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THE COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES


Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

CONTENTS Introduction 4

A Note on Data 6

The Original Vision for Education 7

Executive Summary 8

1. Assessment and Feedback 10

2. Academic Excellence 12

3. Student Engagement with Quality Assurance 13

4. Student Engagement with Departmental Culture 14

5. Outstanding Study Space Across Three Campuses 15

6. Helping Students to Manage Course Costs 16

7. Developing Learning Resources 17

8. Research-Led Teaching 18

9. Bridging the Divide - Improved Interation Between Penryn and Streatham 19

10. Enhancing Career Opportunities 20

Targets and Impact Measures 21

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Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

FOREWORD

FROM THE DEPUTY VICE-CHANCELLOR The SundayTimes Good University Guide 2014 this autumn placed Exeter 8th in the UK. Last year (2012-2013) we were Sunday Times University of the Year. But we are not at all complacent. We want you to have an outstanding experience, to have an excellent course, to have lots of activities and opportunities, to really understand the benefits of being in a top research and top world university, and to top all this by getting into a really great job, or Masters’ programme. We can only do this with you and with such fantastic Unions: the Students’ Guild at Streatham and St Luke’s and FXU at the Cornwall Campus at Penryn. We never underestimate the importance of our partnership. The sabbatical officers are some of the highest quality people you will find in Higher Education, anywhere! The 2011 Vision document was really important. It helped me and our staff better understand your priorities, and the Students’

Guild is right, for example, to highlight the success of the threeweek turnaround policy. We all believe that University transforms lives, and we want to do absolutely what we can to make that experience even better for you. Turning the Students’ Guild’s attention now to colleges is an extremely important thing for it to do. Imogen and Alex highlight the importance of data to ensure the Vision for each college is of the highest possible quality. That’s a feature of Exeter education: make sure your ideas and arguments are evidence based. We use data all the time. We look again and again at the National Student Survey, for example, at what the scores tell us. Even though we were 7th in the UK in 2013 we believe we can do better by making continuous improvements. We need you and the Students’ Guild to help us by getting involved, by contributing to this document and by making Exeter’s best education even better.

Janice Kay Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We wish to thank various people for their contribution to this project. Firstly, thank you to the students at Exeter. It is your comments that are at the heart of every word of these Visions and they are for you.Thank you also to Academic Representatives who work to make change in every discipline across the University, which have driven these documents forward. You are by far the most important people around here, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

instrumental both in gathering data from the Cornwall campus and in drafting relevant sections of these Visions. Becky Williamson has undertaken the gargantuan task of proof reading every Vision and Meri Wills has designed the beautiful documents that you are currently reading. Special thanks must also be extended to Dr. James Smith for his exceptional project delivery, his eternal enthusiasm, and his commitment to the pursuit of a high quality vision of student voice.

Secondly, we would like to thank various members of Students’ Guild staff for their invaluable contributions; Gary McLachlan, Emily Stevens, Charlie Leyland, and Will Page for their work in collecting high quality data, drafting the Visions and giving the project fantastic staff support throughout. Our colleagues at FXU, particularly Janice Mitchelson and Chaz Malyon, have also been

Finally, thank you to members of the University who have supported the project since the publication of the initial document. We look forward to creating action plans with you for the Visions, and we look forward to our input into the Education Strategy Review.

Imogen Sanders VP Academic Affairs 2012-13

Alex Louch VP Academic Affairs 2013-14

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Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

INTRODUCTION

FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT ACADEMIC AFFAIRS In 2011, the University of Exeter Students’ Guild produced the first Students’ Vision for the Future of Education, a document outlining ‘the top 10 educational priorities students told us to campaign on.’

The document highlighted students’ aspirations and presented research that suggested ways of improving educational experience across the University. The 2011 Vision was widely considered a valuable document and contained some real successes, most notably the introduction of the three-week turnaround policy, which has seen a marked rise in student satisfaction across the University. However, the world of higher education has changed significantly over the past three years and in order to improve on the solid foundations created by the 2011 Vision, the Guild’s priority has been to work with colleges to produce focused strategies for each. Whereas in 2011, there was one Vision, in 2014 there are eight; one each for Humanities, Business, CLES, CEMPS, CSSIS, Exeter Medical School, INTO and Postgraduate Research Students. Naturally, the specific focus of these documents has required a great deal of research and numerous students and staff have been consulted in this process – our thanks go to them all. In addition, we have worked with a huge amount of data to ensure that these Visions are of the highest possible quality and to support our recommendations throughout. We hope that the results will set the standards in each college for years to come, helping to improve students’ experience and consolidate Exeter’s reputation for outstanding academic standards.

In pursuit of the best education in the world, Imogen Sanders VP Academic Affairs 2012-13

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Alex Louch VP Academic Affairs 2013-14


Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

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Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

A NOTE ON DATA The Visions for Education are the culmination of two years worth of data gathering. NSS, PTES, and MACE data have been considered, staff have been consulted, and national organisations like NUS have provided guidance. The Students’ Guild has also scoured the Teaching Awards nominations for examples of good practice contained within, and examples are occasionally quoted in the text. However, the main contributors to these Visions are the students of each college, and our thanks go to everyone who has contributed in some way. The main impetus has come from the academic representatives for each college, with Subject Chairs frequently passing key issues and data along to the Guild. However, numerous students from outside of the SSLC have visited the Guild’s ‘Have Your Say Hub’ or the Advice Unit with questions and concerns, all of which have been logged and considered. Open consultation events have also invited students to submit ideas, big or small, to be added to the evidence base, whilst focus groups have helped to clarify student opinion on particularly thorny issues. The result is that the opinions of hundreds of students have been taken into account in compiling the recommendations that are included within these Visions. Where relevant, individual SSLC minutes or statistical data have been referenced where an issue is explicitly referred to, but no individual student has been named and all comments have been made anonymous.

A NOTE ON THE COMPOSITION OF THE VISIONS Although the content of each of the Visions is different, there is naturally significant overlap in some of the issues raised between colleges. As an aide for those interested in tracking University-wide patterns, a summary document collating the issues and recommendations that reappear across colleges will appear on the Students’ Guild website once all of the Visions are finalised. Where points apply across all or several colleges, passages of the same text and recommendations appear verbatim in the Visions to provide additional continuity.

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Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

THE VISION FOR EDUCATION 2011 In 2011, the Students’ Guild produced the first ever Vision for the Future of Education. The purpose of this section is to provide a very brief breakdown of the impact that the document had, highlighting some areas of success and more specific challenges for the future.

