Getting to know the people behind the University of London: Dipak Bhudia

In our next behind-the-scenes interview, Dipak tells us about his role as the Laws VLE Support Officer and how he loves to travel
Dipak Bhudia
“I have been fortunate enough to have visited some of our students in their home countries”: Dipak Bhudia
Working on the VLE and developing the resources make me feel proud that I am helping students with their studies and hopefully making their learning that little bit easier

Tell us about your role within the International Programmes.
I have worked for the International Programmes in the Undergraduate Laws Programme Office for almost 10 years. In my role as Laws Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Support Officer, I am responsible for providing administrative and technical support on matters relating to the Undergraduate Laws Programme VLE. My day-to-day activities include providing support to students and institutions on the Laws Programme and assisting in the maintenance and development of our online resources on the VLE.

What do you like about your job?
I can only imagine how difficult it must be to study a subject like law but to study it via distance learning must be even harder, especially for those students who study independently with just the module guides and textbooks to refer to. Working on the VLE and developing the resources make me feel proud that I am helping students with their studies and hopefully making their learning that little bit easier.

I have been fortunate enough in my role to have visited some of our students in their home countries during regional revision events and graduation ceremonies. This was a great experience for me as I got to meet and talk to students face to face. I also got to see first-hand the difficult situations some of the students study in, which makes you appreciate the hard work they put in to complete the degree.

The Laws VLE has undergone various updates over the years. How has this changed and what are the plans for the future?

Since I have been working at the International Programmes, I have seen six major updates to the design and functionality of the VLE. Over the last couple of years we have introduced many different study support tools on the VLE. The main ones include:

  • Lecture Plus – online lectures including discussion forums with the lecturer.
  • Formative Assessment – an opportunity to gain feedback from examiners on a set question.
  • Guides in eBook format – available to download for eBook readers.
  • Recorded Lectures – from our regional revision events.

All the changes to the VLE design are aimed to offer our students a better user experience with a focus on providing a friendly interface and ease of navigation as well as robust functionality. In the new VLE theme we aim to take all these design features one step forward as well as adding new features with a greater focus on accessibility and responsiveness.

You mentioned that you have had the opportunity to travel as part of your role. What is the most interesting place you have visited?

I have been fortunate in my role to have visited a number of countries during the Undergraduate Laws Programme regional revision and graduation events. The most interesting place I have visited is Malaysia. It is a beautiful country with many things to see and do. It was an exciting blend of city life, rainforests and beaches. I loved the mixture of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures which formed an array of cultural attractions - and great food!

"All the changes to the VLE design are aimed to offer our students a better user experience with a focus on providing a friendly interface and ease of navigation as well as robust functionality."

Are you originally from London?
I have lived in London for the last 30 years but I am originally from a town in Greater Manchester called Bolton. Many people would not know where this is but may have heard of the football team!

What is your favourite thing about working in the Bloomsbury area? 
Working in the Bloomsbury area is great. It is a short walk from all the major attractions in London and for me it is very accessible when it comes to commuting to work. I love all the bars and restaurants in the area.

What insider tip would you give to someone visiting London?
My tip to anyone visiting London would be not to forget to pack your umbrella as you never know when you may need it! But also try to see the many attractions and things to do outside the city.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 
Much of my spare time is taken up by my two young daughters. But in the remaining time I love to travel. Over the years I have visited a very diverse range of countries. The only continent (apart from Antarctica) that I have not managed to reach yet is South America which I hope to do very soon.

I enjoy keeping myself active by taking part in various sporting and fitness activities including playing football, badminton and going to the gym. I also love socialising with family and friends and love a good party!

What is the prettiest place you have ever been to?
The prettiest place I have ever been to is Maya Bay which I visited on a recent trip to Thailand.

What Olympic sport would you like to try?
An Olympic sport which I love to watch is the track cycling. This would be something that I would love to try as it looks very fast, tactical and is exciting to watch.

What was the first thing you ever won?
One of the first things I ever won was a school football tournament when I was 13 which seems like a long time ago! But the first ever thing I can remember winning was a Nintendo Gameboy on a crisp packet promotion. It took me many weeks of collecting tokens (and eating crisps) but it was all worth it in the end!

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