Idea Generation Video 1: I’d like to make a point that the delays, if there are delays – there are practical delays between different stages. But the biggest delays in my experience, over many year, for new programmes of study have been that ones that you get a germ of an idea and it takes 2,3,4,7 years to leave the School. Audio 1: What about other schools? Is a new idea within the strategic plan? It ends up in the strategic plan. Hopefully, usually. I mean, normally it comes from either shall we say responding to market demand – so if we’ve got an existing MA scheme that we notice a particular route for that MA scheme is getting a high level of demand for it. But it also comes from things like the appointment of new staff, so if we bring in new staff who have got new research expertise that we can develop. Again – income. But also individual staff wanting to create research clusters – that sometimes drives it forwards – so its PGR recruitment, which knocks onto income as well. Audio 2: But I think all schools have the ‘we need to have more courses, particularly post- graduate, because we need more money’. So whatever programmes we think about, we have to say how it matches our strategic plan. Well our strategic plan is that we want more postgraduate courses because we want more postgraduate students. So it’s more that overview drive, rather than the head of School sitting there and saying… Audio 3: I think more guidance at the beginning of the process, to schools generally, about the type of programme the university wants and the areas it would like to develop – the whole sort of portfolio approach would be helpful. I mean, we’ve had a number of people griping about professional doctorates for example – does the university want them? What is the approach? Also some guidance to schools about how to go about determining the market demand and whether the programme will be viable in the long term. Do you think more central support in this area would be helpful then? That would be very helpful. But also in helping schools developing a proper financial business case. I’ve been in other schools where no business case has been put together, and you’re reading the documentation knowing that you’re not going to recruit 6 people wanting to do ancient tiddlywinks. But that course is put through anyway? Yes, of course, because there’s an enthusiastic person who wants to run a course in ancient tiddlywinks. Audio 4: How long is it roughly from idea generation to School Advisory Panel? It might be five years! Ideas brew in the background, you know. One day perhaps they’d like to do this kind of idea, so it’ll just sit in the strategic plan cycle after cycle, but no-one will do anything about it as we’re doing other higher priority things. But I’d say the ones I’ve been involved in so far, which is only MSc’s, from when someone is really identified by the Board of Studies as the lead taking this forward – to the SAP, it’s getting on towards a year. Audio 5: What do you think about the length of time that the whole process takes from the idea being generated to the very end of the process, where the students are on the course? It depends when you have your ideas. If you have your ideas at the end of the previous session, then actually it can go quite quickly – because over the summer you can get the various bits together, then it can go through the board of studies and things, then you can have the meeting with Registry, then it can it can all click in. The first one we did more formally recently, it was quite late. But fortunately the Registry Officers were generous and put it though quite quickly and we did some of it by Chairs action. It depends when you do it. If you do it at the start of the year as part of APRE, then it would seem that it takes 2 year. But if you do it at the end, then it would seem that it takes under a year.
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