IMPACT

HEADLINE SUCCESSES

In 2012, when research for the Students’ Visions for the Future of Education began the Students’ Guild sent out a brief survey asking Heads of Department for their views on the 2011 Vision. The results were telling; 67% of those surveyed said that they had actively used the document to shape educational practice within their departments. Of that 67%, all believed that aiming to achieve the standards set by the document had improved the educational experience of their students, with many citing the three-week turnaround policy as the most significant success.

THREE WEEK TURNAROUND: The highest profile success story to emerge from the 2011 Vision for Education concerned the three-week turnaround policy. Section 2.4 of the Vision made the following recommendation:

FEEDBACK FROM STAFF AND RATIONALE FOR 2013 When we surveyed staff to discover their opinions on the 2011 Vision for Education, we also asked for their impressions and areas for improvement. Staff feedback tended to be positive, with a good example given below:

“Rather than any one specific example, I think it rather served its purpose of keeping the educational experience high on the agenda for the University and was aspirational in what we should try to work towards.” In addition to feedback, staff were also asked to make recommendations for the 2013 document. Two main points were raised: a) increased consultation with staff to ensure that the recommendations in the 2013 Vision are achievable and b) a more specific focus on the needs of each college. One academic summed up:

“As a high level document the current version is fine, but now the college level incarnation needs to be customized to the resources, staffing base and wishes of the college students. Like this, you end up with something that meets the desires of the specific students, but is grounded in realism as to what is achievable.” By producing college based Students’ Visions for the Future of Education we hope to set bespoke, achievable goals for each college that will enhance the educational experience.

“From the academic year starting 2011 assignments should be returned to students within three weeks of submission’.”

With the support of the University, this policy was implemented with high profile results. In the words of Jonathan Barry, former Dean of Taught Students: “Despite challenges, the introduction

of the three-week turnaround in 2011-12 was a success: one measure of this is surely the 7% improvement in the University’s NSS result for ‘promptness of feedback’ this year, after five years of no improvement in this measure overall.”

IMPROVING ACADEMIC REPRESENTATION: Although the academic representation system at Exeter is still evolving, significant strides have been made in line with recommendations from the 2011 Vision for Education. To take some specific examples: in line with recommendation 4.2 PGR liaison forums have been introduced to improve postgraduate representation; ELE pages, increased departmental publicity and a brand new academic representation website have greatly increased the profile of reps in accordance with 4.6; and SSLCs now discuss MACE, NSS or PTES results as a matter of course as specified by recommendation 4.8.

CHALLENGES ENGAGEMENT: Awareness of the Vision for Education amongst staff and students from FCH, INTO, postgraduate researchers, and Exeter Medical School was minimal. By focusing on specific colleges, we hope to extend the impact of our research. PROVIDING POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH WORKSPACE: Section 5 of the 2011 Vision was devoted to the provision of PGR workspace. Data from the 2012 -2013 PGR liaison forums and PGR Academic Affairs shows that a lack of sufficient workspace remains the major concern for the majority of research students. This is representative of a weaker response to PGR issues across the University, something the 2013 Visions aim to remedy. STUDENT STAFF RATIO AND ACADEMIC CONTACT: Recommendation 1.6 in the 2011 Vision specified that student staff ratio for seminars should not exceed 15:1. Although some progress has been made in this area, with the University continuing to employ new staff, achievement of this target is some way off. As the University continues to grow and the sector becomes increasingly competitive, this must remain an area of serious focus for the 2013 Visions.

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Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In order to establish a Top 5 student experience in a world of increased fees and student expectations the Students’ Guild, Vision for the Future of Education sets out the following priorities that should be enacted as standard practice in CSSIS.

1. ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK 1.1 Feedback on written assignments should be delivered to students within three weeks. 1.2 A schedule for all assessments and feedback would be a useful tool for students at the start of each year. Each module outline should contain the assessment and feedback dates and details. 1.3 All students should be offered an opportunity for one-to-one feedback on essays and exams, and all module leaders should have well advertised office hours during which to meet. 1.4 Generic feedback on exams should be provided for all modules through ELE. 1.5 CSSIS should encourage mid-term feedback on all modules, ideally with SSLCs invited to consider and analyse the results.

2. ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE 2.1 Students continue to express how much they value small group teaching and personal time with staff. Improvements in student / staff ratios are a priority for the student body. 2.2 All classes should have some small group teaching (1 staff / 12 students) by the 2015 / 2016 academic year. 2.3 Personal tutors should have the time and resource to overview all marks and feedback that their students receive. This should be considered with the student at least once a year. The value of personal tutors should be recognised in staff workload models. 2.4 Students would value the opportunity to be consulted at every stage when new programmes are being designed, ensuring that they have a voice in the design of their course.

3. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT WITH QUALITY ASSURANCE 3.1 CSSIS should look to produce a concise student engagement strategy to ensure parity of experience across disciplines. 3.2 All Subject Chairs should continue to be invited to sit upon relevant college and departmental level review boards. 3.3 All MACE data, external examiners’ reports, and NSS action plans must be shared with SSLCs at the first opportunity, usually in the Autumn term. 3.4 Students would greatly appreciate a speedy response by staff to any queries raised relating to specific modules, particularly if mid-term feedback is implemented. 3.5 CSSIS should seek to engage a group of students to specialise in quality assurance and review.

4. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT WITH DEPARTMENTAL CULTURE 4.1 The Guild would support CSSIS in reinvigorating its Change Agents scheme, seeking to identify and support at least one new project per SSLC each academic year. 4.2 Following the superb example set by Law, communication with students could be improved to keep students abreast of exciting opportunities and immerse them into their college’s research culture. 4.3 Owing to increasing student expectations, CSSIS should look to increase its levels of staff support for student engagement and widening participation, following the successful examples set by other colleges. 4.4 Following the successful precedent set by Humanities, CSSIS should explore setting up a ‘Your Exeter’ portal for all new students who have accepted a place.

5. OUTSTANDING STUDY SPACE ACROSS THREE CAMPUSES 5.1 Some students have expressed concerns that resources at St Luke’s are falling behind those on the Streatham campus. CSSIS should continue to support extended library opening hours and development of teaching resources on the St Luke’s campus. 5.2 Particularly in the case of PGR students, concerns remain that student space in the Amory Building is contracting. It remains a priority that all PGR students who teach have office space in which to deliver feedback to their undergraduate students. 5.3 There are some exceptional examples of technology-enhanced learning within CSSIS, and students across all departments and modules would benefit from access to lecture recordings via Echo 360 and via online resources. Academic staff should be supported and encouraged to make full use of the learning spaces available to them.

