Work in Progress

The aim of this page is to provide brief information on Senate-related projects that are planned, in progress or have completed recently. The Senate Office Strategic Plan is also provided.

A short summary of initiatives is provided below together with relevant contacts to obtain more information, if required.

In Progress:

Completed Projects:

Academic Year/Structures, review  Due to StartDue to Complete 

The Academic Structures Implementation Group (ASIG) has co-ordinated a review of the University’s academic structures following the implementation of a revised academic year in 2008-09 and an interim review in Semester 1 of 2009-10.

A review questionnaire was circulated widely among Colleges, Schools, and SRC in November 2010.  Responses were collected and collated in March 2011. ASIG met on 28 March 2011 and June 2011 to review the consultation responses. ASIG agreed to propose lengthening Semester 1 to 14 weeks at the expense of Semester 2. A detailed proposal will be included in a report to Senate in October 2011.

Update 25 October 2011: Discussion of the proposal has been deferred to the December meeting of Senate.

Update 16 January 2012: The proposal was discussed at Senate, which decided to make no changes to the current academic year.

Autumn 2010

December 2011
Contact:  Eleanor Waugh


Advisory Needs of Taught Students  Due to StartDue to Complete 

The Undergraduate Student Advising System, which was developed as the result of a review of Student Advisory Needs conducted in Session 2007-08, was approved by the Student Support and Development Committee (SSDC) on 14 May 2010 and endorsed by Senate on 3 June 2010.

Session 2010-11


The Student Support and Development Committee and its sub-committee, the Chief Advisers Sub-committee, have responsibility for the development and implementation of compulsory and optional training for Advisers of Studies.

Chief Advisers set ambitious recruitment targets to appoint new Advisers of Studies in time for training (College, MyCampus and Student Services) and all Colleges have achieved recruitment targets within agreed deadlines. Existing and new Advisers of Studies are in the process of receiving training to support them in their role.

Session 2011-12 Summer 2012

Contact:  Gavin Lee

Assessments from Study Abroad, Treatment of Due to StartDue to Complete

The Working Group on Treatment of Assessments from Study Abroad was established to address the challenges faced in translating student grades achieved abroad into a form compatible with those achieved here. The Group’s remit was to provide:

  • Examples of good practice;
  • Principles that the University can follow (for incorporation in the Assessment Policy);
  • Recommendations for meeting the principles;
  • An appendix to the Code of Assessment on this matter.

The Group reported to Learning and Teaching Committee and EdPSC in Semester 2 of session 2010-11 and was approved by Senate on 2 June 2011. The report is available at: (annex 1, pg 6)

Work on the Group’s recommendations for meeting the principles will be co-ordinated by the Senate Office. To date, the principles have been incorporated in the Code of Assessment as of Session 2011-12 and in the Assessment Policy which has been re-circulated to staff by the Clerk of Senate.

November 2010 Completed

Contact:  Jane McAllister

External Examiners system – administration processDue to StartDue to Complete
The administration of the University’s External Examiner system is being converted to an online system.    
Phase 1: Online submission of Externals’ reports; production of management reports; payment of fees 2010-11 Completed
Phase 2: Enhanced online facilities for examiners –online access to information 2011 October 2012
Phase 3: Enhanced facilities for Schools – examiner nominations, report distribution; report responses 2011 Summer 2013 

Contact:  Lesley Fielding

Graduate AttributesDue to StartDue to Complete

Working Group has reported ( A model for the University’s graduate attributes (GA) has been agreed, which sets it within a supporting framework of strategic recommendations. 

A Graduate Attributes Implementation Group has now been established to oversee institutional rollout of the GA framework and to:

  • look at ways to embed Graduate Attributes across programmes as a non- tick box exercise that would map to existing good practices;
  • explore usage of employer performance frameworks;
  • link in Mahara with Graduate Attributes development;
  • investigate those Graduate Skills programmes which are well established and being bought in to (such as those in Social Sciences).

The Graduate Attributes Implementation Group remit can be found at:

Implementation to begin Feb 2011  August 2012

Contact:  Fiona Dick


Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)

Due to StartDue to Complete

The University’s European Diploma Supplement issued to all students at graduation is to be extended so that it meets the additional requirements of the HEAR. 

The Senate Office and Registry are advising the SLP team on system requirements in order for Campus Solutions to generate the HEAR as part of the transcript process. The Student Transcript Working Group is considering procedural and policy matters for the HEAR and should be in a position to provide a final report to EdPSC in early 2012.

