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Education Update April 2019

With the launch of the University’s Education Strategy and a challenging national policy environment, the University is moving at pace across a number of Education-related areas of work. These will help to ensure we can deliver on our ambitions for the student learning experience, for the shape and size of our provision, and for our standing in external assessment and compliance exercises. Colleagues in Teaching Quality are supporting the delivery of a wide range of these and we have included the following highlights in this Education Update:

  • Review of Assessment: The review is about to make its final proposals on new university policy and we have an upcoming event to discuss these proposals with the University community.
  • Subject Level TEF: The Government are piloting the Teaching Excellence Framework at subject level and we are preparing for the live launch in 2019/20 with our 22 eligible subject groups.
  • Review of the Credit and Module Framework: Following a series of Town Hall meetings and committee discussions, further student views will be sought and discussions held through committees in the summer term.
  • New online course and module approval systems: Both systems will launch in early May and academic departments will need to begin using these for approvals later this year. TQ and the SPI programme will resource the significant data entry workload to digitise current paper-based records but we need your help to collate them.
  • Student-Staff Liaison Committees: There is an upcoming handover session for student reps and staff convenors to help ensure a smooth transition between academic years.

As always, we are on hand to talk through any of this in more detail. Please either contact the project lead directly or email and the relevant colleague will get back to you.

FEATURE: Review of Assessment Policy Proposals

Work under the Review of Assessment continues and we have recently consulted with the wider University on a draft self-certification policy on behalf of the sub-group working on mitigating circumstances and reasonable adjustments and on borderline categories for PGT awards for the sub-group dealing with examination board procedures. It is anticipated that the fifth sub-group dealing with Academic Integrity will also engage with departments to understand effectiveness of current procedures in relation to plagiarism and cheating and to consult on emerging proposals in this area in due course.

The emerging proposals from the original four sub-groups (Assessment Strategies, Progression, Remedying Failure and Timing of Examinations, Mitigating Circumstances and Reasonable Adjustments and Examination Board procedures) have already been presented to the Faculty Education Committees in January 2019 and the Student Learning Experience and Engagement Committee in February 2019 with an opportunity to comment. Additionally, a university-wide information event for all interested staff took place on 11 April 2019. The proposals and clear timelines for implementation will now be presented to the HoDs Forum, Board of Graduate Studies, the Faculty Boards, UEB, and Education Committee in May and June 2019 before they will be put forward for approval to the Academic Quality and Standards Committee in June and to Senate in July 2019.

The proposals emerging centre on:

  • Principles on diversification of assessment strategies and guidance to departments on how to diversify assessment design and methods
  • Revised progression requirements for undergraduate and integrated masters students
  • Offering the right to remedy failure one occasion in all failed modules at the earliest opportunity for all taught students
  • A deferral of examinations policy
  • A revised self-certification policy to obtain an extension for certain pieces of assessed work
  • Principles underpinning a central IT system to store, process and present marks
  • Guidance on student effort hours for assessment preparation
  • Harmonisation of late submission penalties for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students

Project Lead / Contact for more information: Claudia Gray 

    Subject Level TEF

    The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) has run at provider-level over the last few years and is now being piloted at subject level by the Department for Education and the Office for Students. We are not involved in the pilot but we are supporting our 22 eligible subject groups to prepare for the live launch of subject level TEF in 2019-20 by the running an internal exercise of reviewing the metrics available and drafting submissions based on those. Each eligible academic department now has a nominated TEF Lead and we are working with them to deliver full drafts by the end of May.

    The TEF metrics we have access to so far are highlighting a number of areas where we need to make rapid improvements in particular, such as in the rates of non-continuation and the differential outcomes for different student groups. Your department lead (typically your Director of Education or DUGS) will be able to tell you more about this in your subject and you can find more information about our preparations online here:

    Project Lead / Contact for more information: Dan Derricott

    Review of the Credit and Module Framework

    The University’s Education Strategy commits us to reviewing our Credit and Module Framework so that it can enable a number of wider educational aims in the Strategy and remains fit for purpose. That review is well underway and has involved consultation through several Town Hall meetings with colleagues across the University, individual feedback collected online, discussion at Faculty and University Committees, and the analysis of student feedback collected through the National Student Survey. The next step is to seek further student input and the outputs of these consultations will inform a set of guiding principles and an outline project plan, which will be considered by Faculty and University committees, and then proposed for approval by the Senate before the end of the academic year 2018-19. There is still the opportunity for individuals to submit their views in the online consultation here.

