The Student Panel reconvened in March to talk about the new Sport’s vision and film and television festival Cinemagic arts.

Vision for Sport at Ulster University

Nigel Dobson, Head of Sports Services, stopped by the Student Panel and presented Ulster University’s 10-year vision for sport at Ulster University.

This all-campus vision aims to increase activeness amongst students, staff and communities. The core aim of the vision is more of us are more active more often.

Panellists were very enthusiastic about the proposed plan and offered feedback regarding the price, sports offer and accessibility of sport.

Panellists expressed concerns regarding being priced out of the university facilities in comparison to the ample offering of gyms within close proximity of each campus.

Dobson reassured panellists that membership fees are reviewed continuously against other universities and are currently the cheapest available on the island.

Dobson was keen to explore other ways to manage the cost of membership fees and was open to further discussion.

Other feedback included that sports should not only focus on high performers and should be available to all students.

Panellists stressed the importance of promoting availability of sport activities for part-time and students with both seen/unseen disabilities as sport is also part of the social experience.

Cinemagic arts film and television festival

Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Arts Press and Marketing officer, was invited to come tell us a bit about Cinemagic Arts, raise awareness and present any available opportunities to our students.

Cinemagic Arts is an award-winning film charity and the Cinemagic Belfast Festival is the leading film and television festival for young people in the UK and Ireland.

Other activities include their young film makers competition which takes place in April and anyone can apply in August to be included in next year's film festival.

Panellists asked if there were any opportunities for mature students to take part in the events. Shaw explained that some funding is restricted to specific programmes for young people below 25, however all other activities and events are open for anyone to attend.

Welcome activities

Sharon Hickie, Marketing Communications Co-Ordinator was keen to learn lessons from last year’s Ready for UU and Welcome to UU campaigns. Hickie provided an overview of each campaign and welcomed feedback.

Ready for UU campaign is run every single week in the run up to Week 1 via UU’s social media channels.

Panellists highlighted that Distance Learners notice fewer welcome activities than those who attend classes on campus. There is a strong emphasis on 18-year-old freshers, but there are also more mature students who work and have a family who start a degree.

Panellists explained that the amount of information communicated to new students can be very overwhelming and they stressed the importance of breaking up the information into bitesize chunks. Other feedback included: