Presentation on theme: "The Scottish Higher Education System: an overview of key elements November 2012 Dr. Christine Laennec, Centre for Learning & Teaching."— Presentation transcript:
The Scottish Higher Education System: an overview of key elements November 2012 Dr. Christine Laennec, Centre for Learning & Teaching
We will look at: Higher Education Institutions in Scotland Nature of Scottish undergraduate degrees Funding (briefly!) Qualifications students may arrive with Scottish Qualifications Framework Quality Assurance Implications for teaching staff at Aberdeen
Higher Education Institutions in Scotland 20 HEIs: – ancients: Edinburgh (1582), St. Andrews (1413), Glasgow (1451), Aberdeen (1495) – 1960s: Dundee, Strathclyde, Heriot-Watt, Stirling – post-1992: Glasgow Caledonian, Napier, Queen Margaret, Robert Gordon University, etc. – 2010: University of the Highlands & Islands Future?
Scottish undergraduate degrees 4-year degree (generally) – 3-year degree is also possible (Ordinary Degree) – Some programmes, e.g. languages, may take 5 years In arts & humanities, M.A. is the first degree (no B.A.). Called an Honours Degree (M.A. Hons.) The extra year is at Level 1 Levels 1 & 2: wider breadth of study – teaching marks Levels 3 & 4: Honours levels – Marks count towards eventual degree classification (1 st ; 2i; 2ii; 3 rd )
How is HE funded in Scotland? Responsibility for education is devolved to the Scottish parliament Funding body: Scottish Funding Council – SFC distributes more than £1.5 billion to Higher Education and Further Education (FE) – Main teaching grant for Aberdeen in 2012-2013: 45.4M (cf. Glasgow, 83.7M)* – Research funding is less than teaching grant; calculated on the results of the Research Excellence Framework exercise (every 7 years) As of 2012, the Main Teaching Grant only covers students from Scotland and the EU. Rest of UK [RUK] students and international students pay tuition fees. *Scottish Funding Council press release, 20 December 2011, Table 2 [http://www.sfc.ac.uk/web/FILES/PressReleases_SFCPR202011/SFCPR_20_2011.pdf, consulted 23 October 2012].
What do students pay to study at the University of Aberdeen? Scottish students: free (Scottish government pays £1,820 annual fee) Rest of UK [RUK] students: £9,000 / year, max £27,000 EU students: free – Legal challenge to this? International students (non-EU): £10,500 - £13,500/year; £24,000/year for Medicine
What kinds of qualifications do students arrive with? Highers / Advanced Highers (Scottish students) A-levels (RUK) – encouraged to start at Level 2 International Baccalaureate HNC/HND (earned at College) – often go directly into Level 2 Access Summer School (many different backgrounds, incl. mature students)
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is tasked with ensuring that HEIs deliver appropriate standards. Quality Enhancement Framework: – Enhancement Themes 8 have been completed since 2003 Currently Developing & Supporting the Curriculum, 2011- 2014 – Enhancement-Led Institutional Review (ELIR, every 4 years. Must be prepared by autumn 2013; visit 2014) – Internal Teaching Reviews
And also… Approximately 50% of school leavers in Scotland go on to do further or higher education. In August 2012, there was an outcry because of a perception that university places for fee-paying RUK students were plentiful, whereas Scottish students had fewer available university places during clearing. The Scottish government denied this was the case. If a university over-recruits, it must pay a penalty to the Scottish government. Curriculum for Excellence has now been extended to secondary level & FE. Equality Act means we must accommodate students with disabilities, including specific learning differences. Financial reality means that many nominally full-time students are working 15+ hours a week.
Implications for teaching staff Must teach a diverse student population: – Not all Level 1 students are school-leavers who share a similar background. – Increasingly, students will be entering at Level 2 (Direct Entry). – Many students who have received support for dyslexia and other learning differences in school will expect support at university. However, as teachers we are not usually informed of a students background / specific disability, etc.
Resources Each School has a Director of Teaching & Learning, and a Director of Research; each School has a disability officer. There are research networks, centres and events at the university. There is increasing research collaboration between universities. There are symposia on teaching & learning at the university, as well as nationwide (Enhancement Themes, etc.).
Resources The Centre for Learning & Teaching can give tailored advice and help for teaching, including e-learning. The Centre for Learning & Teaching offers a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education. The Student Learning Service offers tailored in-course sessions. Student Support organises provisions for students with disabilities; this may include seeing dyslexia adviser.
Online resources Centre for Learning & Teaching website has resources and case studies of innovative teaching practices here at Aberdeen. For Students: – ACHIEVE on My Aberdeen (under My Organisations) – Academic Learning Resources on My Aberdeen (under My Organisations) – Improving Your Writing (www.abdn.ac.uk/sls/academicwriting/) – SLS workshops (www.abdn.ac.uk/sls/)
Centre for Learning & Teaching: www.abdn.ac.uk/clt firstname.lastname@example.org Student Learning Service: www.abdn.ac.uk/sls email@example.com