At the Staff Open Meeting on 4 June, I outlined how the new Integrated Academic Strategy would affect students. The Strategy has multiple strands and aims to meet the needs of our future student community in the areas of teaching, employability and the wider student academic experience.
Our research-informed teaching and learning form an important part of our offering to students. In the autumn we will therefore be asking academic departments to identify the ‘research spine’ that runs through the duration of each programme. This can include introduction to research skills in the first year, through to projects and dissertations in the third year.
From 2019 entry, all undergraduate students will be able to opt for a three or four year degree. The year out, taken in the third year, would be spent abroad, in industry, undertaking entrepreneurial or involvement in humanitarian projects. Students could do a combination of these activities with each one taking a minimum of three months.
Students in their second year, from 2020 onwards, will also be able to take up to one unit outside of their host department. These multidisciplinary units would explore issues pertinent to wider skills and the global environment. For example, they may be around the digital world, or global challenges.
Many of our programmes already incorporate assessments which are based on applying knowledge to real-life industry situations. The suggestion is that each major programme includes at least one industry-facing assessment to better prepare students for the world of work.
The finer details will be agreed in the coming months, but it is planned that the student-facing Integrated Academic Strategy will be live for students joining us in September 2019.
This is an exciting development for our university, and I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the work to date.
Professor Paul Layzell