Many colleagues have wished for some time to be able to create sufficient 'space' in the curriculum to enable students to study more novel content. The attractiveness to students of studying an emerging area of their chosen discipline, to follow a broader pathway incorporating thematic study year-on-year on a topic of relevance for our time, to take a module specifically equipping them to make a succesful transition from University to work or further study or to enhance their intercultural ompetence and hence preparedness to pursue and international careers, should not be underestimated. There may be barriers: such an aspiration may in some areas be curtailed by restrictions placed by Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies upon disciplinary curricula; departmental conceptions of appropriate subject content for particular degrees or the appetite to engage in an 'internal market' of potential new content opened up across the institution.
Interest in undertaking a period of work or study in the UK or abroad remains high and the number of students participating in mobility opportunities is growing. Facilitation of mobility within the University should be one aim of the review of the credit framework as should creating conditions for more Warwick students to take up opportunities overseas by dovetailing more effectively Warwick’s teaching and assessment periods with those of significant overseas partner institutions or international markets. Enabling greater numbers of Warwick students to take up outward-bound opportunities would contribute to the internationalisation of their experience. Equally, it would encourage greater numbers of in-bound international visiting and exchange students, thus contributing to the richness of the student experience in Warwick classrooms for all students, including home students.
The University aspires to develop a distinctive module catalogue offering courses which better synchronise with teaching patterns in overseas markets. Mobility need not be synonymous with year-long periods away, but rather with a more diverse portfolio of opportunities of varying duration and the ability of academic courses of study to accommodate these.
Enabling short-term work experience, internship and placement opportunities, either in the UK or overseas - whether through an integrated or independently-sourced opportunity - would contribute to the enhancement of students’ employability and increase their likelihood of success in the job market directly after graduation. Greater responsiveness of curricula to opportunities for students to engage in short and long placements would be beneficial and significantly enhance the attractiveness of Warwick to potential applicants.
Students are currently limited in some departments by the frequency with which some modules are available – often on a 2 or 3 year cycle - and further curtailed by staff taking study leave. By moving to an expectation of a reduced range of optional modules being available in each year of study, the University would be in a stronger position in terms of CMA compliance in ensuring the delivery to students of advertised modules.