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6. HELPING STUDENTS TO MANAGE COURSE COSTS 6.1 All hidden course costs should be eliminated, with all core textbooks, printing, calculators, and other learning costs covered by CSSIS. This issue appears particularly pressing for PGCE students, who often incur unexpected costs. 6.2 To help combat issues relating to course costs, a full projected breakdown of all potential costs should be provided to new students when they begin their degree. As much specific information as possible about applying for funding should be made available before students arrive. 6.3 In order to manage the costs, both financially and in terms of time, PGCE placements must continue to be arranged to limit travelling time as much as possible.

7. DEVELOPING LEARNING RESOURCES 7.1 Library resources should continue to grow rapidly, with students placed at the forefront of book / resource acquisition and promotion of the ‘Library Champions’ Scheme. 7.2 Students would appreciate supporting teaching materials being uploaded to ELE promptly. 7.3 ‘Question banks’ or past papers must be available for every module. 7.4 Increased feedback from alumni should be sought to inform module choice and help prepare new students for their university experience. 7.5 With the use of ELE seen as increasingly important, students have requested that Exeter’s IT provision be updated so that all ELE pages and attachments can be viewed through all electronic devices.

8. RESEARCH-LED TEACHING 8.1 All modules should be informed by current research with students offered the opportunity to participate in the research process. 8.2 Where possible, a well-supported research dissertation option should be made available to students.

9. BRIDGING THE DIVIDE – IMPROVED INTERACTION BETWEEN PENRYN AND STREATHAM 9.1 The Guild must work closely with FXU to develop effective and coherent cross-campus representation structures. 9.2 Following the successful precedent set in 2012/2013, CSSIS should continue to foster interaction between Penryn academic reps and Streatham based academic reps, with Subject Chairs travelling to their partner campus at least once each academic year. 9.3 The Guild, in conjunction with FXU, must consider the best way to train, support, and interact with Penryn reps. Coherent training must be delivered and supported alongside FXU, whilst a nominated FXU individual must be responsible for academic queries and communication with the Guild from the Penryn campus. 9.4 The VP Academic Affairs and VP Participation and Campuses must visit Penryn an absolute minimum of once a term, including an appearance during Freshers’ Week. The Guild should also seek to improve upon the information and support provided to CSSIS students during Freshers’ Week. 9.5 Working alongside the Guild, CSSIS should develop a clear coherent and informative communications strategy with Penryn students, outlining opportunities and emphasising their valued place within the University.

10. ENHANCING CAREER OPPORTUNITIES 10.1 CSSIS students view it as highly important that their departments continue to forge partnerships with well-regarded graduate employers and industrial partners. 10.2 Where possible, students value the opportunity to work with international employers and undertake study abroad placements. 10.3 The experience of Exeter alumni is seen as extremely useful, and it would be appreciated if efforts could be made to incentivise alumni to participate. 10.4 Where possible, students should have a high level of input into the employers that visit the University, either through Change Agents projects or through consultation with Employability.

8.3 All students should receive adequate training to feel comfortable engaging and participating with research. 8.4 The concept of an undergraduate student research conference has been well received in other colleges, and should be explored in CSSIS. 8.5 Where possible, students’ participation in CSSIS research projects should be integrated into degrees.

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Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

1. ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK Since the Guild’s 2011 Vision for the Future of Education, students across the University have expressed their gratitude and admiration for the vast majority of teaching staff who have returned work within the specified three-week turnaround period. Not only has this seen an increase in student satisfaction with feedback in the National Student Survey, but it has also afforded students the peace of mind of knowing when their work will be returned to them.1

Students in CSSIS continued to see three-week turnaround as a priority, citing a small number of cases where this target had failed to be met.2 As a result, the Guild would reiterate the primary point from the 2011 Vision: All feedback on written assignments must be delivered to students within three weeks.3 However, at the current time there has been no desire to see this turnaround period shortened further, nor is the 2011 Vision’s recommendation that ‘the norm should be two weeks from 2012’ considered a viable option at the current time.4 There is a general recognition that staff work very hard to make the three-week turnaround deadline, and a focus on improving the quality of feedback is of higher priority.5 In particular, this relates to students receiving a personal educational experience. Reps have stated that tutors should be in a position to identify recurrent trends in each student’s work and tailor feedback to eliminate bad habits.6 Exploring ways of increasing the quality of feedback, whilst still meeting the three-week turnaround target is now a priority for students in the college. Another element that has been expressed by CSSIS students is that they greatly appreciate the personal time that staff devote to giving feedback and supporting their learning. One-to-one feedback on difficult assignments has proved invaluable to students seeking to develop their skills, leading to the recommendation that all students should be offered an opportunity for one-to-one feedback, and all module leaders should have well advertised office hours during which to meet. In this case, CSSIS Subject Chairs and reps have made some very simple comments stating that more can be done to promote one-to-one feedback with staff. Better communication of office hours is seen as desirable and there is a consensus that the option to receive one-to-one feedback on an essay could be advertised much more effectively to students.7

In most cases, students feel comfortable requesting feedback on written assignments, but feel far less confident about their ability to request feedback or clarification on marks received from exams. Once again, students would value the opportunity to receive additional feedback, but would also appreciate the transparency of understanding how their exam marks had been reached. In particular, the Politics SSLC has chosen this as an issue on which to focus in 2013/14, and see this as a key recommendation to enhance the educational experience.8 Individual feedback should be available for all examinations to enhance and develop student learning. The methods for requesting exam feedback should be clarified and clearly communicated to students in advance. Furthermore, to ensure clarity for all in the examination process and help inform module choice, generic feedback on exams should be provided for all modules through ELE, and representatives from both the Politics and Law SSLC have suggested that short podcasts from lecturers might be a useful way to explain difficult concepts or give feedback.9 A regularly raised issue at Academic Affairs meetings has been the concern that deadlines for the return of assessed work have failed to be met, often through no fault of teaching staff, but as a result of insufficient IT capacity.10 Missed deadlines for the return of work have caused students some unease this year, and it has been requested that a coherent plan, communicated to students on every module well in advance could improve the situation. A schedule for all assessments and feedback would be a useful tool for students at the start of each year. Deadlines for students receiving marks and feedbacks should be adhered to.

1

2012 and 2013 National Student Surveys.

