Meet Malaka- Vice President for PGRs in the University of Exeter Student Guild

Malaka- Guild President

My name is Malaka Shwaikh, a third-year PhD student in Palestine Studies. I am also thrilled to be elected as Exeter Guild’s first VP for PGR students. Very excited to be working with you to ensure that the University and the Students’ Guild are inclusive and mindful of your needs and experiences. Whenever needed, I also critically hold the University to account, on all matters of postgraduate research-related.

I am responsible for representing your views and needs to the Guild and the University, with well-being, welfare and academic as my focus. I am striving to:

  • Represent issues facing postgraduate research students at the University of Exeter, and encourages the participation of these students in the work of the Guild and the life of the University
  • Ensure that the Guild is effective in its representation of postgraduate research students within the University, and that the organisation is sensitive to the needs of the whole postgraduate community
  • Provide guidance on the Guild’s communication methods, ensuring that all relevant information about activities, support and commercial services is effectively communicated
  • Provide support for the full-time Guild Officers in representing postgraduate research student needs, and where necessary, attends relevant University and Guild meetings

My priorities this year are:

Welfare: the PhD process can be both isolating and exhausting. I plan to work with both the University and the Guild to insure better mental-health tailored facilities are available for PGR students, at all times.

Social: I am working closely with the Postgraduate Society, and working to create a new Research Committee (that you can get involved in!). I want to ensure all students are involved in social activities that are not only good for networking, but also for studying – having reasonable breaks is always the best way to have more effective studying.

Academic: I want to ensure we get the best academic experience, not only as students but also as Postgraduate Teaching Assistants (PTAs), many of whom are struggling with unfair systems like eClaims, which is also on my agenda for review.

I am also currently working on a Research Hub – a safe place to share ideas, ask questions, find relevant details, and hold me to account. I will also be publishing a monthly blog update to tell you what I have been up to, so you can comment and share your thoughts on any of my progress or any setbacks. I’m really looking forward to having some interactive discussion with you all.

To contact me about any PGR-related issues, please email me at

Follow me on twitter: @ExePGR