As your Union, one of our most important jobs is representing your academic interests and making sure you can influence the way UCL works. The best way for us to do this is by working with Academic Reps in every UCL Department.
Each month, we’re featuring one of your reps and the work they’re doing to make UCL better. If you have an idea about how to make your course, your department or UCL work better, you can contact your own Academic Rep using our Find Your Rep page.
December’s Rep of the Month is Emily Maw, Research Student Representative in the Department of Maths, who was able to ensure that PhD teaching assistants were required to work fewer hours each year so they have the time needed to focus on their research.
I brought up the Union's Fair Pay for TAs campaign at our PGR SSCC last year. I had noticed that the UCL HR website says that fully-funded PGTAs should have at most 180 hours of teaching per year, but the Maths department required 270 hours (50% more!). Many PhD students had been complaining about the workload, but had been told it was expected and necessary. Staff in my department checked that the HR policy applied to us, and were told that it does. As a result, from this academic year, Maths teaching assistants are now only required to do 180 hours per year, in line with the university's maximum!