Campus and Community

“The role of course delegates is very important for the improvement of teaching quality at Técnico”

These are the words of a course delegate who held the position for two consecutive years and whose experience was very positive.

They are ordinary students who spend much of their time helping their colleagues. They assume responsibilities, face problems and find solutions, because they like it, but also because they want to get involved and to contribute to improve teaching quality at Técnico. These are just some details, among many others, that make delegates key elements to a successful academic life. The election process of Course Delegates is about to start so we decided to talk with two senior delegates: Francisca Simões and Pedro Garvão, to understand what motivated them to apply for that position and how they feel after this experience.

Francisca Simões was elected 2nd year delegate of Mechanical Engineering course. She liked the experience so much that she re-applied for the position. During two years she faced some adversities, namely the ignorance of her colleagues concerning the role of a delegate. “Although this situation has changed in the last few years, I think that students didn’t understand the importance of having someone representing them”, she says. Francisca wants to do something for the benefit of the school and her colleagues. Although she is aware that this is not an easy task she says “I know that I can make a difference in the life of my colleagues and in the life of professors”. “The role of course delegates is very important for the improvement of teaching quality at Técnico”, stresses Francisca.

Pedro Garvão, student of Biological Engineering, has a long experience. He is delegate for 5 years. “I wanted to continue my work and to reward my colleagues confidence”, he says. According to Pedro Garvão, a delegate “is a facilitator and sometimes that’s the most difficult task”. There are inevitable tasks to be carried out throughout the year, but there are many other things that depend on each one’s proactivity. “I feel really happy when my fellow delegate tells me that my suggestions were accepted and implemented”, he says. “An increase in communication capacity”, “the ability of dealing with certain subjects and points of view”, “time management methods” are some of the gains highlighted by Pedro Garvão.

The election process of Course Delegates will run from 11th to 12th October. “The number of votes expresses our colleagues confidence in us. The more votes you get, the more confident you will assume this responsibility”, says Pedro Garvão. After being elected, the delegates will have a learning period under the guidance of a monitoring committee. “The Delegates Monitoring Committee is composed of more experienced students who will support the new delegates”, says Francisca. “On the other hand, the new delegates shall be responsible for their position by developing a set of activities so that they assume their role in the best way”, adds Pedro. For this purpose, the Pedagogic Council developed a training programme for delegates.

“It’s important to choose a communicative and proactive person”, says Pedro Garvão. “If all delegates have an active attitude, we will be able to continue improving the teaching quality at Técnico,” adds Francisca. “Students must see this as a networking opportunity, as an opportunity to participate and get involved in school,” says Pedro.