Category / Student Engagement

HE policy update w/e 16th June 2017

New Parliament – On Monday we sent out a special edition policy update to keep you current on the political arrangements as the new government is formed. If you missed it you can read it here. Locally, all the incumbents were re-elected, meaning the whole of Dorset continues to be represented by Conservatives. A breakdown of the local MPs, the profile of their vote share, and current political interest areas is available here. It has now been confirmed that the Queen’s Speech and state opening of Parliament will take place on Wednesday 21 June. Since Monday’s update it has been confirmed that Jo Johnson remains in post as Universities Science Research and Innovation Minister. Anne Milton is the new Apprenticeships and Skills Minister. Locally Tobias Ellwood will move to the Ministry for Defence.

  • Student voting preferences: YouGov’s post-election poll states that 64% of full time students voted Labour, 19% for Conservatives, 10% Lib Dems. For graduates Labour got 49% and Conservatives 32%.
  • Effect of age: The survey states that young turnout was not as high as the media initially reported – 59% of 20-24 year olds voted. The survey highlights that age is a new dividing line in British politics. For every 10 years older a voter is, the likelihood they will vote Conservative increases.
  • Effect of education: The survey reports that education is also an electoral demographic divide with support. In the recent election support for the Conservatives decreased the more educated a voter was, with the reverse for Labour and the Lib Dems. Age is a factor, the young have more qualifications than the old, however YouGov report even accounting for this the Conservatives still have a graduate problem.

Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) data – The full longitudinal education outcomes (LEO) data was released this week. It shows graduate earnings and employment outcomes from 2014/15 taking data from the students graduating 1, 3 and 5 years before 2014/15. The methodological of how the data measured prior attainment has changed and ethnicity identifiers have been removed from the dataset for this release. LEO will be published alongside the Key Information Set on Unistats. Wonkhe ran a live LEO blog on release day (BU got a mention) and have an assortment of articles discussing the LEO findings as well as university rankings for each subject area. Polar data is available so comparison of the class effect on graduate earnings is possible even at a subject level. BU is generally positioned well within the LEO data, which is consistent with our DLHE outcomes data.

Gender pay gaps: Wonkhe reported on the first trial release of LEO data highlighting that the pay gap between women and men is visible from graduation. Wonkhe have explored this gender pay gap through the full LEO dataset released this week. Their new article identifies that, while the gender gap remains, subject area has an affect and where there are lower numbers of men than women on a subject, e.g. nursing, the men outperform the women’s pay by an even greater margin. The article questions whether universities are failing to prepare women to enter the most well-paying graduate jobs, and failing to encourage women’s aspirations on the same par as men. The article also anticipates that when the pay data can be cut by ethnicity that further gender racial divides will been seen. The Guardian also report on the gender pay gap.

Brexit – residency rights for EU citizens wishing to remain in the UK post Brexit are not as black and white as it seems. This report from Migration Watch UK on the EC’s negotiating position explores the shades of grey. There are ongoing rumours of pressure to soften the approach to Brexit but no indication of it – the formal negotiations with the EU start on Monday.

Higher Education and Research Act (HERA) – With Jo Johnson, Justine Greening and Greg Clark’s continuation of their cabinet roles the sector anticipates that both TEF and the HE and Research Act will move forward with more certainty now. UUK have published a briefing on the implementation of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. UUK remain positive in their approach to the act whilst acknowledging the potential risk to institutional autonomy. The act replaces HEFCE with the OfS, establishes the combined UKRI, and begins to establish the new regulatory system for the sector. UUK call for universities to engage and influence how OfS and UKRI approach their remit and to consider the implications of these split bodies with reference to the relationship between teaching and research within universities.

Regulation: The sector will be regulated through the register of HE providers. The OfS can vary the conditions applied to providers (as the pool of providers will be wider) and requirements relating to access and participation. A technical consultation on registration fees is expected during autumn 2017. Student protection plans will be a requirement of registration, including transparency in enabling provision for student transfers. The OfS will consult on whether there are appropriate bodies that could perform quality assessment and data collection in advance of April 2018 and that would command the confidence of the sector.

Teaching quality: During amendment through parliament conditions of registration relating to quality and standards of teaching meant conditions should relate to sector recognised standards. The detail and ownership the sector will have over the definition of standards is unclear. However, amendments within the Lords ensured that ‘quality’ and ‘standards’ should be properly defined and separate and the independent ability of institutions to set their own standards was protected. The UK-wide standing committee on quality assessment is working to coordinate a shared regulatory baseline and is also reviewing how the quality code, including standards, may need to evolve in the context of the new regulations. HEFCE is also expected to conduct a review of the Annual Provider Review in the autumn.

