Added value proposition by keralaguest

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									                   Surrey Award added value proposition
The moral purpose of higher education is to make a positive difference to students;
lives and enable them to achieve more of their potential. A University Award to
recognise learning gained outside the credit-bearing curriculum will enhance our
ability to value and recognise more of our students’ learning and achievements than
we currently are able to do, encourage students to be more self-aware and help them
articulate their learning and achievements and demonstrate how they are realizing their
potential. Bearing in mind the policy objectives outlined on page 1. The case for creating an
award can be formed around the following arguments.

The promise of providing students with more opportunity to demonstrate their
learning and development as a whole person ‘we will develop a toolkit to identify,
document and appropriately recognize a broad range of whole-person learning’ (p1). The
award would provide a Framework for recognising and valuing learning, a supportive
infrastructure and a set of tools for achieving this policy objective.

The University of Surrey has a long tradition of providing opportunity for undergraduate
students to learn through formal programmed campus-based activities and informal
experiences in professional year-long work placements. Enabling students to demonstrate
and integrate working and learning in very different environments is ultimately what gives
them their competitive advantage when trying to find a job. The proposal for a new Award
enhances our ability to encourage and enable our students to integrate their lives into their
higher education experience and make their educational experience more complete (building
a sustainable model to deliver "a complete education" p1), more relevant, and more
personally meaningful to who they are and who they want to be.

The promise of providing students with more opportunity to develop and
demonstrate capabilities that are valued by employers and are relevant to
being professional
 ‘We want to enhance opportunities for the development of professional intelligence and
capability for students who do not participate in the PTY ‘(p1)
We are a university that prides itself in the excellence of the opportunities we provide for
students to develop their professional capabilities alongside their academic capabilities but if
we exclude programmes where work placement is compulsory, only about half of our
undergraduates chose to take the opportunity afforded by the professional training year.
There are many reasons for this but for a proportion of students especially in professional
fields where they are unlikely to get paid while they are in professional training, it is likely that
financial reasons are important. This may well become even more significant as fees rise in
the next few years. The argument we are putting forward is that a University Award that
values the types of informal learning that students gain through their professional training may
well encourage students who do not undertake a placement to engage in the learning
enterprises within the award that will show they are indeed developing themselves personally
and professionally.

 ‘strengthening PDP across the University’ is an explicit objective of the Student Experience
Strategy (p1). It is through this mechanism that students will appreciate the breadth and depth
of their own educational experience and how they are making their own educational
experience more complete by developing themselves through the opportunities that their life
affords. The self-determined, self-managed and self-regulated process that learners engage
in through the Life-wide Learning Award is essentially ‘applied PDP’ (p11).

The possibility of improving students’ abilities to communicate more of their
learning and achievements to employers
By reframing our perception of what counts as learning and developing the means to
recognize and value learning that is not formally assessed within an academic
programme, we can help learners develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of
how and what they are learning in the different parts of their lives. Heightened self-
awareness is likely to help learners become more effective at learning through their own
experiences. Heightened self-awareness combined with greater ability to articulate what
they know and can do (the fundamental epistemology on which our proposals are based)

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will help our students maintain their competitive edge. Greater self-awareness combined
with the development of more comprehensive personal records of learning and
achievement will enhance students’ ability to present themselves and relate their learning,
achievements and experiences to the needs and interests of future employers.

The possibility of creating a stronger sense of collegiality among the many
professionals who contribute to student development outside the faculties
We recognize this implies a rethinking of the academic curriculum, the role of professional
services, the importance of co-curricular and non-curricular activities for learning. We
acknowledge that this will also require new ways of recognising learning gained from
experiences outside formal academic programmes….we will develop a range of curricular and
non-curricular opportunities for learning (p1)
Many of the co-curricular building blocks that could contribute to an Award have already been
developed, notably the extensive skills, career development and personal well being activities
managed by USSU, SPLASH, SCEPTrE, Careers Service and Wellbeing Centre, the
volunteering programmes of USSU, Educational Liaison, Uni Sport, the enterprise activities of
RES and SCEPTrE, the various peer mentoring schemes offered around the university by
academic departments and SIAD and coordinated by SPLASH, and the encouragement and
support for Student Societies given by USSU. An Award would create a structure within which
such activities could be recognized and valued as part of learners’ self-determined personal
and professional development. It would provide a greater organisational coherence and sense
of purpose to the multiplicity of student development activities that lie outside the academic
curriculum. It would enable students to see how everything, potentially, can be connected and
integrated into their own personal and professional development.

From students’ perspective – a more coherent perception of how all the different parts
of the university work together to support their development.

The promise of providing students with more recognition for their learning and
achievements: Meeting the challenge of the Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR)
to provide more comprehensive and explicit information about students’ informal learning
The Burgess Committee is working on behalf of the sector to respond to Government
pressure to provide better information about the outcomes of a higher education. It is
proposing a Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) within which there is to be explicit
recognition of achievements that have been gained outside the academic curriculum. The
proposed Award would enable the University to demonstrate that it was providing learners
with opportunities to demonstrate and make claims for informal learning gained from
experiences outside their programmes of study and that the University had mechanisms for
verifying such achievement.

The possibility of avoiding competitive disadvantage
Our research has shown that nearly fifty universities have developed or are developing award
and recognition schemes similar to the one that is proposed in this report. Many of these
universities are direct competitors. With the inevitable increase in fees in the next few years,
Universities will be trying to demonstrate the value they add through the education they
provide is superior to their competitors: Universities offering ‘complementary awards’ will have
an advantage over those that don’t offer such awards.

The opportunity to create something that enhances our distinctiveness
as a university The movement we have identified across the sector is so strong that we
predict in a few years these types of awards will be part of the normal offer of most
universities and the competitive advantage will be in the distinctiveness, quality, scope and
support for such schemes. Surrey’s strong tradition of supporting learning through work
placements puts us in an advantageous position. The educational design we are proposing
builds on the same beliefs about the value of learning through experience, as we hold for
professional training. The framework we are suggesting is, as far as we can determine, very
distinctive.




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