2

For example, IAIS SSLC Minutes, 2012/13, term 2. Also reported as inconsistent by two CSSIS Subject Chairs in 2013/14, term 1.

3

Refer to University guidelines for specific detail of this policy: http://as.exeter.ac.uk/media/level1/academicserviceswebsite/academicpolicyandstudentadministration/documents/assessmentand

feedback/for_web_3-week_turnaround_issues_comms_from_Dean.pdf

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4

Vision for Education, 2011, 4.

5

Term 1 SSLC Report, 2013/14. For CSSIS specific examples see, IAIS, Law, PGCE Secondary, Politics, Politics Penryn, APS and CSSIS PGT, 2013/14, term 1.

6

Students suggestions for the Visions in 2013/14, term 1.

7

When the draft Visions were opened to general student consultation, the Guild received several comments suggesting that this was the priority issue within the college.


Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

In addition, this appetite for feedback goes both ways and students throughout the University have expressed a great deal of support for the concept of being empowered to offer midterm feedback on modules that they have been taking. Their reasoning is simple: students are often unsure where feedback from MACE actually goes and often feel that their comments are not appropriately addressed, particularly when they are only asked for feedback once their module has been completed.11 By giving students the opportunity to make comments throughout the module, the University would empower the students to make changes to the way that their degree is taught. The possibility to, in some cases, have an instantaneous impact on their education would add a significant further incentive to use MACE. In other instances, where students raise problems that are insurmountable in the short-term, the opportunity to have a clear and informative explanation from their module leader would be invaluable. The Guild therefore supports the implementation of mid-term feedback across the University. CSSIS should encourage midterm feedback on all modules, with SSLCs invited to consider the feedback.

8

Politics SSLC minutes, 2013/14, term 1.

9

HASS Academic Affairs minutes, December 2013.

10

In particular, see STEM Academic Affairs, 2012/2013, term 2, although this issue remains a concern for all students.

11

MACE Feedback Focus Group, term 1, 2012/2013. For CSSIS specific, see Politics, 2013/14, term 1.

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Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

2. ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE This section begins with an impressive statistic that reflects just how highly CSSIS students regard their teaching. In 2013, 434 nominations were submitted for CSSIS staff in the Teaching Awards, an increase from 288 in the previous year and the largest increase of any college apart from CEMPS. The vast majority of the comments focused on superb lecturing, supportive academic staff, and high quality feedback – all features that are consistent with other methods of student feedback. In order to maintain these high levels of satisfaction, personal time with staff and a good balance of contact hours remains a priority. Students continue to express how much they value small group teaching and personal time with staff. As a result, improvements in student / staff ratios are seen as a high priority by students across the University. For example, students in the Institute of Arab and Islamic studies have gathered a large amount of student feedback this year, suggesting that ensuring small-group teaching, particularly for language classes, remains a priority.12 Where possible, the recruitment of new teaching staff is seen as highly beneficial, whilst the University is encouraged to create more roles that have a career development path that prioritises teaching ahead of research. The Guild continues to support the notion that all classes should have some small group teaching, with a ratio of 1 member of staff to 12 students seen as ideal by the 2015 / 2016 academic year Another problem that has arisen from the issue of student staff numbers, not only in CSSIS but throughout the University, centres on the role of personal tutors. There has been a degree of confusion over what personal tutors actually do – is their role primarily academic, pastoral, or a mixture of the two? This is particularly concerning as the 2011 Vision made the following recommendation: 3.4. Review the personal tutor system, ensuring minimum standards are being met (and exceeded) across the institution.13

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However, this is an issue where very little progress has been made over the past two years and it is an area where student satisfaction remains low. Issues with the personal tutor system were the most common item raised by SSLCs in the 2012/13 academic year, mainly owing to this broad lack of understanding or a lack of opportunities to meet with their tutors.14 The issue of access to tutors is perhaps even more important for PGCE students, who face the challenge of maintaining a close relationship with staff when spending a lot of time away from campus.15 It is therefore suggested that the University, and CSSIS, conduct reviews into how the personal tutoring system currently operates in order to a) clarify the role of the personal tutor, b) clarify how this role is communicated to students, and c) clarify how each department ensures that the system is working effectively. Although students recognise that staff are under more pressure than ever to complete research and hit teaching targets, there is a general feeling that there can be no substitute for personal contact with staff. Ideally, personal tutors should have the time and resource to overview all marks and feedback that their students receive. This should be considered with the student at least once a year or as a proactive intervention if there are clear issues emerging. Personal tutors could also have a role in helping students to reflect upon their personal engagement with aspects of the University experience and should be comfortable writing personalised references when students leave the University. The final recommendation in this section concerns the creation and delivery of new modules. CSSIS has been particularly effective this year in involving students from both campuses in departmental meetings at all levels of the college. However, some comments from students have reflected a desire to have a more thorough input into module and course creation. Students would value the opportunity to be consulted at every stage when new programmes are being designed (ideally through the SSLC), ensuring that they have a voice in how their course develops.

IAIS, 2013/14, term 1. See also results of IAIS SSLC survey, November 2013, which sought to identify and address student concerns in the department. 41 IAIS students took part.

13

Visions for Education, 2011.

14

Academic Representation Update, Jan-Dec 2012/2013, 2. The Term 1 SSLC Report, 2013/14 confirms that this issue remains troublesome.

15

An issue raised in the majority of PGCE SSLC minutes for the past academic year.


Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

3. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT WITH QUALITY ASSURANCE Special thanks to Charlie Leyland, Exeter’s Student Engagement Manager, for contributing the following two sections for this Vision.

Promotion of SSLCs and more attention to ensuring their effectiveness and basic organisation;22

Student Engagement in CSISS is an area where there is significant potential16. The Guild welcomes the recent appointment of two GBPs with student engagement responsibilities which is already beginning to have a positive impact on the student experience in the college.

More incentives and rewards for student representatives;

How to better cater for non-traditional and diverse student communities such as international students;

Further support to help INTO students and international students to succeed23;

How to better involve students in programme and curriculum design and delivery;

All MACE data, PTES data, external examiners’ reports, and NSS action plans must be shared with SSLCs as early as possible in the Autumn term of each year;

Training for student representatives to better understand MACE feedback;

How to disseminate the use of tools for effective mid-module staff-student dialogue;

Examining how students can work more closely with external examiners.

