The University of Warwick’s previous Learning and Teaching Strategy was developed in 2007/08 in a markedly different political and financial environment to that in which the University is now operating. In developing this renewed Strategy we have set out a plan which enables us to retain the fullest confidence in our ability to offer an excellent experience to our students, identifying key objectives to enhance our provision in line with the Vision 2015 University Strategy and in response to our internal Institutional Review of Learning and Teaching.
This updated version of the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy retains the core values and features of earlier versions which define the unique aspects of a Warwick education but in its underpinning objectives reflects the changing context within which the University is now operating and in which the University continues to strive for excellence, together with the progress which has been made since 2008. The values on which a Warwick education and the exceptional characteristics which define a Warwick graduate are set out in Sections 2 and 3.
A number of key developments that have occurred since the last Learning and Teaching Strategy was launched and which have informed the development of this Strategy are set out below.
Institutional Review of Teaching and Learning 2011/12
An institution-wide review of the University’s teaching and learning provision was undertaken in 2011/12 with the intention of not only assuring the University of the quality of its courses but also providing an opportunity to explore strategic objectives set out in Vision 2015, to identify themes for future enhancement and to share examples of good practice. The review process in itself was highly innovative, providing a unique opportunity to focus debate simultaneously on specific issues across the institution, to identify cross-cutting strategic issues and to stimulate ideas for enhancement that earlier cyclical review processes had not afforded. Key themes arising from the Review related to technology-led teaching provision, staff development, assessment and feedback, management of joint degrees, employability, personal tutoring, and student progression. Those themes and initial actions being taken are reflected in this Strategy document.
Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning
The Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) was established in 2010 with a view to taking forward the work initiated by the two Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs) hosted by the University and critically to expand on this work to support and embed excellence and innovation in teaching and learning across the University. This is achieved through provision of grant funding for pedagogic projects; pedagogic interventions and events; support for strategic developments through collaboration and co-funding of initiatives; identification and dissemination of innovation in teaching and learning; production of new practice to support research and development in new and emerging areas. Its work is also informed by the findings of the King’s Warwick Project, undertaken in 2009/10, the objective of which was to review approaches to undergraduate curricula to provide a distinctive, engaging and high quality education within research intensive universities. Themes of specific relevance to the work of IATL reflected in this Strategy are open-space learning; interdisciplinarity; academic literacy internationalisation, involvement with the community, research-led learning and student engagement and leadership in the pursuit and creation of knowledge.
Refresh of Vision 2015
The Vision 2015 strategy document was refreshed in 2011 to reflect the changing external environment in which the University was operating and the progress made in achieving the goals set out in the original version. The ambitions and values remain the same and underpin the Learning and Teaching Strategy as they do other areas of the University’s activities (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/about/vision2015/ ) while the goals of particular relevance to this Strategy are:
- Goal 2: To ensure a high quality and distinctive Warwick student experience.
- Goal 3: To make Warwick an international beacon by embedding internationalism into every area of the University’s mission.
This Learning and Teaching Strategy incorporates the relevant objectives set out within these Goals but also encompasses a wider range of aims which will together contribute to enhancing further the distinctive and fulfilling education that the University of Warwick offers and to ensuring that our graduates are equipped to meet the challenges of their lives beyond higher education.