Degree awarding powers: will be subject to independent quality advice from either the designated quality body or an independent committee, and replicates much of the role of the QAA’s Advisory Committee on degree awarding powers (Section 46). A consultation on how the OfS should exercise its new powers, including ‘probationary’ degree awarding powers, and the removal of degree awarding powers is expected. There are additional conditions to be met before OfS can vary or revoke degree awarding powers or university title, royal charters cannot be revoked in full. There is to be additional ministerial oversight of new providers without a validation track record. Amendment discussions secured tightened regulation around degree awarding powers and university title to protect both students and the sector reputation on sector entry for new providers.

Financial powers: OfS will have the ability to make grants or loans to a HE provider, replicating HEFCE’s powers to provider funding for high cost or strategic/vulnerable subjects. It’s likely any support for providers in financial difficulty would require DfE and Treasury input.

Fee limits & TEF: Fee limit changes require (active) approval by both Commons and Lords, even if the increase is below inflation. An approved access and participation plan is required. There are three levels of fee limits:

  • the higher amount which will ordinarily increase by inflation (LINKED TO TEF)
  • an intermediate cap LINKED TO TEF (but won’t be implemented before 2020)
  • a basic cap (currently set at £9,000)

Until the academic year 2020/21 all providers participating in TEF with approved access plans will be permitted to charge the full inflationary increase up to the higher amount. Before differential fees determined by TEF rating can be implemented an independent review of TEF must take place. The review would need to take place in winter 2018/19 for differential fees to be implemented in 2020/21. The review will cover:

  • the process by which ratings are determined under the scheme and the sources of statistical information used in that process
  • whether process and statistical information are fit for purpose in determining ratings under the scheme
  • the names of the ratings under the scheme and whether those names are appropriate
  • the impact of the scheme on the ability of higher education providers to which the scheme applies to carry out their functions (including in particular their functions relating to teaching and research)
  • an assessment of whether the scheme is in the public interest
  • any other matters that the appointed person considers relevant

Subject level TEF have been delayed by an additional year but will be piloted in 17/18 and 18/19.

UKRI: will operate from April 2018 and is expected to commence by drafting its research and innovation strategy in collaboration with the sector. Research England will have to consult on the terms and conditions attached to the quality-related funding it provides. The government must publish details of the funding provided to UKRI, the terms and conditions attached, and the amount granted to each of the seven councils. This is designed to give public oversight of the process, and to encourage responsible allocation of funding to the different councils. The dual support system will not be undermined. The Act enshrines the Haldane principle within the legislation ‘decisions on individual research proposals are best taken following an evaluation of the quality and likely impact of the proposals (such as a peer review process)’. UKRI should give equal regard to all nations of the UK.

Widening Participation – The Social Mobility Commission have published the Social Mobility Barometer surveying the public’s attitude towards UK social mobility. The Barometer is new and there will be follow up polls each year until 2021. It was run by YouGov. Press coverage: BBC; TES focus on the belief education will be better in the future.

  • 48% of the public believe that where you end up in society today is mainly determined by your background and who your parents are; 32% believe everyone has a fair chance to get on regardless of their background.
  • 79% believe that there is a large gap between the social classes in Britain today.
  • A large majority of people believe that poorer people are held back at nearly every stage of their lives – from childhood, through education and into their careers.
  • 71% believe opportunity is dependent on where a person lives (something the government’s intended Industrial Strategy aims to tackle)
  • Young people increasingly feel they are on the wrong side of a profound unfairness in British society. The report links this dissatisfaction with the recent election where record numbers of young people voted.
  • Personal finances, job security and housing are key issues.
  • 76% of the public say poorer people are less likely to attend a top university and 66% say poorer people have less opportunity for a professional career.

Fees and Funding

The House of Commons Library have published a clear briefing paper on HE funding in England. It covers the 2012/13 higher fee increase, removal of maintenance grants and student loan repayment threshold decisions. It also summarises the public spend on HE (within England) and the impact of student loans on the national debt.

Jane Forster                                   Sarah Carter

VC’s Policy Adviser                                    Policy & Public Affairs Officer

Third Edition of the EU Falls Festival in Amsterdam (8-9 May 2017)


Natalia Adamczewska and Yolanda Barrado-Martín represented the Psychology Department and Ageing & Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) at the Third Edition of the EU Falls Festival in Amsterdam on 8th and 9th May 2017. The theme of the congress was: Developing Collaborations across Professions and throughout Europe.

This festival brought together over 200 professionals from multiple disciplines (such as Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Medicine, Psychology and Technology) working under a common target: The prevention of falls amongst older adults. It was a great opportunity to see how different countries in Europe, but also researchers in America, represented by Dr. Robin Lee, US Lead Home and Recreation Team; and Australia, represented by Kim Delbaere, Falls Balance and Injury Centre, NeuRa; are working under this objective, the resources different countries invest on this and the different approaches used from different disciplines. A variety of interventions were presented from educational to exercise, and a debate was organised regarding the relevance of the role of technologies to prevent falls and support research.