Session 2009-10 Summer Graduations 2012

Contact:  Helen Clegg

Implementation of Researcher Development FrameworkDue to StartDue to Complete 

The Researcher Development Committee is overseeing the implementation of the Researcher Development Framework.

This includes:

  • Mapping of training and development opportunities across the university against the framework, to identify and fill any gaps - in progress. Implementation work was presented at national Vitae conference in September 2011 as an example of good practice.
  • Development of PDP tool for use by researchers and consideration of this tool for use during annual progress reviews - implemented in College of Social Sciences in 2010/11 and has now been rolled out across all Graduate Schools for use in 2011/12
  • Mapping of RDF against Graduate Attributes with consideration of transition from UG or PGT to PGR - completed
  • Redesign of webpages and promotional literature to clearly map training courses and other skills development opportunities against RDF - completed

More information can be found at

December 2010 Completed

Contact:  Elizabeth Adams

Learning & Teaching Action PlanDue to StartDue to Complete
Learning & Teaching Action Plan has been agreed and published on the Senate Office Website. The plan integrates actions arising from the University’s Learning & Teaching Strategy, ELIR, Retention WG, Graduate Attributes WG, and other sources. Progress against the actions will be monitored by Learning &Teaching Committee (updates on progress will be sought and reported to Learning & Teaching Committee towards the end of Semester 2, 2011-12. Progress with ELIR actions is reported to the Quality Assurance Agency at annual meetings and will form part of the basis of the University’s submission at the next ELIR – expected in 2013-14. January 2011 2014-15

Contact:  Jane McAllister

Postgraduate Taught provisionDue to StartDue to Complete

A short-life working group was formed to examine a comprehensive range of interrelated issues around PGT provision in the University including: flexibility of institutional provision; sustainability of provision; course design including resource modelling; impact on estate and infrastructure development; and linkages between recruitment and course development.

A final report with recommendations was considered and approved at the EdPSC meeting of 21 June 2011. Discussions with VP (Learning & Teaching) are ongoing regarding taking forward recommendations.

June 2010 June/July 2012

Contact:  Fiona Dick

REF Working GroupDue to StartDue to Complete

The REF Working Group was established in August 2009 and its remit is as follows:

1. To support generally the University’s preparations for the implementation of the Research Excellence Framework (REF).
2. To monitor and provide advice on the REF as it develops.
3. To provide advice and guidance on the development of institutional policy and strategy in relation to the REF.
4. To prepare for mini-REF exercises.
5. To be responsible for the selection decisions appeals process, in line with the institutional Code of Practice for the Selection of Staff.
6. To form the kernel of a REF implementation group.
7. To report to the Research Planning Strategy Committee (RPSC)

For more information, the University’s REF pages are at:

August 2009 November 2013

Contact: Kristy Bremner

Second Marking Guidance, Best Practice Working GroupDue to StartDue to Complete

Following several University-wide requests for advice on best practice in the use of single marking/second marking/blind double marking of assessments, a working group was formed to establish best practice guidelines on methods of marking for use across the University.
The group will provide guidance on best practice in second marking and in the modulating of grades, taking into account that in some subject areas the marking method is governed by accreditation bodies.

Update 21 July 2011: The guidance suggested by the Methods of Marking Working Group is currently being discussed at College Learning & Teaching Committees to consider whether there would be any significant barriers to implementing the points in the future and feedback will be reported to Learning & Teaching Committee.

Update 16 September 2011: The guidance has been discussed by Colleges and barriers to implementation will be discussed at the Learning & Teaching Away Day.

Update 18 January 2012: Due to time constraints the Second Marking Guidance had not been discussed at the Learning & Teaching Away Day. It will now be discussed at the next meeting of the Learning & Teaching Committee on 9 February 2012.

Update 23 February 2012: Following consultation with College Learning & Teaching Committees, the Learning & Teaching Committee endorsed that the Second Marking Guidance should not become policy. This was due to the resource and workload implications if the guidance became mandatory.

