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Welcome to our new site

Published on May 11, 2011
Our new website has been in development for a few months and I’m delighted that we can now share it with you. Our new online home is brighter and more spacious and will help you connect with University Alliance and our universities in new and interesting ways. Today is also exciting as we launch a project telling the story of students in Alliance universities. More than just a degree: stories of empowered students is about the endless opportuniti... Read more »

Learning by doing

Published on October 26, 2017
The education strategy at Coventry University has long been based on an enquiry-led approach to learning. The premise is that, whilst we all learn differently, most people learn best by being exposed to both theory and practice. Developing learning space, physical and intellectual, for practice can challenge the institution’s estate, the academic who moves from being teacher to facilitator and the student who may need more time to practise activi... Read more »

Getting to grips with teaching excellence

Published on October 27, 2017
From robots to animation, haptic technology to virtual reality, fashion design to curriculum design, our group of universities are transforming how students learn – and equally importantly, acquire the skills they need to thrive after graduation. Our Teaching Excellence Showcase at the British Academy last week illustrated Alliance universities’ distinctive model of professional and technical education, including creative and innovative approache... Read more »

Perspectives on learning and teaching – Review of TEA Pilot#1

Published on November 3, 2017
As we’re nearing the end of the first year of operations for the Teaching Excellence Alliance (TEA) it’s timely to engage in a little reflection, look at developments to date and signal plans for the future. (About) time for TEA In recent years, even before the arrival of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), policymakers have placed increasing emphasis on ‘teaching excellence’. Against an increasingly fluid HE sector, the phrase is a now a co... Read more »

A provocation

Published on November 2, 2017
If there’s anything guaranteed to get a politician to squirm, it’s asking whether they’re happy for the policies they’re advocating to be applied to their own children. Take outrage at Diane Abbott sending her son to private school, or the infamous scene of John Gummer forcing a burger on his daughter in a bid to reassure the public about food safety. Ministers for universities may get the question more often than most: ‘would you send your child... Read more »

Spaces that inspire

Published on November 1, 2017
University of Brighton’s new Advanced Engineering Building The scale of capital investment made in the UK higher education estate over the last five years is staggering, with some £2.75bn spent in the 2014/15 financial year alone. This is expected to continue to increase in the immediate future as the sector anticipates the true impact of our leaving the European Union. A significant proportion has been spent on creating new academic space with t... Read more »

Enterprise education

Published on October 31, 2017
Enterprise education, defined by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education as ‘the process of equipping students (or graduates) with an enhanced capacity to generate ideas and the skills to make them happen’,5 has been in existence in the UK for the past 40 years, and is becoming increasingly embedded in university curricula. The main principle underpinning this process is the empowerment of individuals as active participants in an immers... Read more »

Engaging employers

Published on October 30, 2017
Although many Alliance universities only became universities in and after 1992, most grew out of institutions with a longer history. For example, the University of Huddersfield became a university in 1992, but its roots lie in the formation of the Young Men’s Mental Improvement Society in 1841, which, after merging with the Women’s Educational Institution, soon became a Mechanics’ Institute. The Institute sought to provide outstanding education t... Read more »

The Success for All programme: challenging the assumptions

Published on October 27, 2017
Differential in-course progression, attainment and outcomes for different student groups are apparent across much of UK higher education. At Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the first systematic attempts to address this focused on interrogating centrally-held data to identify the scale of the issue and then sharing relevant reports with academic Schools and quality committees. The limitations of this approach of ‘narrowing the gap’ were quickly... Read more »

Blurring the boundaries: co-creation in technical education and across the sector

Published on October 25, 2017
Co-creation of education fosters a more democratic education system. It sits within a wider set of values about the role that education plays in society. Co-creation provides opportunities for students to develop their education on an equitable footing with academics and teachers; rather than merely to receive knowledge passively. To embed co-creation and meaningful student engagement at a course, institutional and whole sector level is to begin ... Read more »