    Project Lead / Contact for more information: Katharine Gray

    Changes to Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations

    The review of the University’s Governing Instruments (which comprised the University’s Charter, Statutes and Ordinances) was completed last year, and Privy Council approval for the new Charter and Statutes was obtained in February 2019. Following legal advice, these newly revised Governing Instruments replace the previous versions with immediate effect, and the University’s Governance webpages detailing the new Charter, Statutes and Ordinances have been updated accordingly.

    Please be aware that there have been some significant changes to the Governing Instruments, including some content being relocated from Statute into Ordinance. This has also required a number of the Statutes and Ordinances, and the clauses within them, to be renumbered. A number of minor revisions to Regulations 2, 6, 12, 20, 30, 34 and 36 to correct referencing to the new Statutes and Ordinances have also now been updated on the web.

    Teaching Quality and Institutional Governance will soon be undertaking a more thorough review of the University’s regulations to identify where their fitness for purpose could be improved and where their content could move from regulation into policy or guidance.

    Project Lead / Contact for more information: Lara McCarthy in Institutional Governance for Statutes and Ordinances or for Regulations.

    New online course and module approval systems

    The new Course Approval and Module Approval systems have each entered the pilot phase. We are working with a small number of volunteer departments during this soft-launch stage to test out real-life proposals before fully launching each of the systems for general use.

    Both systems will be rolled out for general use from May 2019 and further communication will be sent on as we approach the live launch date to confirm. A series of roadshows will be taking place across the University to introduce the systems, with ongoing training available after the initial launch. We will be in touch regarding the sessions in the coming weeks.

    With the impending launch of the systems, we are planning the entry of all existing course and module information into the systems. This will enable departments to make full use of the systems functionality, create single and definitive records, drive other key institutional processes and enable future SPI projects to be developed (such as module selection).

    Centrally, we are going to resource the significant data entry work that is required to get existing course and module records into the systems, but we need departments’ help in collating the records that we don’t already hold. A communication has been sent to all Heads of Departments and Departmental Administrators to request the following information:

    • Confirmation of which modules and courses are still ‘in use’, based on a data set we have supplied.
    • Submission of all MA1s and Course Approval documentation following the Easter vacation (or sooner if more convenient), based on a data set we have supplied.

    Further information regarding the validation of information being entered into the system will be communicated to departments in the coming weeks.

    Project Lead / Contact for more information: Geraldine Connelly

    Student-Staff Liaison Committees

    We have supported Student Engagement Coordinators in all Faculties in running SSLC Strategy Sessions. The sessions have brought SSLC representatives, chairs and convenors, as well as SU and Education Group representatives together to think strategically and share good practice on how to embed student voice and SSLCs into departmental strategy. Areas of discussion so far have included visibility of SSLCs, SSLC charters, joint degree representation, PGT and PGR feedback loop and communication.

    SSLC representatives and convenors from all Faculties are invited to attend the next SSLC Strategy Session on SSLC elections and handover on Tuesday 7th May (Week 3), 12-2pm, in the Teaching Grid in the Library.

    Project Lead / Contact for more information: Clare Watters

    Changes in the Teaching Quality Team

    Teaching Quality becomes Education Policy and Quality 

    The TQ team has grown and taken on a number of additional responsibilities over recent years, particularly as the Education Executive has been established and the Education Strategy has been developed. In short, the team has three broad responsibilities to:

    • support the delivery of the Education strategy;
    • develop education policy; and
    • secure academic quality and standards

    This evolution is being reflected through a change in our team name. We are currently in transition with a view to moving to the full use of our new name from July: Education Policy and Quality.

    Staff Changes 

    We have welcomed a number of new colleagues to the team recently, including Mahfia Watkinson, Clare Watters and Fiona Groenhout as Assistant Registrars (Teaching and Learning), Christine Vincent providing maternity cover as Administrative Officer (Partnerships).

    At the beginning of March, Roberta Wooldridge Smith moved from Teaching Quality to take up post as Warwick’s first Director of Student Opportunity. We are delighted to announce that Maureen McLaughlin, currently Head of Universities and Standards at the Quality Assurance Agency, will join Warwick in July as our new Director of Education Policy and Quality. Maureen has worked in the further and higher education sector since 1989, holding senior positions in five UK universities. She first joined QAA in 2009 and has led on the training and development of reviewers, including leading on the introduction of student reviewers in England and Northern Ireland. From 2014-15 she was Dean of Quality and Standards at the University of Gloucestershire, re-joining QAA as Head of Engagement to lead on working with institutions, students, professional bodies and employers/industry.

