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with how my enthusiasm for learning and wanting to do the best I could was not met by likeminded lecturers who wish to help their students achieve their goals. It was a constant fi ght to get any sort of training, instruction or even hear stories from our lecturers of their personal experiences that may help us in our future. It seemed that once they had acquired the quota to fi ll the year of young eager students, their job was done. As a matter of fact, the most engaged I saw my lecturers was when they were showing new recruits around our facilities and more than once using current students’ successes as case studies for how the university prepared the next generation of professionals. In fact, at one point my gaining the role of consultant producer for IBC was used as an example, despite my lecturers not even knowing what IBC was … As I said, a select few lecturers at my university are worth their weight in gold when it came to teaching students, but that may only account for 10% of the uni experience I and my peers received. Another great positive was the use of equipment and most importantly broadcast equipment and space. Despite these positives, unfortunately more times than not, my lecturers had nothing useful to add. “I badgered my tutors constantly … People think they’re busy but they should always be able to carve out time to help you on a one to one basis.” Frank Frank’s account isn’t unusual. Where information should be given freely and easily, it quite often is not. As students, we get it, you’re busy, you have a lot of other students to get around but if you can’t take the job of trying to better the lives of the next generation, then don’t do it. On one occasion I remember asking a lecturer: “I’m looking to enter some fi lm festivals but I don’t really know anything about it, could you give me some advice?” The advice I received was to Google it. This is a course that now costs £9,000 a year and what should have been insightful advice, turned out to be a referral to a free search engine. Reminder: This isn’t about writing a grievance about universities. There are some great universities, great courses and great lecturers. This is about highlighting what is expected and the expectations met or at least managed. In my second year, the lack of skills we were receiving got too much for our year and the annual meeting held by the tutors asking for two representatives saw over 40 students turn up in protest to voice how shocking the course was compared to what was advertised. The reply was not confi dent. Our tutors said they appreciated the feedback but we were told any implementations would only benefi t new students in the future. For our feedback, passion and accountability: we were branded a diffi cult year. My work with Rising Stars gave me particular interest in what my peers were feeling they were missing in their educational and professional lives and it wasn’t good. Within my university and other universities with similar courses it was becoming apparent this view was seen across the board. So much so that an organisation in the form of ITTP (Institute for Training in Television Production) was established in 2013 to help articulate this problem. So what’s the solution? Accountability, but in a way that we have not seen yet. As mentioned, there are organisations like Creative Skillset or even the universities’ own student boards that hold the universities to account but I can sit here writing confi dently that it doesn’t work. Have Skillset sat through three years of each course and decided at the end of this time they feel they’ve learnt something from it? No. The student boards are unfortunately a failing of the system: students having a voice only to be ignored somewhat by the university who thinks they have a better idea because of course, they’re only students after all, what do they know? This next generation accountability needs to be a movement. Not a protest, not aggressive or contentious: it needs to be every student’s frame of mind. Going into university is buying a product. If that product does not deliver, you need to call for attention. It would be unthinkable to spend £27,000 on a car, plus the expenses of keeping it running for three years only to fi nd out it doesn’t do half the things you expected it to do. Trading standards would be called in, refunds would be made – people would not stand for it. So I implore everyone reading this: change your mindset. University is not an organisation like school or college. University is a product you have bought. A product that should work. If that product does not work as advertised, call for change. It’s time for accountability. Register now for the ITTP Conference Tuesday 27th January 2015 at Pinewood Studios www.ittp.org.uk KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 97 JANUARY 2015 | 45