Martin Zaranyika

The University’s Education Strategy Committee has agreed to finance new
Scholarships and recognition for students who demonstrate academic excellence during
their time at Brunel, after a proposal was submitted by the Union of Brunel Students.

Bursaries and scholarships are available for students at Brunel University London,
such as the Academic Excellence Award, awarded prior to their commencement as an
undergraduate. There are also some prizes such as the Jock McEwen award and the Vice
Chancellor’s Student Awards, selected from nominees to recognise outstanding contribution
to the University. Students are given additional awards at graduation but there are fewer
than ten awards which recognise academic excellence during University, at levels 1 and 2.

There are degree certificates for all students who successfully complete a placement
and acknowledge their professional development. However there is very little in place to
recognise students who excel whilst on placement. Currently, Business is the only
department that offers an award for the best placement student. The Department of
Information Systems and Computing was due to introduce a placement award but this was
shelved due to TxP activity.

The Union has asked the University to seek to recognise and reward student’s good
academic progress while they study, and good performance whilst on placement. In
particular, recognising those students whose attainment on entry would not have qualified
them for an Academic Excellence Award but who are now performing at a high level, would
be recognition (and an addition to their CV and HEAR) as well as being motivating for all
students.

The Union of Brunel Students has asked the University to consider the introduction
of the Dean’s List system, common in many US universities. The approach would be to take
the top 5% of students in academic attainment (grade profile) from each programme. Each
student would receive a letter or certificate, signed by the Dean of their College
congratulating them on their attainment and indicating that they are recorded on the
Dean’s list for that year. The Union is also supporting the introduction of a scheme to recognise professional performance in levels 1, 2 and those undertaking a placement year. It is likely that in line with current university practice, students eligible for the professional award should be
nominated by their peers as well as staff members in their department. Students who are
eligible for a placement award should be nominated by their placement tutor and the
provider.

The Union would also recognise those who are actively involved in representing
peers, whilst maintaining academic success and/or who are involved in the enhancement of
their course, whilst maintaining academic success, such as student reps and elected student
leadership team members.