November 2010 Completed

Contact:  Catherine Omand (Clerk to Learning & Teaching Committee)

 Senate CommunicationsDue to StartDue to Complete
A Senate Working Group has been established to improve Senate communications, particularly those between Senate and Court, and improve the engagement of the broad membership of Senate in its affairs. The group has also made recommendation to Senate on its membership. Senate has received the interim report of this group, though work is ongoing with regard to the relationship between Senate and Court. August 2011 Ongoing 
Contact:  Helen Clegg
Student Carers' PolicyDue to StartDue to Complete

The Student Carers’ Policy was developed by a Working Group of the Student Support and Development Committee and approved by Senate on 3 February 2011 (

This policy provides advice and guidance to:

  • Students who, at any point during their studies at the University, provide emotional or practical support to a relative, close friend, or neighbour, who is unable to manage alone;
  • University staff who have a role in advising or supporting students who already are or who anticipate becoming carers.
Session 2011-12 Completed

Contact:  Gavin Lee

 Student Retention Working GroupDue to StartDue to Complete

The Working Group is focusing on raising on the student retention rate from 85% to 94% during the next 5 to 10 years, which is a key performance indicator for the University. The areas the Working Group are currently focusing on are:

  • Extended Induction
  • Advising of first year students
  • Implementation of Advisers’ Early Warning System across the University
  • Institutional Withdrawal process
  • Second year retention rates
  • Targeted approach to first year retention 
May 2006 Ongoing

Contact:  Amber Marquez-Higgins

Student VoiceDue to StartDue to Complete

The Student Voice website is being redeveloped to provide information firstly at a local College level and then at University level with the aim of increasing the direct relevance to the individual student reader.  Pages will be accessed directly from a Campus Solutions student portal via a “smart” link that leads to the student’s own College student voice web page.

The initial development of “student voice” pages was delayed due to prioritisation of completion of the student portal and will now be progressed.

March 2011 August 2012

Contact:  Jane McAllister

 Teaching Infrastructure Working GroupDue to StartDue to Complete 

The Teaching Infrastructure Working Group was established to examine the provision of teaching space throughout the University. The remit is as follows:

  • To develop a future strategy for investment in teaching space;
  • To consider investment across campus teaching: laboratories, lecture theatres, seminar and tutorial areas;
  • To work with Estates & Buildings to examine and recommend criteria that can be used to prioritise investment in teaching laboratory space;
  • To examine current strategies in relation to refurbishment and upgrading of other teaching spaces, in particular, identify opportunities from the creative development of teaching space to address emerging trends in teaching;
  • To scrutinise examination accommodation.

Two phases have so far been completed: a full survey of lecture theatre space and a plan for refurbishment has been established and; a full survey of laboratory space has been undertaken. The Working Group is currently identifying prioritisation for laboratory space refurbishment.

Update 16 September 2011: Prioritisation for refurbishment of laboratory space has been completed. The Group is now looking at Social Learning Space Development and overall strategy for investment.

Update 25 April 2012: The refurbishment of laboratory space was currently taking place, in line with the prioritisation timetable as identified by the teaching laboratory space survey.

The Group undertook a review of maintenance and fault reporting mechanisms with a new fault reporting page now available at:  The new live desktop icon should be live by the beginning of Session 2012/13. 

The development of social learning space was still under discussion.

June 2010 Ongoing
Contact:  Catherine Omand
Turnitin - Best Practice Working PartyDue to StartDue to Complete

The Best Practice Turnitin Working Party was established to investigate:

  • Turnitin's electronic deposit;
  • Online marking;
  • Reflective learning and peer review functions.

This group will trial these and further functions and report on the implications of integrating them into existing teaching practices. The remit of the Best Practice Turnitin Working Party can be viewed at:

Update 13 September 2011: Meetings of the Working Party are now complete and a final report is being submitted to the Learning & Teaching Committee on 19/9/11.

March 2011 Completed

Contact:  Lesley Fielding



Update of Researcher Development StrategyDue to StartDue to Complete

Following changes to funding mechanisms for researcher training and the restructuring of the University, the Researcher Development Committee will update the University's researcher development strategy.

This includes:

  • Consultation with student / staff groups, relevant committees or working groups and university services to determine key themes and KPIs for the strategy
  • Linking to work previously undertaken on implementation of the Researcher Development Framework
  • Approval of strategy and KPIs by relevant committees
  • Dissemination of strategy across the University
August 2012 June 2013

Contact:  Elizabeth Adams



Work-related Learning Action GroupDue to Start  Due to Complete
The Work-related Learning Action Group (previously known as the Work Related Forum) was set up with four key strands of activity:
  • Policy Review and Environmental Scan
  • Development of a bid to LTDF to develop on-campus internships
  • Curriculum Development for non-vocational disciplines, including recommendations on Regulatory Framework and resource enhancement
  • Audit of employer links (including cross-College and School overlaps and complementarities)

These were completed by the end of 2010-11. A further strand of activities is planned for 2011-12.
The remit of University Work Related Forum can be found at:

February 2011  Completed

Contact:  Jane Weir / Julie Smith;