UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND VETERINARY MEDICINE
Minutes of the meeting of the College UG Studies Committee
Wednesday 15 February 2012 in Seminar room 5, Biomedical Teaching Organisation
Present: Professor Alan Cumming (Chair), Dr H Cameron, Dr F Kristmundsdottir, Dr P Larkman, Mrs M
McGill, Professor S Rhind, Ms M Ross, Dr J Stewart, Ms R Stewart, Professor N Turner
Presentation by Dr David Laurenson, Academic Lead, Shared Academic Timetabling (SAT) Project
Dr Laurenson explained the project aims and potential benefits including enhanced student experience, more
effective use of resources, improved curriculum planning and flexibility in managing staff time. To achieve
these aims a common timetabling solution was being introduced to include all learning and teaching
activities and all rooms used for learning and teaching. Members were brought up to date with the current
status of the project including confirmation that the go live date for the first phase - ‘Minimum Change’ -
was on schedule for the end of March 2012.
CMVM had limited involvement in the Minimum Change phase. The MVM room booking system would
remain in place although rooms previously booked through EBIS would be administered through the new
system and rooms in BMS would be in the new system.
For the second phase - Extended Implementation - MVM Room Booking would remain to enable NHS staff
to book rooms. Dynamic links would be established between MVM Room Booking and the new system.
Although EEMeC, EEVeC and EEPoP would remain for VLE functions, mechanisms to support tutorial
signup linking VLEs and timetabling would be explored.
Presentation by Professor Tony Lynch, English Language Teaching Centre
Professor Lynch brought members up to date with changes in English language support for international
students offered by the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC). From September 2012 in-session
English support under the English Language Testing and Tuition (ELTT) programme was being extended to
undergraduate students. The tuition programme was also being lengthened to end in May rather than March.
The Test of English at Matriculation (TEAM), taken during induction week, was still the route into the ELTT
courses and would assess students for places in one of the new courses. In addition to new courses there
would be a series of workshops and student would have access to ELTC web materials. The courses would
be free to students.
New medical students had been encouraged to take the TEAM test and Year 3 students had all taken the
opportunity to be assessed. However, Year 1 students entering in 2011 had not done so and it was agreed
that stronger encouragement for these students was required to address potential problems at an early stage.
Students with scores above the criteria for tuition would continue to be offered access to on-line ELTC
materials and advice.
1. Apologies: Professor S Bates, Ms L Dalziel, Dr M Donaldson, Mr M Poon, Professor I Power
2. Minutes of previous meeting (25.10.11)
Minutes were approved.
3. Matters arising not covered elsewhere
3.1 Managed Migration update (Item 3.1)
It was reported that the first audit of University processes by the UK Border Agency would take place
shortly. Census points in each semester had been introduced at the beginning of the academic year and the
second of these had taken place earlier in the week. It was likely that UKBA fees would increase in the near
3.2 ELIR Report (Item 11.1)
The report was generally positive.
3.3 Release of marks (Item 13)
This would be addressed at the next meeting.
4. BMS Report (Paper 1112/CUGSC/03)
4.1 Issues highlighted included:
changes to the minimum entry requirements for admission to the BSc (Hons) degree in Medical
changes to the requirements for graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Medical Sciences
introduction of new rules for permission to record lectures including for students not holding a
Disability Service Learning Profile.
4.2 Proposed new Intercalated B Med Sci Hons degree in Literature and Medicine
Although the proposal had been to the BMS Board of Studies it had not yet completed the approval process
in HSS. Members were very supportive of this initiative but were concerned that the entry requirement for
applicants to have done a specific SSC would be unfair. It was agreed to ask the programme organiser to
extend the option of doing two pieces of written work, available to external applicants, to Edinburgh
students. Dr Stewart would take these concerns back to the programme organiser in HSS.
5. R(D)SVS Report
Relevant committee papers can be accessed at http://www.ltc.vet.ed.ac.uk/
Points highlighted included:
The first student welfare week would coincide with innovative learning week.
The Learning and Teaching Committee had approved new assessment regulations which effectively
discontinued the use of essays in high stakes exams although they could still be used for in course
assessment if double marked.
Every course now had to introduce the opportunity for feedback prior to half way through the course.
