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Undergraduate Staff Newsletter - Winter 2012

This newsletter will be issued on a quarterly basis to provide academic colleagues with an interest in, or responsibility for, undergraduate education in their departments with a regular summary of matters of policy, procedure and issues for forthcoming development in areas overseen by the Academic Office.

It is being sent to all Heads of Department, Directors of Undergraduate Studies and staff who have otherwise expressed an interest in hearing from the Academic Office on matters relating to undergraduate students on a regular basis.

This newsletter contains information on the following topics:

1) QAA Institutional Review
2) Academic Office Activity Calendar
3) Module Registration Spring Term 2013
4) Special Examination Arrangements
5) Fees for the Spring Term
6) Undergraduate Tuition Fee Withdrawal Policy
7) Fulbright Summer Institutes Summer 2013
8) Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme 2013
9) Committee meetings and DUGS lunch, Spring 2013
10) Currency of students’ contact details

1) QAA Institutional Review
The University’s Self Evaluation Document and the accompanying Student Written Submission prepared by James Entwistle, the SU Education Officer, have now been submitted to the QAA ahead of the University’s Institutional Review next Spring. Both documents are available online at This is just a reminder that we will host the initial review team visit on 15-16 January 2013, which should give us good insight into those areas which the team wishes to probe in some depth, and staff whom they wish to see. The full review visit is scheduled for 25 February to 1st March 2013. Staff with significant departmental responsibilities are asked to do their utmost to keep this period free until the University has been notified of staff who will need to be involved in meetings for the Review.

2) Academic Office Activity Calendar
Some time ago the Office developed an activity calendar which you can access online at which sets out the various processes in which constituent teams are engaged and consequent actions which may be required from departments or their students. The calendar is searchable by team/functional area and by month and is intended to give you an easy-to-use, high-level overview of calls for information to an annual timetable. If you have been unaware of its existence, I hope that you find it useful. In the event that you have feedback or queries about it, please mail me directly on

3) Module Registration Spring Term 2013
Where departments have requested it, module registration for 2012/13 will again be open to students from 7th – 25th January 2013.

All departments are asked to note that final approval (“confirmation” in the system terminology) of their students’ module and assessment method choices for the current year must be completed by not later than the end of the fifth week of the Spring Term (i.e. by not later than Friday 8th February 2013) in order for the Summer Term examination schedules to be prepared.

Please also note the provisions of the University’s Credit and Module Framework with regard to student module and assessment method choice and amendment

Students in the Faculty of Science only will, where permitted by departments, continue to be able to de-register only from modules from the sixth week of the Spring Term (i.e. from 11 February 2013).

4) Special Examination Arrangements 2012/13
Please remember the early March deadlines by which students must submit applications for special examination arrangements to Personal Tutors or Disability Services (see for details).

5) Fees for the Spring Term
Students paying their tuition fees in instalments are expected to pay the next instalment (25%) in January. Accommodation fees for term 2 are also payable in January.

6) Undergraduate Tuition Fee Withdrawal Policy
Please note that the new policy with regard to withdrawal from undergraduate courses and payment of tuition fees can now be found at

7) Fulbright Summer Institutes 2013
The US-UK Fulbright Commission and US Department of State have announced the return of the US Summer Institutes for British students.

There are two new study abroad summer programmes running in 2013 for students with a passion for business or the environment and the desire to experience another culture first-hand: the Summer Institute on Social Entrepreneurship and the Summer Institute on Environmental Stewardship. The Institutes are open to students on all courses of study. Fulbright will accept applications from current university students and those beginning university in autumn 2013. They seek candidates who have a keen interest in the topics offered by the Institutes but who may not necessarily have had previous experience in the subject matter.

The Fulbright US Summer Institute on Social Entrepreneurship will offer participants a five-week programme based at a US higher education institution. Participants in the Institute will examine social entrepreneurship in the United States, including the development, history, challenges, and successes of U.S. social enterprises. The Institute will give participants a foundation in how to employ entrepreneurial skills to address social issues and will provide opportunities to meet with American local community leaders. The Institute may address topics such as business ethics, negotiations, emerging markets and risk analysis, microfinance, corporate social responsibility, strategic business planning and innovation, and women and minorities in entrepreneurship.

