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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Student Advisory Committee

​​The Student Advisory Committee (SAC) meets three times a year to facilitate discussions between students and QAA on developments in the higher education sector.​

SAC meetings are attended by QAA's Chief Executive and other members of the QAA Board, and have shaped national student-centred projects with NUS, introduced student reviewers onto QAA review teams, and influenced QAA's overall strategy.

Student Advisory Committee Members

Co-chair - Robert Cashman

Robert is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, where he served as the Students' Union Education Officer for the 2015-16 academic year. In this role he represented students on academic matters across the Collegiate University and on the General Board of the Faculties. He is experienced in supporting student representatives in their roles and has served as a student member of internal quality review panels.

Co-chair - Amatey Doku

Amatey Doku is the current Vice President for Higher Education at the National Union of Students. In that role he is also on the Board of Trustees for NUS and was appointed as Deputy President by the NUS President, Shakira Martin. Before taking up his position within NUS, Amatey had served for a year as the President of Cambridge University Students’ Union.

Amatey graduated in 2016 with a BA in Human, Social and Political Sciences, specialising in Sociology. His dissertation, titled “Is Oxbridge Institutionally Racist?”,​ focused on institutional racism across the HE sector using Cambridge as a major case study. He studied at Jesus College Cambridge and was heavily involved in student representation, elected first as the independent College Council student representative, before being elected as President of the Jesus College Students’ Union, representing 800 students at the College.

Shumela Ahmed

Shumela is a mature undergraduate studying Journalism and Politics at the University of Stirling, where she is also a Students' Union Non-traditional Student Officer. She entered higher education through an Access to Higher Education course, having left school at 14 with no qualifications. In her role she has presented on projects about non-traditional students at QAA Scotland international conferences.

Stuart Cannell

Stuart is a graduate of the University of West England with an MA in Multidisciplinary Printmaking, having previously studied at Ulster University, where he was Vice-President Academic and Student Affairs. He has experience in representing students in validation and periodic reviews and is a QAA reviewer. In 2015 he represented QAA student reviewers at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee.

Matthew Kearns

Matthew is studying for a PhD in International Politics at Newcastle University, having previously studied at the University of Sheffield and the University of Leeds. He has acted as a course representative and student ambassador for learning and teaching at these institutions, participating in several periodic reviews. He is currently a QAA student reviewer, with experience of both further education colleges and alternative providers.

Rojan Kumar

Rojan is President of Edinburgh Napier University Students' Association, following a year as Vice-President Education. He has played a large role in developing student representation at Edinburgh Napier, including at committee level, and has experience of representing students outside his institution, in both international work and the Scottish Parliament.

Becky Lees

Becky is a part-time master's student at the University of Chester studying Theology, Media and Communications. She also spent time as a Vice-President Education at the Students' Union, representing students on committees and successfully campaigning for University funding, and has demonstrated good awareness of the wider policy changes affecting UK higher education.

Vivienne Newton

Vivienne is President of the University of Bolton Students' Union, having completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies there. Her previous roles include student liaison officer, community engagement officer and course representative, and she has also provided student representation on validation panels. Her current position covers the University's collaborative provision, which affords her experience of higher education beyond her own institution.

Hannah Reilly

Hannah is Director of Student Engagement at Cardiff Metropolitan Students' Union, with experience as Education and Welfare Officer at the University of Wales Newport. She has acted as a student reviewer and student engagement adviser for QAA, and has extensive experience working in quality assurance across Wales.

Tania Struetzel

Tania is the Democracy and Governance Coordinator at Hull University Students' Union. She previously studied at the University of Freiburg and the University of St Andrews, where she was heavily involved with student representation. In her role as Postgraduate Officer at the St Andrews Students' Association she successfully implemented a postgraduate representation system. She has extensive experience of working at a committee level and strategic thinking in quality assurance.

Olivia Sharp

Olivia is the Student Community Development Coordinator (Representation and Societies) at Leeds Trinity University. In her current role she has developed course representative training, and was involved in prepared the student submission for a QAA review and drafting the Students' Union's response to the Government's White Paper. In her previous studies at the University she was an active course representative.

Lucy Woodcock

Lucy is a graduate of the University of Bath, with a degree in International Management and German. In her time at the University she was actively involved in many areas of student life, serving as representative for both her course and school, and as Students' Union Education Officer. Lucy is currently Students' Union President at the University.

Ellen-Rose Jones

Ellen-Rose is the NUS Wales Women's Officer, having previously served as President of the University of South Wales Students' Union. In her time at the University she was heavily involved in a QAA review, and has contributed to several national level programmes in Wales, including the Higher Education Academy What Works? Programme. She has extensive experience of working at strategic committee level.

Alykhan Kassam

Alykhan is a Pre-Registration Pharmacist, having graduated from the University of Bradford with a Master's of Pharmacy degree. In his role as University Senator, and his involvement with the Students' Union, he has gained extensive experience of student engagement; enhancing the student experience; peer-assisted learning; and engagement with professional, statutory and regulatory bodies.

Tatjana Lipai

Tatjana is currently studying for a BSc top-up degree in Professional Broadcast Techniques, having completed her foundation course at Salford City College. She has served as Lead Student Representative for a QAA review at the College, and has completed her first review as a QAA student reviewer. She also sits on several high level committees at the College.

John Simpson

John is the Widening Participation and Outreach Coordinator at Blackpool and The Fylde College, and is studying for an MSc Marketing degree at the University of Salford. He has significant experience of working at a strategic level, has contributed to QAA reviews, and is a Teaching Excellence Framework student panel member.

Amira Svensk

Amira is studying for a postgraduate research degree in Psychology, having completed her BSc in Psychology at the University of Buckingham. As an international student, she has previous served as President of a European students' union and has experience of student representation internationally.

Sophie Timbers

Sophie is President of Cardiff University Students' Union - having previously served as Vice-President Education - and is a BA English Language and Communication graduate. In her role she is responsible for representing students at the highest level of decision-making, sitting on both the University Council and a panel discussing the future of higher education at the University.

Further details

Read the minutes of previous SAC meetings.