly as appropriate; proposals to modify or introduce new courses and programmes and TQARO and TLAC survey results.

Completing the 'feedback loop' is an important part of the DT's role in this context. Students will be more motivated to take part in SSLC if they can see the benefits of negotiated improvements. Departments handle feedback to students in various ways. For example, minutes of SSLC meetings can be posted on a departmental notice board shortly after the meeting, and actions arising reported at subsequent meetings and/or via email circulars.

Issues discussed by SSLCs are referred to the Undergraduate Students' Consultative Forum and the Taught Graduate Students' Consultative Forum. It is therefore helpful if the first SSLC meeting of the year is held in Week 5 and no later than the end of Week 6 of Michaelmas Term. This means that student representatives should be elected by the end of Week 4, to allow SSLCs to elect representatives to the various fora, and for the Secretary to the Fora to be notified of their names by the start of Week 7.

The first Undergraduate Students' Consultative Forum and Taught Graduate Students' Consultative Forum meetings will be held in Week 8 of Michaelmas Term. The first Research Students' Consultative Forum meeting will be held in Week 9.

For formal guidance about Staff Student Liaison Committees see Appendix 8|.