To build on recent progress, CSSIS should seek to focus on developing a focused and concise Student Engagement Strategy together with students, the Guild, and their EQE Advisor to address this issue and ensure both parity of experience and opportunity across disciplines, and full compliance with the QAA Quality Code Chapter B5.17 In particular, attention should be drawn to measuring the effectiveness and impact of ongoing or new activities in line with the expectations of the QAA Quality Code chapter B5,18 and in providing meaningful opportunities for the diversity of students across the college campuses and disciplines. CSSIS might like now to consider how it can continue to share best practice across its own disciplines but also support some more strategic crosscollege projects where opportunities arise. Alongside this, there are some specific points and suggestions for student engagement that CSSIS might like to consider. CSSIS should build on examples of innovative teaching such as: • The Institute of Strategy & Security Institute simulation pilots; •

‘Pragmatism Online’ Philosophy online undergraduate journal;

Virtual Law Firms;

CSSIS should seek to work with students to better understand underlying reasons for consistent issues around attendance, and work to address these.

CSSIS should work to develop its international student induction and support which was identified as an area for improvement by student Change Agent projects19 and student feedback.20

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Finally, Subject Chairs and the College Officer should continue to be invited to sit upon relevant college and departmental level review boards. A positive, receptive, and productive culture should be fostered to encourage students to raise issues and work with the college in an effective partnership. Pre-meetings with Chairs could be a step towards this. Furthermore, as has happened in other colleges, CSSIS should explore the possibility of engaging a group of students to specialise in quality assurance and review. By embedding students at the heart of the review process, the college’s culture of partnership and student engagement can only continue to flourish.

Areas for development could include working with the Students’ Guild to consider:

16

Students’ Guild College Engagement and Participation Report 2013; Academic Affairs meetings term 1 and 2.

17

Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Quality Code Chapter B5: Student Engagement.

18

Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Quality Code Chapter B5: Student Engagement.

19

Margaret Ekpo, PGT LLM student Change Agent Project ‘International LLM student induction support’.

20

Students’ Guild Academic Affairs Meeting, Spring Term.

There were issues with organisation at the start of the year with very late notice given, in some cases less than a day, or clashing timetables for students.

21

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Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

4. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT WITH DEPARTMENTAL CULTURE Student engagement with departmental culture and with University wide processes is another area with a great deal of potential in the college. In previous years CSSIS students have been the least engaged in terms of voting in elections, both sabbatical and academic, and in attending SSLC meetings or training sessions, although this has already improved substantially in 13/14.23 Furthermore, CSSIS participation in initiatives such as Change Agents and other student led activities has fallen behind that of other colleges, although Law continues to prove a significant exception. Naturally, student engagement with departmental life and University life more generally will benefit CSSIS in both the short and long term, and the college should think seriously about how to get more students involved. A Teaching Awards nomination from the English SSLC effectively demonstrates how a good working relationship between students and departments can enhance student perception of the subject:

“Not only does the department ensure that students from across every year are the first to know of any new developments in modules, teaching or management, but they never shy away from involving students in every process these developments involve. For example, having recently taken on new staff teaching in areas ranging from ‘Global Literature’ to the ‘Medical Humanities’ in order to ensure the department remains cutting edge and up-to-date, students were invited to contribute to the interview process of every candidate to ensure that their voices were heard.” 24 Certainly, the Guild would welcome the opportunity to work more closely with CSSIS on enhancing student engagement.There are other areas of good practice and examples of pockets of activity which should be examined and shared across the college such as:

14

ExCel @ Law blog for students pre-arrival;

PGCE induction week;

Arabic Poetry Recital competition;

The Law Wainwright Walk.

23

Guild College Engagement and Participation Report, 2013.

24

English SSLC, Best Subject Teaching Awards nomination.

However, clearly more can be done such as: •

Assess transition practices relating to academic integrity and helping students to navigate the myriad online tools for autonomous learning;

Strengthen and establish strong cross-college peer-mentoring training and supported schemes with EQE, building on student-led mentoring schemes this year across other parts of the University;

Improve communication with students to keep them abreast of exciting opportunities and to further immerse them into the college’s research culture;

Ensure that staff engagement is treated as a priority to create a receptive, resilient and agile community in which staff and students can work and learn together;

Following the successful precedent set by Humanities, CSSIS should explore setting up a ‘Your Exeter’ portal for all new students who have accepted a place;

The Guild would support CSSIS in continuing to develop the Change Agents scheme, continuing to identify and support at least one new project per SSLC each academic year, as well as more emphasis on celebrating student projects and building on existing developments year-on-year.

CSSIS should explore ways in which a higher profile could be given to how it supports extra-curricular activity. We would encourage the college to work closely with student societies and the Students’ Guild Activities & Volunteering hub to run more discipline linked volunteering projects. In the same way CSSIS works with students to provide a ‘Law Community Helpdesk’ and the ‘Innocence Project’, or CLES provides an ‘Action After Stroke’ student-led service.


Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

5. OUTSTANDING STUDY SPACE ACROSS THREE CAMPUSES This section begins with a difficult but important University-wide recommendation that appears in every college Vision. At the most basic level, there is continued pressure on desk space in the main libraries of Streatham and Cornwall campuses at peak periods. It is imperative that students who come to campus have a quiet and appropriate space to study, and as student numbers continue to grow, so must study space. However, in addition to this basic principle, there are a variety of other issues that are more particular to CSSIS students. CSSIS is fortunate enough to have students based on all three of Exeter’s primary campuses, but each of these presents a variety of different challenges. For many students, the St Luke’s campus still forms the heart and soul of their University experience. The campus is viewed with a great deal of affection by the vast majority of students who study there, maintaining the perception that a strong St Luke’s is important for a strong University of Exeter.25 These issues are of high importance for PGCE students and postgraduate researchers who spend intensive time on campus, and have this year suggested that the quality and opening hours of St Luke’s facilities could be developed or better advertised, with the availability of PCs at busy times being one important issue.26 This issue is not restricted to CSSIS students, with Sport and Health Science students continuing to see investment in the campus as a real priority. Their SSLC has outlined a number of measures concerning the introduction of improved technology, such as Echo 360, into the most frequently used lecture theatres.27 The opening hours of the library is a sticking point that has been frequently raised, and although students are grateful that the hours have been slightly extended this year,28 there is a consensus of opinion that more can be done. Study space, or lack thereof, has also been raised as an issue, as it frequently is across the University. With the arrival of Exeter’s new Medical School, students are keen to see St Luke’s facilities develop alongside those of the Medical School, but not at the expense of their own facilities.The following recommendation summarises the issue: Some students have expressed concerns that resources at St Luke’s are falling behind those on the Streatham campus. CSSIS should continue to support extended library opening hours and development of teaching resources on the St Luke’s campus. A further concern lies with the amount of office space allocated to PGR students, so that they can provide private feedback to their students in a comfortable environment. As outlined in the 2011 Vision, the contraction of PGR office space has been a concern for some time, but unfortunately, this is one area where little progress has been made and in some cases office space has been reduced further.29 This is perhaps particularly apparent in the Amory Building, and for the sake of both undergraduates and