Falls are the first external cause of death amongst older adults which explains the importance of researchers, practitioners and policy makers working together.​ Members of the World Health Organisation and the European Commission were also attending this meeting and sharing their views on the relevance of falls prevention.

Yolanda’s PhD project looks into the acceptability and adherence of participants living with dementia to a Tai Chi exercise intervention. Adherence to falls interventions was one the main concerns of the congress, however, the experiences of those living with dementia remain mostly under-explored.

Natalia focuses on the psychological adjustment to falls in her PhD project and she looks at fall-related PTSD. Various interventions presented at the festival could possibly be applied in order to enable participants to cope with psychological consequences of falling, such as virtual reality treatment presented by Jeff Hausdorff that he originally developed for fall prevention in idiopathic fallers.

Biodiversity on Talbot Campus

The NUS Green impact Bee Friendly event was held in the fusion building on the 16th May showcasing what BU is researching and implementing for biodiversity on Talbot campus. The event had a strong emphasis on pollinators and as a community we have realised 17 new bee hotels and over 100m2 of wild flowers to improve our homes and campus for a wider diversity of bees.

Top James Appleby and Dr Liz Franklin – Emma and Isatu Placement students from Poole college not in shot Bottom the edible herbs in planters on campus (see Campus Biodiversity Map)

The event showcased the work of the Co-creative Student Environment Research Teams (SERTS) for biodiversity on Talbot campus including: James Appleby that is leading the Bee Zoopla SERT for making better bee homes and raising awareness of solitary bees and the Campus Bulbs SERT planting and monitoring the success of bulbs on campus. For more information see the hyperlinks within.


Top James and bottom the Campus Bulbs team Dr Anita Diaz, Alessandra, Amy, James, Ellie, Cara, Jake, Leon and Damian Evans

During the event there was a great deal of knowledge exchange about campus biodiversity with the University community being made aware of the bird boxes, bat boxes, bee hotels, wildflowers, bulb planting, edible herbs and fruit trees on campus. The handy link below takes you to a PDF of the campus biodiversity map if you missed the event.

Campus Biodiversity Map

Vianna Renaud, CEMP doctoral student and FMC Placement Development Advisor, presents at the HEA What Works – Student Retention and Success Conference

It was with great pleasure that I presented at the recent Higher Education Academy ‘What Works – Student Retention and Success’ Conference in London. Discussing successful interventions from across the sector , it was a wonderful time to discuss and explore current initiatives. With key notes given by leading specialists Prof Patricia Broadfoot , Prof Liz Thomas, and Prof Les Ebdon, I found the day to be invaluable in discussing the future of HE particularly against a backdrop of upcoming challenges and increasing pressure to improve retention rates.

My presentation was on the BU Placement PAL programme and how this was our first year in full implementation across the Faculties of Management, Media and Communication, and Science and Technology. Discussing the lessons learned and aims in taking the scheme further, the session was well attended by approximately 50 delegates. From the Q&A session, it was clear that we are one of the first UK institutions to offer such a scheme and as a result, I have had numerous inquiries.

As I am looking at peer to peer coaching and mentoring regarding employability in my doctoral research, one of my highlights of the day was when Professor Patricia Broadfoot attended my session and voiced her support, given that in today’s climate, UK HEIs will need to be creative in how to best support students.

Conference programme:

https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/downloads/what_works_conference_programme_final_v.5.pdf

For the final What Works report:

https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/individuals/student-success/retention/what-works

 

 

 

British Conference of Undergraduate Research 2017 takes place in Bournemouth

This week Bournemouth University will be welcoming hundreds of undergraduate students from over 60 universities to present their research as part of the 2017 British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR).

The annual conference is an opportunity to celebrate student research from across many different disciplines.  Since 2011, BCUR has been hosted by a different British university, with this year’s event taking place in Bournemouth.

BCUR gives students an insight into an academic conference and an opportunity to network with other student researchers, post graduates and practicing academics.  It also helps them to develop their confidence and presentation skills alongside honing academic strengths, all of which can help to boost their employability.

“We’re delighted to be hosting BCUR at Bournemouth University,” says Dr Mary Beth Gouthro, conference co-chair and BCUR Steering Committee member, “We’ve been supporting BU students to attend BCUR since its start at UCLAN in 2011 and the feedback we’ve received has shown how much they value and benefit from the experience.  Over 100 BU students submitted an abstracts to take part in BCUR this year, which is wonderful to see.”

