University of Worcester Shortlisted for Outstanding Support for Students Award

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The University of Worcester has been shortlisted for Outstanding Support for Students at a prestigious national awards ceremony.

The Times Higher Education Awards 2015 recognise talent, dedication and innovation in higher education. The winners of which will be announced in November.

The University has been shortlisted for its Working in Partnership (WiP) scheme, which was launched in September 2013 and involved giving undergraduates on Primary Initial Teacher Training course a prominent voice in the governance of their course.

Students set up three working parties and produced action plans with measurable targets and timelines, which included designing a text message system to alert students to timetable changes, instigating mid-point evaluations to address students’ desire for more on-going feedback, and re-timetabling some lectures on the same day to reduce students’ travel time.

As a result of the scheme, students now play a key part in applicant interviews and mentor applicants through the process. They also attend course management committees and play an active role, including chairing meetings on some occasions.

Rachel Barrell, Course Leader for Primary Initial Teacher Education, who has led the WiP initiative, said: “WiP recognises that our students do not see themselves as consumers but as active participants. Tutors wanted to move beyond consultation with students to achieve a collaborative and shared leadership model of course management.”

Members of WiP met with external examiners in June 2014 and the examiners commented: “The WiP initiative has been acclaimed by everyone we have spoken to as revolutionising the student voice, ensuring better student/staff communication and relationships and ultimately impacting on trainee well-being and achievement.”

The scheme has been so successful it is now being rolled out to other parts of the University.