postgraduate researchers, is a trend that needs to be reversed. It remains a priority that all PGR students who teach have office space in which to deliver feedback to their undergraduate students. What space postgraduate teachers currently have needs to be safeguarded and their opinions should be considered closely in any future consultations on the issue of office space. Finally, students recognise that technology enhanced learning is going to be at the absolute forefront of studying over the next few years. As new students arrive at the University, many will be increasingly used to technology as a part of their everyday lives. This puts pressure on staff to bring themselves up-to-date with technology and ensure that it is placed at the forefront of the student experience. There is equal pressure on the colleges to ensure that their teaching rooms are equipped with the latest technology and that their staff are competent in its use. As a base, the following recommendations are included: •

Development of lecture theatres and seminar rooms should include the latest visual, audio, and interactive (i.e. clickers) equipment. This should be considered in consultation with students, particularly if staff continue to develop their use of online resources to make lecture recordings widely available.

Staff should be supported and encouraged to explore new teaching technologies through collaboration with Education, Quality and Enhancement.

Students should be supported to understand and effectively use technology as autonomous learners and as members of the live academic community. This should be seen as part of a campaign to promote best practice for learning by the Students’ Guild, EQE and colleges.

25

See St Luke’s Committee minutes, 2012/13 term 1 and 2, for a flavour of the continued vibrancy of the campus.

26

PGCE Secondary, 2013/14, term 1. See also, CSSIS PGRLF, 2012/2013 terms 1 and 2; PGCE primary and Secondary SSLC, 2012/2013, term 1. See also, SHS PGT, 2012/13, term 1 minutes

for further relevant comments. 27

Sport and Health Science, 2012/13 term 1 and 2.

28

Such gratitude is recorded in the minutes from PGCE Primary, 2012/13, term 3.

29

Students’ Vision for the Future of Education, Section 5, 15.

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Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

6. HELPING STUDENTS TO MANAGE COURSE COSTS The cost of studying for a degree in the UK has never been higher and many students are facing increased financial pressures.30 Although drop-out rates at Exeter remain relatively low when compared to the rest of the sector, the Guild is committed to ensuring that the financial well-being of our students continues to be protected. For the last academic year, the National Union of Students estimated that the ‘average student’ paid £1070 each year on equipment, fieldwork, books, printing and other affiliated course costs, with many students surprised by how much costs add up over the course of each year.31 Costs vary dramatically from course to course across the University, but the high cost of textbooks for subjects like Law or the extra costs associated with studying for a PGCE can certainly be daunting. Hidden course costs have been an area of concern at Exeter for some time now, and students are keen to see these costs eliminated where possible or, where unavoidable, subsidised by well-publicised bursaries for those students who need the money most.32 In the perfect world, the Guild would like to see all associated course costs covered by the colleges (and therefore it idealistically appears in our list of priorities), but it is clear that this will not be immediately financially achievable. What is of paramount importance is that each department makes clear exactly what their students will be expected to spend at the start of each academic year, and that these course costs are kept as low as possible.

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Colleges and University central services are working hard and allocating funds to tackle the issue of course costs, but to ensure that they remain high on the University’s list of priorities the following recommendation has formed a part of every Vision for Education for taught students: • •

Students need a comprehensive and realistic prediction of potential course costs when they begin their degree, and at the start of each academic year to avoid financial surprises. All hidden course costs should be eliminated, with all core textbooks, printing, calculators, and other learning costs covered by CSSIS.

As a final point, it is noteworthy that PGCE students often face additional costs firstly through travelling to their placement schools, and secondly through attending additional seminars or workshops.33 The college does provide some funding support for this, which is usefully advertised through the University website. However, in order to manage the costs, both financially and in terms of time, PGCE placements must continue to be arranged to limit travelling time as much as possible. It is clear that this is a difficult request, with limited places at local schools and a significant workload challenge to the staff who organise the placements – a fact made clear to students at application. However, where possible, the distance travelled to placements should be limited or additional funding should be sourced to support students.

30

A concern raised by the Guild Advice Unit, and also frequently commented on by the national press.

31

http://www.nus.org.uk/en/advice/money-and-funding/info-and-advice/average-costs-of-living-and-study/ See also, Vision for Education, 2011, 13.

32

See all Academic Affairs, 2012/2013, minutes, both undergraduate and postgraduate.

33

This is frequently minuted as a concern through the SSLC. For example, PGCE Secondary, 2012/13, term 3.


Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

7. DEVELOPING LEARNING RESOURCES There is a general acceptance at Exeter, that although personal contact with teaching staff is of paramount importance, online technology can be used to enhance learning. ELE now forms the cornerstone of Exeter’s online learning experience and it needs to continue to be developed to accommodate new technologies. Students continue to value the use of ELE as a learning resource, but would like to see more lecture recordings, revision materials, and examples of interactive content used online. However, there are also concerns that not all staff are fully comfortable with using all aspects of ELE or indeed with other methods of technology enhanced learning. It is often reported that only the basics are utilised and students would like to see staff trained and empowered to make the most out of the University’s learning resources. This places an onus on the University’s Education, Quality and Enhancement Unit to educate more staff on the opportunities that are available to them and train them to feel comfortable with using cutting-edge teaching technology. The following recommendation is therefore equally important to acquiring new facilities: Staff should be supported and encouraged to explore new teaching technologies through collaboration with EQE. There are also ways in which ELE could continue to be developed, one of which has been increasingly commented on by students this year. With new students increasingly using a variety of electronic devices to manage their University experience and prepare work, there is a strong desire to see ELE made user friendly for users of different technologies. With the use of ELE seen as increasingly important, students have requested that Exeter’s IT provision be updated so that all ELE pages and attachments can be viewed through all electronic devices.

