Campus and Community

Celebrating the important role of Delegates

Last Saturday, May 8, several dozen students participated in the activities promoted by the Executive Committee of IST Pedagogical Council.

The Body of Delegates is the structure responsible to identify and promote the resolution of the pedagogical and social problems of Técnico students, maintaining dialogue between their colleagues and professors. The Delegates Committee monitors, guides and promotes various initiatives in order to “ensure that delegates are provided with all the tools, information and skills essential to the performance of their duties”. This is the main goal of the Delegates Training Programme, held since 2017, which also includes the “Delegate’s Day” event that takes place every year. This year, the event took place on 8th May, in virtual format, and brought together several dozen students.

The event started with a round table that brought together the professors Alexandre Francisco (vice president of Técnico for Academic Affairs), Carlos Santos Silva, Moisés Pinto, Teresa Peña (president of IST Pedagogical Council-CP) and Raquel Aires-Barros (member of IST School Assembly), the students Francisca Simões, Beatriz Isidro and Francisco Aveiro, the alumnus Pedro Garvão and members of the Academic Development Office (NDA) Dr Isabel Gonçalves and Dr Gonçalo Moura.

The debate focused on the new Teaching Model and Pedagogical Practices (MEPP), namely the curriculum flexibility that this new model will allow, the importance of transversal skills in engineering degrees and the creation of PICs (Integrated Projects).

The event also included a General Knowledge Quiz, which fostered cooperation between the participating students, and a Mental Health Training promoted by the NDA.

According to Brian Campos, Master’s Delegate (Urbanism and Spatial Planning – MUOT, 1st year), “being a Delegate has been great and has allowed me to share experiences with my colleagues and also to understand the importance of Delegates”. “Being a Delegate is never giving up and always be ready to extend a helping hand”, he added.

“We have had a lot of great feedback from everyone. It was a very enriching event that showed the important role of Técnico delegates”, says the student Ricardo Lameirinhas, Pedagogical Council member (Executive Committee).

“Técnico Delegates play a very important role”, stresses Ricardo Lameirinhas. “This year, due to the pandemic constraints and the problems affecting information systems, the delegates were elected at a much later stage than expected, which had led to numerous problems that would be easily solved if we weren’t apart from each other. This was very important to reinforce the importance of delegates”, says the student.

Ricardo Lameirinhas highlights the crucial role of the delegates in MEPP’s implementation process: “Delegates have closely worked with course coordinators and school governing bodies, and have brought up students’ problems and points of view. These delegates will take office at the beginning of the next year. They must have as much information as possible in order to provide helpful and accurate information”, he adds.

Training Programme helps to expand skills

The Delegates Training Programme “aims to captivate and attract more students to this task, and that no one is left behind. The delegates are followed by the Delegates Committee that helps them in any way they can”, says Ricardo Lameirinhas. “Then, we show the rest of the students how important it is to be a delegate”, adds the student.

This year, training was divided into several modules: The role of a delegate; Feedback-Feedforward training on QUC; Training / conversation with the CP on teaching and remote assessment methods; Communication skills training, in order to prepare the delegates to better communicate their problems and points of view and the Delegate’s Day. An Ethics training will take place until the end of the semester. “None of these trainings is mandatory, however, delegates must attend a minimum number of training sessions”, stresses Ricardo Lameirinhas.

Marta Bárbolo, Master’s Delegate (Electrical and Computer Engineering – MEEC, 2nd year), highlights “the training programme has been essential for us to fulfill our mission as delegates. We work on our skills and responsibilities, and we have the opportunity to create a contact network that helps us to share problems and effective solutions”.