In this article, we publish the electoral program proposed by the UnInFormazione team for the Board of the Department of Economics and Finance (DEF) elections.
1. Our Vision – the Need to Change Our University
The seed that gave birth to these proposals is reflected in the need to see the university reality as a launching pad towards the achievement of personal and professional growth. This vision has always been materialised in our mind by idealising the university as a place similar to a college that stimulates and leads students to create the basis for self-fulfilment in many respects:
- ✔ Professional aspect: a place that offers students the opportunity to compare and improve themselves by steadily and progressively testing themselves, experimenting and discovering themes and objectives concerning what they study and the application of the main subjects covered, thus outlining their concrete expression within the world of work.
- ✔ Social-Academic and Relational aspect: a meeting point through which students can interact with various activities, finding passions and currents of thought, creating solid relationships and integrating more and more in the university context, therefore, giving them continuous stimuli to emerge in one’s university career, to lead and settle in group activities, best shaping one’s personality and implementing the empathic and moral qualities capable of accentuating social and interpersonal integration.
- Meeting Minutes Publication: the meeting minutes should be made available to the public.
- Exam Regulations: The general regulation of the exams must be revised, including a preamble that bases the rules on a relationship of mutual trust, collaboration, and respect between the teaching staff and the students. Furthermore, we believe that this regulation should define the following timescales:
- There should be a deadline for any changes to the examination regulations (e.g., no later than..).
- There also should be a maximum time for the correction of written tests (balanced between the proximity of other exams and the number of participants in the session being corrected).
- The examination rules should clarify the differences between attending and non-attending students when those are relevant.
Official University Websites
- It is crucial to update the university official websites with the current information.
- User-Friendly Website: we propose to add a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section within site as a guide for the users, where all the necessary information could be found.
- News, Events and Interactive Student Projects: we will propose to the Department the presentation of in-depth meetings in order to promote the student involvement. Once approved, these events should be advertised through the faculty communication channels.
Stimulus Projects and Events:
- More Space: in the coming months, the management of spaces available for students will be a critical issue. In the last semester, the representatives of students carried out a classroom management system. Some classrooms were opened to students and placed under the responsibility of the representatives themselves. When possible, we will ask to re-establish and enhance that system and make it official.
- Initiatives to bring students closer to the world of work: Over the years worked on UIF, we have always considered essential to offer our colleagues content and activities that aimed at greater professionalisation. Today, a preparation purely theoretical is not enough to access the world of work. We ask the following implementations into the degree program:
- Courses about CV writing.
- Job interview simulations.
- Orientation meetings
- Debates and networking with managers, entrepreneurs and professionals.
- Faculty survey about student hardware availability (thinking about the online lessons);
- More practice: the department offers excellent theoretical preparation, but have only a few application activities. Here are some suggestions:
- Challenges: taking inspiration from the course of Business Administration and Economics, our department should propose to its students to participate in online competitions generated in collaboration with companies. During this challenge, the student should apply what he learned during classes to solve a real problem. Moreover, companies can pledge to share winning prizes or job interviews with the winners. We propose that these activities could be available in other courses too.
- Business Games: Activities such as the banking game offered by the course of Economics of Credit Companies are compelling. These allow students to apply to a specific case what they learned during the lessons.
- Degree Plan Revision: There are five exams in the second semester of the second year.
- Hardware Availability Faculty survey: thinking about the reprise of the teaching activities in September, there will be probably a dual-mode (online and “on presence”). The right to study must be guaranteed for every student, therefore we propose to run a survey about the hardware availability of students in order to improve the teaching organisation by helping those who don’t have the suitable devices necessary to follow lessons from home.
- Availability of Didactic Materials: slides and notes shown in class should be available to students ASAP. Ofc, attending courses should be an advantage, but we cannot tolerate situations in which studying online generates drawbacks.
- Questionnaires: we believe it is important to ask students’ opinions several times during the year. By proposing a survey after each session it could be possible to value the organization of the exams. These questionnaires could be managed and administered by the Equal Treatment Commission, which would see its functions no longer limited to controlling the quality of spaces and structures.
- Programming Course: nowadays knowing a programming language is a prerequisite to enter many companies. We propose to include at least one of the most used programming language among the recommended optional courses of three-year courses.
4. Communication: relationship between students and representatives
As representatives, we should become points of reference for every student. We should be present and available to help, to solve problems, show initiatives and understand the student needs.
- Availability and Image: students need to know who we are and where to find us. The faculty should communicate the channels through which representatives can be reached in a better way (e.g. email/phone – FB and IG page of the associations present on the site where to find our contacts and social profiles);
- SOS Students: we propose orientation meetings at the beginning of the year where Tor Vergata, presenting the faculty and everything it can offer. Those appointments can be helpful for newcomers.
- Meeting times during the year: we will promote meetings with students (in groups to better focus on more topics and create less embarrassment among the students);
Student Office: The service provided by the student office should be reviewed on several points. The secretary’s office is available by telephone for two hours a week only and e-mail communications are not running smoothly as expected. The secretariat is currently closed to the public until further notice. Several universities in our city reorganized themselves during the pandemic by digitizing the systems, incorporating front office processes by Microsoft Teams. With the prospect of a winter semester that will still see most of the student population attending from home and the arrival of new students, the system needs to be reconsidered. These are our proposals:
- Online Booking System: for both the student and academic secretaries, we propose to implement an online booking system to manage better the queues that are going to be created, especially near the deadline of tuition fees.
- Student Offices Team Channel: Microsoft Teams offers all the necessary tools to manage most of the secretarial activities, including the possibility to implement a call reservation system. This system allows dividing the day into slots where students can book for a call on Teams with an administrator. Then the secretariats could also be made available online during office hours, thus solving the problem of social distancing imposed by Covid-19.
- Increase student secretariat availability hours.
- Reduce the response time to emails: emails that students send to the student office are often related to urgent situations and require prompt responses.
- FAQ section on the site: for those questions that are frequently asked through email we propose a FAQ system on the secretary’s site page.
Libraries: we propose to implement on the faculty website (and later on the university app) a section dedicated to the availability of library places. The system could be implemented in several steps:
- Update the availability of places on the faculty website: initially, a “keys finished” / “keys available” then the service could be improved with the number of lockers actually available.
- Update availability of seats on the University App: here too, we could start by inserting a “finished keys” / “available keys”, then improve the service by inserting more precise information.
TEAM UnInFormation – UIF Tor Vergata