“It’s really important to be able to share and celebrate the research being undertaken by our undergraduates,” explains Dr Luciana Esteves, conference co-chair, “Taking part in research, whether as part of a dissertation, alongside a business or as part of a placement, is a great way to develop skills which can be applied to many different careers.

“It can also help students to tackle real-world problems and develop contacts that may help them once they have graduated.  During the course of the conference, we’ll be hearing from students who have worked on fascinating projects with charities, government organisations and businesses as part of their research.”

BCUR will take place in the Fusion building on 25 & 26 April.  To find out more details about the conference visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/bcur17

You can find out more about some of the research BU’s students will be presenting here.

What is FoMO and how do you deal with it?

Students and staff attended 14:Live in the Student Centre, on Tuesday afternoon to hear from Dr Miguel Moital about FoMO.

FoMO is a fairly new area of research which looks into the psychology behind the ‘Fear of Missing Out’.

With the upcoming festival season, the session looked at FoMO in relation to festivals and marketing tactics used to convince consumers to attend.

Much of the research has been conducted by events management undergraduate students Ellie Taylor and Helena Jarman who previously worked on the topic as part of their dissertation.

Ellie was the pioneer conducting the first dissertation on the topic, whilst Helena worked with Dr Miguel Moital during June-July 2016 as a Student Research Assistant. Helena collated and organised material around FoMO in events leading up to the organisation of a workshop for local event professionals. The students created and provided a large amount of material for 14:Live.

The fear of missing out is a psychological fear that comes from a heightened sensation that everyone but us appears to be having more fun. Social media can often make us feel as though we’re missing out on socially driven events and experiences, because of posts from friends, family or even strangers.

FoMO appeals are often used by marketers to sell an event or product to consumers. Marketers often use specific communication tactics which play on someone’s emotions. This can include using ‘highlights videos’ and using techniques such as ‘75%’ sold out. This then encourages you to book early or attend at the risk of ‘missing out’ on the event.

Dr Moital commented “We looked at the types of emotions felt when experiencing FoMO, what it is people miss out on, how people may behave when they feel FOMO, the types of communication tactics that can be used when designing FoMO event marketing appeals, and what strategies can individuals reduce the levels of FOMO,”

“The session was very interactive and it was great to see a mix of colleagues from faculties and professional services, as well as a number of very engaged students.”

If you’d like to hear more about FoMO please contact Dr Miguel Moital.

14:Live is monthly lunchtime session, that discusses the different areas of research being undertaken here at BU. If you’d like to hear more about 14:Live please contact Hannah Jones.

Come along to 14:Live on Tuesday 21 March

14live

14:Live- Festival Fear of Missing Out (FoMO): What is it and how can you manage it?

Come along on 21 March at 2-3pm on Floor 5, Student Centre, Talbot Campus for the March edition of 14:Live.

Spring is fast approaching and festival season is just around the corner. Over the next few months you will be subjected to intense marketing campaigns from festival promoters, such as Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, who will be telling you not to miss out on this year’s music festivals.

Many of your friends will be sharing their excitement about going to these festivals on social media. Social media has heightened the sensation that everyone but us appears to be having fun and many people have become more sensitive to FoMO appeals.

In this 14:Live, Dr Miguel Moital will discuss the psychology of ‘Fear of Missing Out’. What emotions come with FoMO? What marketing tricks are used to heighten FoMO? How can these emotions be managed?

With drinks and snacks provided, this will be a session you won’t want to miss!

All staff and students are welcome!

BU alumni supporting innovation projects at BU

Dominika Budka is currently working on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces”. She graduated last year  (2016) having completed an MSc Forensic and Neuropsychological Perspectives in Face-Processing

Forensic technology and tools are advancing across the board, with the analysis of digital trace evidence being an exception. The techniques and tools used to capture and analyse footwear evidence have not changed in over a hundred years. This project is already changing the status quo by translating academic research on human and dinosaur tracks into tools for forensic practitioners to use. The product that has been  developed, DigTrace, is an integrated software solution for the capture and analysis of 3D data whether in a forensic context (footwear evidence) or in the study of vertebrate tracks and footprints. One of the  recent successes is the exhibit  the project team are  organising at the very prestigious Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, to be held in London in July.

 The project team were looking for a dissemination officer to help spread the word about the software and engage user groups both within the UK and overseas.  Dominika’s role involves working with external stakeholder groups, organising dissemination events, developing training materials and events for academics, crime agencies, forensic specialists, and UK police forces.

About working on the project, Dominika comented,  I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the project, which is not only well-aligned with my interests, but has also a huge potential for impact in terms of improving societal security. I’m working with a unique product set which can enhance global security by improving forensic practice, as well as criminal intelligence gathering and ultimately prosecution. The forensic context of the project is what I find most interesting as it links directly to my MSc”

To find out more about the project – click on the link: Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces