Why do you think Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster has performed so strongly in the 2016 National Student Survey?
In addition to offering excellent teaching using a range of methods, we embed an ethos of care in our interaction with students and this makes us more in tune with the needs and expectations of students from diverse backgrounds.
What’s the best bit of your job as the Head of Department of Politics and International Relations?
While I have enjoyed many aspects of my role, my favourite would be the freedom and ability to plan and support various initiatives such as workshops, conferences and one-off events to enhance student experiences, the research excellence of my academic colleagues, and/or public engagement.
What’s the most exciting thing about teaching undergraduate students?
When I see students transforming for better from their first year into their third year, I derive immense satisfaction; it validates my life as an academic. I have experience of teaching in various universities but what makes our students extra special is that they do not start their university education with a privileged sense of entitlement but as a traveller willing to learn new things.
What was the highlight of the academic year in 2015/2016?
Celebrating Centre for the Study of Democracy’s 25th anniversary through a major international conference was a key milestone. However, improving upon our already high NSS scores in previous year and now having two courses with 100% would certainly be the highlight for the year.
What do you hope to achieve in 2016/2017?
We hope that the transition to our new curriculum will excite our students. In the coming year, we aim to do more partnership initiatives with students and with communities outside the university to organise events and make knowledge sharing a collective effort.
What’s been the biggest student success in your time working at the University of Westminster?
There are too many for me to choose from.
What makes you passionate about the study of Politics and International Relations?
The discipline encourages constant questioning and critical thinking about crucial ideas and practices that shape the world. How can one not be passionate about it?
What advice would you give to new students joining us in 2016/2017?
University education is an opportunity that the majority of people in the world do not get and hence new students should make the best use of it to become more educated and skilful - while not forgetting that at the heart of the endeavour should lie the hope of making the world a better place for oneself and for others.