    Ahead of Maureen taking up post in July, colleagues are covering the following roles on an interim basis through to summer:

    • Katharine Gray as Director of Education Policy and Quality;
    • Dan Derricott as Senior Assistant Registrar;
    • Geraldine Connelly as Assistant Registrar (Monitoring and Review);

    During this interim period, we are joined by Victor Riordan as Course and Module Approval Officer and Chris Buckell as Project Support Officer.

    A brief summary of current staff responsibilities and projects is provided below in order to assist you in directing your enquiries to colleagues best placed to assist.

    Lauren Baker

    Assistant Registrar (Partnerships) 

    Partnerships Committee; Collaborative Reviews; Validations (NMiTE, iheed); Partnerships records and data quality; GDRP and FOI lead

    Chris Buckell

    Project Support Officer 

    Subject Level TEF; Academic Continuity Sub-Group; Digitisation of course and module records; Review of Assessment

    Geraldine Connelly

    Acting Assistant Registrar, Monitoring and Review 

    Implementation of online course and module approval systems; redevelopment of the Module Catalogue; Teaching Excellence Group (TEG); course approval and information; academic department liaison (all)

    Dan Derricott

    Acting Senior Assistant Registrar

    Teaching Excellence Framework (including Mock Subject TEF); New online module approval system; Non-continuation project; Education Committee, Academic Quality and Standards Committee, and Student Learning Experience and Engagement Committee; academic department liaison (all);

    Claudia Gray

    Assistant Registrar (Assessment)


    Academic Quality & Standards Committee; Examinations & Assessment; Review of Assessment, External Examiners’ process, Academic appeals process oversight, academic department liaison (all)

    Katharine Gray

    Acting Director of Education Policy and Quality

    Team leadership and staffing; Academic Governance; Senate; Education Executive; Education Strategy; Review of Credit and Module Framework

    Fiona Groenhout

    Assistant Registrar (Teaching and Learning) 

    Board of the Faculty of Social Sciences; Faculty Education Committee;

    FYBoE; Education projects in the Faculty of Social Sciences; academic departmental liaison (Social Sciences); Review of Assessment (Academic Integrity Subgroup); Independent Review of WIHEA

    Louise Hasler

    Assistant Registrar (Teaching and Learning) 

    Board of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine; Faculty Education Committee; FYBoE.

     Louise is seconded as Departmental Administrator in Maths until August 2019, but continues to support the committees above. 

    Helen Hotten

    Clerical Officer (Academic Governance) 

    Academic governance support; committee memberships; Faculty Board support

    Kam Johal

    Administrative Officer (Complaints Resolution) 

    Student complaints; OIA casework; Fitness to Practise; Continuation of Registration cases (UG); Academic Appeals (Request for Review stage)

    Anne Molloy & Abi Taylor (jobshare)

    Administrative Coordinator and PA to the Director

    Personal Assistant to Director of Education Policy and Quality; HR and Finance Administration; team support; Teaching Excellence Group support

    Victor Riordan

    Course and Module Approval Officer 

    Course approval; Course Proposal Scrutiny Panel; Module approval

    Carla Stafford

    Clerical Officer, Secretary to the Senior Assistant Registrar 

    Personalised support for Senior Assistant Registrar; committee support; team and project support

    Katharine Stratford

    Administrative Officer (Quality Assurance Reviews) 

    Teaching Excellence Group meetings; Course approval; PSRB liaison and review; Student Learning & Educational Experience Committee

    Christine Vincent

    Administrative Officer (Partnerships) 

    Partnerships approvals and reviews; Partnerships Committee; International exchange approvals; Degree Apprenticeship approvals

    Clare Watters

    Assistant Registrar (Teaching and Learning)

    Board of the Faculty of Arts; Faculty Education Committee; FYBoE; Education projects in the Faculty of Arts; academic departmental liaison (Arts); education policy projects (currently: reviewing maximum periods of registration, implementing exit qualifications, and published information to students)

    Mahfia Watkinson

    Assistant Registrar (Teaching and Learning) 

    Secretariat to Warwick Medical School’s Education Committee; Quality support for WMS; education policy projects (currently: mapping to the UK Quality Code)