The Fulbright US Summer Institute on Environmental Stewardship will explore current themes in environmental studies, which may include natural resource management, sustainable development/sustainable agricultural practices, food security, ecotourism, energy generation (new and traditional forms), and water management and treatment. The issues will be explored from numerous angles: local grassroots activism and civic initiatives, market-oriented approaches, and federal government policies and regulation. The Institute might also examine the relationship between environmental security and national security. In addition, the Institute will explore environmental issues in the context of a globalised society, and will draw comparisons between the United States and the participants’ home countries. We expect the Institute on Environmental Stewardship to provide opportunities for participants to engage with policy makers, individuals in technical positions, community representatives, indigenous leaders, and other key actors committed to the protection and management of the environment.

In addition to the academic focus of each Institute, the Summer Institutes are intended to introduce European students to US culture and society. The Institutes will include cultural activities that allow students to become familiar with their American host community.

UK participants will be joined by other young European participants from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden.

The Summer Institute will cover all participant costs including round-trip airfare from the UK to the US; tuition and fees at the host university; accommodation and meals; a small daily allowance; health and accident insurance; a small book allowance; and visa processing.

Individuals from a broad range of ethnic, religious, geographic, and socio-economic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Full application details are available from The deadline for applications is 5pm, Friday 15 February 2013. Students with questions about the programme should email:

8) Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme 2013
The application process for the 2012-13 Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS) opened on Monday 3 December, and will remain open until Friday 1 February 2013. The URSS provides undergraduate student bursaries of up to £1,000 to enable students to undertake a short (4 to 10 week) research project within a department or research centre.

Departments and research centres are invited to nominate potential projects which offer undergraduate students the opportunity to gain an insight into research work and to develop their transferable skills. The scheme criteria are applied to the research projects and the opportunities they offer undergraduate students rather than to the qualities or skills of the undergraduates themselves.

The URSS gives students the chance to become directly involved in the research work of the University, gain first-hand experience as a member of a research team and participate in cutting-edge research. This can be important as work experience and to direct future work or study. Once the potential supervisor and the student have agreed the project and people involved, each needs to submit an online application form. The URSS are keen to continue to collaborate with departments to understand what research possibilities are already available and could be absorbed as part of the URSS scheme in order that students can benefit from the training available and certification programme.

To find out more, visit the URSS website. To discuss ways to develop the scheme through collaborations, please email URSS.

9) Committee meetings and DUGS lunch, Spring 2013
Please find below dates for UG academic committees for next term. Please note that paper deadlines will usually be at least 7 days in advance of meeting dates; enquiries to the relevant secretaries.
*Please note that the Council Chamber in University House has now been designated room CMR 1.0; references to the Council Chamber relate to Senate House*
Undergraduate Studies Committees
Undergraduate Studies Committee, Faculty of Arts, 10-12 noon 30 January, H042
Undergraduate Studies Committee, Faculty of Social Sciences, 10-12 noon 30 January, CMR 1.2
Sub-Faculty of Science, 10-12 noon 30 January, R0.3/4
Undergraduate Studies Committee, Faculty of Medicine, 2-4pm, 21 January, WMS
Faculty Boards
Board of the Faculty of Arts: 3-5pm 13 February, R0.03/4, following the Faculty lunch 12-1.30pm in the Wolfson Research Exchange
Board of the Faculty of Social Sciences: 2-4pm 13 February, following the Faculty lunch 12-1.30pm in the Wolfson Research Exchange
Board of the Faculty of Science: 9.30-11.30am 13 February, CMR 1.0, University House, followed by the Faculty Lunch 12-1.30pm Wolfson Research Exchange
Board of the Faculty of Medicine: 2-4pm 18 February

Board of Undergraduate Studies
2-5pm, 19 February, CMR 1.0, University House

DUGS Lunch
12.00-2.00pm Friday 8th March 2013, CMR 1.0, University House

10) Currency of students’ contact details
A good deal of work has been undertaken within Student Records in recent months to ensure that we adopt a more proactive approach to encouraging students regularly to check and update their contact details. Reminders to students of the importance of maintaining current contact details on the University’s central record are now regularly appearing on plasma screens across campus. It would be much appreciated if staff could also provide encouragement to students to update their details when they become aware of a change of address. Students may update this aspect of their record via the link at my.warwick

Please let me know if this type of regular update is useful to you and, in addition to Heads of Departments, Directors of Undergraduate Studies and others who have specifically requested a copy, if other colleagues ought to be added to the core distribution list.

With best wishes for the festive season,

Roberta Wooldridge Smith
Deputy Academic Registrar