In more traditional terms, CSSIS boasts a formidable library collection that has gathered favourable feedback from students in the most recent NSS results.34 Furthermore, students have appreciated the increased opening hours of St Luke’s Library (as referenced above) and innovations like the new Law library are greatly appreciated. As always though, there is still room for improvement and it is important that students are placed at the forefront of new resource acquisition. The ‘Library Champions’ scheme has been reasonably successful in CSSIS,35 but both the Guild and each department in the college should continue to work together to promote ‘Library Champions’ and ensure that students are empowered to be at the forefront of resource acquisition. This is perhaps particularly important for students undertaking placements, such as the hundreds of students taking a PGCE course. As mentioned above, PGCE students have been very appreciative of the support that their staff have been able to provide this year. There is an understanding that organising and co-ordinating a vast amount of placements is a very difficult job, and staff put in a huge amount of effort to make the process run as smoothly as possible. To help enhance the experience further, students continue to place emphasis on the fact that it is vital for them to have access to an exceptional portfolio of online resources, whilst they are away from campus. Ensuring that they have a world-class support system, effectively utilising online resources, remains a priority. In addition, the expertise of alumni who have been through the placement process and have successfully completed a PGCE is seen as highly valuable, and the opportunity to interact with those who have encountered and overcome the challenges of the course remains an important factor. The experience of Exeter alumni is seen as useful, and it would be appreciated if efforts could be made to incentivise alumni to share their expertise.

34

National Student Survey, 2012.

35

Academic Representation Update, 2012/13, Dec/Jan.

36

Again, various aspects of these issues have been minuted by the Primary and Secondary SSLCs throughout the 2012/13 academic year.

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Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

8. RESEARCH-LED TEACHING The research community in CSSIS is clearly built on strong foundations – a brief look through the college webpage demonstrates that staff are at the forefront of some incredibly interesting projects. However, over the course of the past academic year this research has perhaps not always been transmitted to students. From both the perspective of an outsider looking in and from the perspective of students themselves, Law certainly appears to lead the way in involving students in their research.The Law SSLC submitted the following comment:

“The Law school actively encourages engagement with research from all its students. It does so by providing a variety of open lectures, seminars, and conferences throughout the year where lecturers and guest speakers, from different areas of specialism, deliver open lectures about their most recent findings.To illustrate the Law school’s commitment to this end, on average 3 open lectures are delivered weekly relating to legal research undertaken in different specialist areas.” 37 This appears to be just one of a number of ways in which Law students are engaged in their department’s thriving research culture, and the Guild would encourage other departments in the college (and indeed the University) to look to Law as an example of best practice. There is certainly good practice in other colleges too, with strong engagement with academic societies a key feature. However, although not a scientific measure, it is perhaps telling that in the 2013 Teaching Awards CSSIS received, by some distance, the lowest number of nominations for ‘Subject with the Best Research Community’ and ‘Research Inspired Teaching’ out of any college.38

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In light of this, presenting students with increased opportunities to find out about the research that their staff are doing outside of the classroom and then offering opportunities to engage with that research should continue to be a priority within the college. This naturally comes with challenges – what works in a small research community like Theology, might be extremely impractical with a much larger cohort of CSSIS students. Still, the Guild is keen to support the dissemination of good practice with regards to developing research communities, as many students see their involvement with departmental research and opportunities to learn about what their staff do on a daily basis as one of the highlights of their University experience. To achieve this aim, departments might find it useful to coordinate with SSLCs or build on already strong links with academic societies, as takes place in other colleges, to give students even more opportunities to engage with their department’s research. Opportunities to become actively involved in research and participate in innovative ways should be encouraged. The creation of strong departmental research communities should be developed, but the focus on research-led teaching on a day to day basis also needs to be maintained. Finally, the following recommendations in this section simply reiterate student desire to see teaching continue to prioritise research throughout the college: •

All modules should be informed by current research with students offered the opportunity to participate in the research process.

Where possible, a research dissertation option should be made available and well supported for all students.

Students’ participation in CSSIS research projects should be integrated into degrees.

All students should receive adequate training to feel fully comfortable engaging and participating with research.

37

Teaching Awards, Subject with the Best Research Community – the single nomination received for a CSSIS subject.

38

Teaching Awards 2013 Report.


Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

9. BRIDGING THE DIVIDE – IMPROVED

INTERACTION BETWEEN CORNWALL AND STREATHAM

One of the biggest challenges facing the University of Exeter is managing the relationship between campuses. One of the most striking aspects to come from both the FXU Students’ Survey and the Research and Representation Experience Survey was that academic reps from both Cornwall and Streatham noted that they would find it useful to have more interaction with their cross-campus counterparts – furthermore, Cornwall students were noticeably less satisfied than those based in Exeter.39 Cornwall reps also feel that they do not receive adequate training and the support the Guild offers is not sufficient for their role.This appears to be for a number of reasons. For example, Cornwall students representing CLES in Geography and Biosciences at the 2013 Student Engagement Conference, spoke passionately of the need to better inform Streatham students of the projects they got involved in and the issues that they faced in Penryn, suggesting that they felt distanced from the Streatham campus.40 Further to this, it may imply that the Streatham campus could benefit from replicating the things that are happening in Cornwall. It may be better to learn from Cornwall, rather than always from Streatham. Colleges should be encouraged to speak to each other regularly. Humanities tried to combat this distancing in Term 2 of the last academic year, with Cornwall based Subject Chairs Nicholas Sharland and Billy Ford travelling to the Streatham campus for the day to meet their Exeter equivalents, discuss issues with college staff, and forward any queries to the Guild. Streatham Chairs have yet to travel in the opposite direction, but have already expressed a desire to do so, and the Guild has already pledged £500 to help support the travelling costs.Whilst this £500 is a good start, it must be a priority for the institution to pledge more resources to the Guild and FXU to continue to support the working relationship between the campuses. The Guild would encourage the colleges to support this increased interaction between campuses, along the following lines: •

Following the successful precedent set by Humanities in 2012/2013, the other Cornwall colleges should continue to foster interaction between Cornwall academic reps and Streatham based academic reps, with Subject Chairs (at least) travelling to their partner campus at least once each academic year.

Colleges should strongly support the SSLC Elections and the advertising of rep training.

39

There are other areas where the Guild needs to consider how to best support Cornwall reps, particularly in relation to the working relationship with FXU. Whilst Streatham based academic representatives registered high levels of satisfaction with their training, the feedback from Cornwall was more mixed, citing a lack of specific focus on their college, confusion over the Students’ Guild presence on the Penryn campus, and a general feeling that Cornwall ‘did things differently.’ Ongoing discussions between the Guild and FXU have sought to make the link-ups between Cornwall students, Streatham students and the Guild more robust, and have resulted in the following recommendations: •

Coherent training must be delivered and supported alongside FXU, whilst the FXU Exeter President must be responsible for academic queries and communication with the Guild from the Cornwall campus.

