Blog post

How joining the Student Panel can benefit you - and others

Masters Creative Writing student Medha Godbole explains how you can actively contribute to positive change across the University by joining the Student Panel. And there are other benefits.

By Medha Godbole - 19 May 2023

Being at university exposes you to a range of ideas, activities and subjects. The University of Derby has many forums, clubs and societies for you. It enables discovery, learning and expression. As part of the offer, the University of Derby has a Student Panel. This is a group of students volunteering to share their opinions and experiences on different aspects of the University. Being a part of a Student Panel can enhance your overall experience.  

Here are a few more reasons to consider joining a student panel:

You can help enable positive change across the University

You will get an opportunity to enable positive change across the University by being part of the Student Panel. The University staff are constantly looking for feedback and thoughts about improvements across academic and non-academic areas. Being a part of the Student Panel enables you to voice your opinion and suggest ideas for improving the student experience. Using your student voice benefits not only the current students but also those who will be a part of the University in the future.

Individual sat in front of someone smiling
You can be an advocate for positive change across the University

Reward system

There are rewards for being a part of the Student Panel. It operates on a points-based reward system. The criteria for collecting reward points are:  

Being part of the Student Panel is also a great way to gain knowledge and experience, and get involved in some networking too.


The panel employs a range of feedback methods and activities - hybrid, online and in person - so there is flexibility. Those interested can participate in focus groups and debates or even submit answers to questionnaires. All the activities are as inclusive as possible for maximum participation.

Individual sitting on a bed while on their laptop
You can take part in hybrid Student Panel activities from the comfort of your room

Futures Award

Another benefit is that the hours you worked as a member of the Student Panel can be applied towards the Futures Award. These awards are all about your extra-curricular activities beyond the academic framework. They highlight - to yourself and future employers - that you are developing the skills you will need for your future career.

Student Panel successes

The fantastic feedback students have provided via the Student Panel led to improvements and changes in facilities across the University. For example:;

I have been part of a student focus group for providing feedback on UDo and the careers website. The UDo refresh is a result of a lot of effort to modify it as per feedback from students in the focus group and surveys.

It has been an interesting and satisfying experience to voice my opinion and provide feedback to improve things. I have always felt encouraged to be honest and open in these focus groups. And. if you get a voucher for a coffee or are treated to a pizza for expressing your thoughts, that’s the cherry on top!

On a serious note, feedback from students is highly valued. Being a member of the Student Panel can help forge connections with other students and like-minded individuals. It will add to your overall growth as a person, student and future graduate.

For instance, if you are into public speaking or communications, a focus group might help with that. And, if you have contributed towards positive change for current and future students, it could be a great addition to your CV. This kind of exposure will go a long way in making you stand out to your future employer.

We, as students, are a critical component of the decision-making community of the University on a larger scale, which may have an impact at a local, regional or national level.

You can sign up for the Student Panel if would like to contribute to improving your student experience at the University.

About the author

Medha Godbole standing infront of flowers

Medha Godbole
Masters Student in Creative Writing with Publishing

I am an international student from India pursuing a Masters in Creative Writing with Publishing. I also work as a Communications Ambassador to create content. Apart from writing, I love playing and watching cricket, watching films and listening to Indian classical and semi-classical and Western classical music. Sipping tea or chatting with my closest friends gets me going.