Standard setting was to be incorporated into assessment processes.
A ‘house’ system had been developed for personal tutors which could map onto the requirements of
6. MBChB Report (Paper 1112/CUGSC/04)
Papers can be accessed at http://www.currexec.mvm.ed.ac.uk/
The focus of Programme Committee meetings in November and January had been on:
arrangements for student assistantships which were being introduced in Year 5 in March 2012
including ensuring that all students had access to the TRAK system.
Academic feedback in particular the meeting with the Medical Students Council to discuss issues
raised by students.
Personal tutors and draft proposed arrangements for the MBChB.
English language support for international students.
7. BSc (Oral Health Sciences) Report
It was reported that the Service Level Agreements were being re-negotiated and that there may be an impact
on the curriculum.
8. Academic Feedback
Students in all relevant areas were being encouraged to respond to the NSS 2012 survey. It was also
reported that EEMeC developments now allowed an OSCA examination to be run in feedback mode. This
would be demonstrated at the next meeting.
9. Personal Tutor Scheme
9.1 Report from the Student Support Implementation Group (SSIG)
Professor Cumming reported that the group had met twice and addressed a significant number of issues
raised across the University. It was clear that although there would be common policy and requirements,
there would be variations between schools as to how these were implemented.
9.2 Roles and Responsibilities: Personal Tutor Scheme (1112/CUGSC/05)
The paper outlined the draft roles and responsibilities within the Personal Tutor Scheme to be introduced
from September 2012 as part of the University’s project on enhancing student support. In Medicine the
process for years 1 and 2 would be similar to the rest of the University. In years 3, 4 and 5 it was hoped to
involve junior doctors to provide clinical tutoring and pastoral support and the additional University resource
which would be available to medicine would be used to buy the time of junior doctors. However, personal
tutors would not necessarily be the primary vehicle for delivering pastoral care in the later years. Professor
Cumming was meeting focus groups and hoped to appoint a senior tutor soon.
In veterinary medicine arrangements would be via a ‘house’ system.
Biomedical Sciences would adopt a similar arrangement to the rest of the University.
10. Admissions Update
10.1 BSc Medical Sciences
Although applications for 2012 entry to the BSc in Medical Sciences were down from the previous year it
was still at a healthy level. A total of 391 applications had been received from Scottish/RUK and EU
students. To date 108 applications had been received from overseas applicants with some time to go before
the closing date of 15 June. The quota for RUK students was still unknown.
10.2 BSc Oral Health Sciences
A total of 160 applications had been received for the 10 Scottish/RUK/EU places. In addition, overseas
students would be admitted for the first time in 2012 and to date there were 7 applications.
Interviews for SFC places were taking place. The issue of domicile status changes after offer was seen as a
potential problem which could impact on numbers.
MBChB places in Scotland were being reduced by 50 places (6%) in 2012 so that the target number for
2012 entry to Edinburgh would be reduced by 12 to 190. A request to the Scottish Government to allow
overseas students to take up the deficit was refused. It was emphasised that the cap of 7.5% of overseas
places had to be adhered to in the future so there would be no additional overseas students in 2012.
11. Reports from University and Senatus Committees
11.1 Senatus Quality Assurance Committee
Report of Student Academic Appeals 2010/11 1112/CUGSC/06
The report was noted.
12. University Task Groups
12.1 DRPS (Marion McGill/Lindsay Dalziel)
The group had been renamed the ‘Degree Regulations Task Group’ in recognition of the fact that it was
considering only the degree regulations. It was also agreed that the group would produce University-wide
degree regulations, one for UG and one for PG.
12.2 Special Circumstances (John Stewart)
Dr Stewart reported that the group had met once. Discussion centred on the background and current practice.
13. Any other business
13.1 Key Information Sets (KIS)
Key Information Sets were comparable sets of standardised information about undergraduate
programmes and would be required for all UG programmes by September 2012. An initial
information meeting had been held with MBChB and BMS staff and another would be scheduled
for veterinary medicine and Oral Health Sciences shortly.
13.2 Carnegie Vacation Scholarships awards
There appeared to be some confusion about the process for students applying for these awards and it
was agreed to discuss funding of vacation projects at the next meeting.
14. Next meeting –17/05/2012 at 3pm at the new Veterinary School.