The VP Academic Affairs and VP Participation and Campuses must visit Cornwall an absolute minimum of once a term, including an appearance during Fresher’s Week. The Guild should also seek to improve upon the information and support provided to CSSIS’ students during Fresher’s Week.

Subject chairs at both campuses should endeavour to talk to their equivalent on both campuses at least once a term. Subject chairs should talk regularly to share best practice, through skype etc.

Ownership of student reps in Cornwall by FXU must be fully recognised by the colleges, so that each campus can report directly to their respective union.

The other primary issue that has been raised by Cornwall students comes in the form of communications. Although there is a general feeling that Cornwall students receive less information on inaccessible Streatham based activities than they used to, there is still a perception that both the Guild and the colleges could do more to communicate with Cornwall based students. The successes and visibility of the Cornwall campus should also be better acknowledged. As was stated repeatedly at the Student Engagement Conference, there is often a lack of awareness or appreciation of the Cornwall campus amongst Streatham students. An improved communications strategy is key in addressing this. Working alongside the Guild, CSSIS should continue to develop its communications strategy with Cornwall students, outlining opportunities and emphasising their valued place within the University. Colleges should be careful to send the right information to students and ensure its relevance is considered before sending to students.

FXU Student Survey, May – June, 2013 and Research and Representation Satisfaction Survey, May – June, 2013.

40

Student Engagement Conference, Strand 2, Session 3 minutes.

41

Academic Representation Training Report, December 2012.

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Vision for the Future of Education | CSSIS

10. ENHANCING CAREER OPPORTUNITIES As mentioned above, in 2013 CSSIS staff received 434 Teaching Awards nominations, by some distance a record for the college and a reflection of the effort and teaching excellence of their staff.42 One of the most surprising statistics from the Teaching Awards was that out of the 434 nominations, none related to ‘Employability Support’ a popular category in many other colleges, and a striking anomaly considering the number of other nominations submitted.

provide valuable expertise and additional support. Conceptually, student representatives have responded that this is a good idea, although in some colleges where schemes such as this are already offered there has been limited actual participation. However, the consensus appears to be that this is an idea worth persevering with, as the experience of Exeter alumni is seen as useful, and it would be appreciated if efforts could be made to incentivise alumni to participate.

A continued focus on employability has been consistently communicated as one of the major priorities for students throughout the University, and CSSIS is no exception. On a base level, the importance of relationships with major graduate employers has never been higher, and CSSIS students view it as highly important that their departments continue to forge partnerships with well-regarded graduate employers and relevant partners. One direction where there might be room for development is in further educating and empowering students to become proactive in organising these employability events themselves. Recently, several departments have seen students spearhead highly successful Change Agents projects designed to set up employability fayres with companies that are of particular interest to the students, for example, the IAIS Careers Day in 201443. This has the joint benefit of bringing employers to the University, whilst simultaneously allowing students to develop a portfolio of contacts and putting them at the forefront of the employability process. Where possible, students should have a high level of input into the employers that visit the University, either through Change Agents Projects or through consultation with employability.

As a final recommendation for this section, which again appears in the majority of taught student Visions students would appreciate additional opportunities to study overseas, allowing them the chance to experience new cultures and get to grips with the international market. This is something that CSSIS and other colleges have developed exceptionally well over the past years, and all students should have opportunities to visit other worldclass partner universities and develop their skills. It is a long-term priority of the Guild to ensure that students from less privileged backgrounds are not prohibited from participating in study abroad through financial constraints. The University, alongside colleges, is already making significant efforts to support students from a variety of backgrounds and this process needs to continue to expand and grow funding opportunities. For the moment, where financial barriers exist, the University and colleges must consider how to best manage their resources so that students from a whole variety of backgrounds have the opportunity to study abroad.

Students view placements and internships that allow them to gain experience as being increasingly important, and support for such schemes should continue to grow. Again, each college has a responsibility to forge relationships with high quality partners who can work successfully alongside the students. In this case, across the University we have observed an increased focus on the need to forge partnerships with international employers.44 Students are not only keen to broaden their horizons, but feel that in an increasingly global market the chance to work and study abroad can be a key component of many career paths. In all of these cases, the students embarking on new careers or new placements are indebted to the excellent support staff in each college who make this process run as smoothly as possible. One area in which there is potentially room for development lies in getting alumni more involved in this support process. As those who have lived through similar experiences to many of the current students, alumni can

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42

Academic Representation Update, 2013/14, Feb-Mar.

43

See Student Engagement Handbook.

44

For example, Law, 2012/13, term 1.


Vision Visionforforthe theFuture FutureofofEducation Education| CSSIS | CSSIS

TARGETS AND IMPACT MEASURES The aim of the Students’ Guild is to have a positive impact on the academic and personal experience of all students. It is our hope that the CSSIS Students’ Vision for the Future of Education will help achieve demonstrable change across the University, culminating in improvements in student satisfaction surveys like MACE and the NSS. In order to ensure progress on each and every issue within the college Visions, the Guild will commit the resources to both check the progress that each college is making on a regular basis, and to supporting colleges to creatively think about how they might meet the challenges and share best practice through the University Student Engagement Network. The following measures have been put in place to follow-up on the 2013 Visions for Education, and track the progress that each college is making in achieving its students’ goals: •

Each college will have an elected ‘College Officer,’ a student responsible for liaising with the VP Academic Affairs and reporting on major academic issues within the college. Part of their responsibility will be to assess how effectively each college is responding to their Vision.

The VP Academic Affairs, Alex Louch, is committed to ensuring that the recommendations set out in the Visions are adhered to. Alex will oversee progress on the Visions, and raise any concerns with the ADE.

At the end of each term, Research and Representation will produce a short report for each college, responding to how the Visions have been addressed. This report will be student-led, placing our Subject Chairs and College Chairs at the forefront of quality assurance and review.These reports will be published through departmental ELE SSLC pages, ensuring that they are available for every interested student.

The issues arising out of the Visions should be thematically discussed at Student Engagement Network meetings, allowing colleges to share best practice and support creative solutions to the challenges posed.

Through these means, we hope to ensure that the profile of the Visions is increased and that more students will continue to get involved with their education in the future. Finally, we hope to see improvements via feedback from the following sources: • • •

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Student monitoring through SSLCs and College Chairs; Changes to academic misconduct data and exam satisfaction; NSS, MACE, and PTES results.

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Vision for the Future of Education: CSSIS