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Posts about: Education

Talking MATs: the challenges in MAT governance

14 February 2019

We like sharing real stories at NGA: it is after all one of the best ways we communicate, and education is all about learning and applying the lessons of others. The way MATs have developed in recent years has been truly fascinating to watch. The system was never really planned out and trusts have evolved over time, sometimes in a rather messy or complicated fashion. But the problem is that the vast majority of these narratives remain untold, leaving new trusts to repeat mistakes made by others. There have been a number of MAT case studies focusing on good practice, but we haven’t seen many brave enough to publicise mistakes.   

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Student residences: Why one size no longer fits all

29 November 2018

student residences demand changesClayre Massey, associate at Sheppard Robson, discusses why architects have a responsibility to create better student experiences and address issues of mental health.

Research highlights that around half of students going to university see themselves as customers. The “student-client” has arisen from the higher price of education, and led to a growing scrutiny of the quality of facilities on campuses. Universities have responded by increased investment in many aspects of campus life, with directors of estates using design to attract students in an increasingly international marketplace.

But have student residences kept pace with shifting expectations and requirements?

A typology that often conjures up images of tired halls of residences, student living is surely a fundamental way of boosting the student experience, shaping mental wellbeing and breaking down the perceived barriers of going to university. Where students live, in my view, holds the key to making the whole university experience more inclusive. Read more…..

Academisation: The new Ofsted framework

26 November 2018

The impact of academisation

When the topic of academies makes the news headlines it always seems to be for the wrong reason.

academisation - new ofsted framework

At the time of writing, education headlines have been dominated by controversies related to ‘related party’ transactions, terminated funding agreements and allegations of false claims for building and maintenance grants.

Perhaps more significant, has been the current BBC2 documentary series ‘School’, which follows the struggle of a small multi-academy trust in South Gloucestershire to keep its schools afloat in the face of decreasing budgets, falling rolls and challenging Ofsted inspections.

It’s a bleak watch at times, but the overwhelming picture is of a group of professionals operating from a strong moral purpose in the interests of young people and families against what at times seem to be insuperable odds. Read more…..

Robotic technology the future of business: Competitors or co-bots?

14 September 2018

What is robotic technology and how will it impact your businesses success?

Robots have been appearing in sci-fi movies and on TV for decades. When we think of robots we think of the Terminator, Transformers, Blade Runner and the list goes on.

Thanks to these movies we’ve been dreading the rise of robots for decades. Robotic technology the future of business: Competitors or co-bots?

Yet we still believe that robots are a fantasy concept.

If I had told you twenty years ago that your favourite robot movie might become the real thing, you would’ve laughed, right?

But guess what?

The future is here, and it’s bringing robots.

94% of businesses in the UK and US said they either embrace robots or felt a robotic future is inevitable”.

The truth is robotic technology is amongst us and finally making their way into the real world. We’ve all been fascinated by the idea of futuristic robots but this type of artificial intelligence also leaves space for some scary speculations!

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Adapting to change in HE: Five steps to improve the student experience

19 April 2018

In an increasingly competitive environment, universities are under growing pressure to improve the quality of the student experience.

Delegates attended the Enhancing Student Experience Conference 2018 to hear how the HE sector can attract and retain students by delivering better value, on campus, in halls of residence and in the lecture theatre.

One: Be prepared for change

Uncertainty about the implications of Brexit, the introduction of the Office for Students and the impact of disruptive technology on the labour market mean there has never been a more uncertain time to be in higher education.

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Rethinking higher education: Students as producers, not consumers

17 April 2018

Increased tuition fees and changes to the regulatory framework have placed too much emphasis on students as transactional consumers of higher education, experts have warned.

Speaking at the Enhancing Student Experience Conference 2018, Dr Sam Grogan argued that students should instead be viewed as “co-producers of their future self”.

Likening tuition fees to a gym membership, Dr Grogan said students must be encouraged to play a more active role in their own academic and professional development.

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Partnership working is key to combatting sexual harassment in higher education

11 April 2018

In 2016, Universities UK (UUK) published the Changing the Culture taskforce report, with recommendations on dealing with sexual harassment for universities to embed within their policies and processes.

However, earlier this month a national student survey by Revolt Sexual Assault revealed that this is still a significant issue, with findings that 70% of female students have experienced sexual harassment, and just under 1 in 10 (8%) have been raped, at university. The higher education sector has been criticised for being complacent on this issue.

Delegates attended Salford Professional Development’s Combatting Sexual Harassment in Higher Education conference to gain a better understanding of the risks that students face, the legal responsibilities of institutions in relation to handling complaints and supporting victims, and to share best practice to address this problem.

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Blog: Ending the need for “me too” in our universities

11 April 2018

Carys Page, wellbeing project officer at Loughborough University, explains how the higher education sector is tackling sexual abuse on campus.

In the last twelve months, we have seen sexual harassment and sexual violence creep up the worldwide agenda. From the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, to the outrage in the UK parliament regarding the alleged harassment of staff members, to the trial and sentencing of former USA gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar the world has undoubtedly changed in its attitudes towards sexual violence. This has also been reflected within UK universities and in their attitudes towards harassment and violence occurring on campuses.

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Universities must “invest in prevention” to protect student mental health

11 April 2018

Data sharing and investment in early intervention must be the top priorities as the education security sector shifts its focus toward student wellbeing and promoting good mental health.

Delegates at Salford Professional Development’s Security in Higher Education Conference heard how universities are adopting a more holistic approach which goes beyond simply protecting the physical safety of young people.

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Building a community in student accommodation

11 April 2018

Jo Hardman, Head of Commercial Services at Lancaster University

A sense of community in student housing is just as important as bricks and mortar, according to one of the leaders in the sector.

Delegates at Salford Professional Development’s Education Estates and Facilities Conference benefited from unique insights into university accommodation and how to deliver an excellent student experience.

Lancaster University has won “Best University Halls of Residence” at The National Student Housing Awards seven times since 2010.

Head of Commercial Services Jo Hardman believes the secret to Lancaster’s success lies in playing to the university’s strengths.

Read more…..