Progress and Priorities Bulletin

The STA  Progress and Priorities Bulletin provides a vehicle for our Faculty Leadership Team to share information with you, and to seek your feedback and comments.

We email the Bulletin directly to all staff to ensure you receive updates as soon as possible. Conversations should still take place in team meetings (guidance is available on how best to do this) and through the line management chain.

You can provide feedback:

  • via your line manager
  • directly to the relevant Faculty Leadership Team member
  • to Kirstie Garnett, the STA Faculty Operations Manager

We want the Bulletin to be a useful starting point for dialogue, so please take the opportunity to share your views and comments

In this edition


  • Institutes
  • University Portfolio Review
  • STA Portfolio Review

  • Project Based Learning in Computing
  • Sense of place for Media Arts and Communication

  • Short and medium term actions
  • Longer term actions
National Student Survey

  • The Strategy
  • Immediate actions
Updates & announcements

  • Student recruitment
  • Academic Organisation Project
  • Recent appointments
  • ULT cross-cutting roles
  • STA Christmas Celebration




It has been agreed that, under the ‘One University policy’ (one of the governing principles of AOP), there should be a review of the two non-research institutes, the Institute of Education and Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA), in SSH and STA, respectively.

The SIA reviews will investigate:

  1. The Mission and Purpose of SIA
  2. Structure of SIA
  3. Business Plan, finances/budget and resourcing model.
  4. The governance structure and processes.
  5. The Institute’s ‘reach’
  6. The impact and promotional value of the Institute to the University and stakeholders
  7. Assessment of the outward face and public image of SIA
  8. SIA’s activity levels
  9. Potential for development in different directions

The first phase of work is expected to take place between 1st December 2018 and early February 20198 (TBC), including interviews with relevant stakeholders.

The STA Faculty Leadership Team contact for item is Prof. Stephen Hagen, Interim PVC of the Faculty of STA.

University Portfolio Review

The University is undertaking a review of it’s academic portfolio, in line with the Shaping Futures priority:

Creation of a distinctive applied educational offer at Sheffield Hallam which exemplifies an education at Hallam that is attractive to students, placing experiential learning and engagement with the wider world at the heart of the curriculum.

The four strands of the Portfolio review are:

  • Portfolio Oversight
  • Non-standard courses
  • Pg brand
  • Online Distance Learning

Next steps:

  • Portfolio Oversight Group scheduled for 22nd November (STA represented by Sally Wade) to share progress and agree how work will be progressed working alongside faculties & directorates
  • Non-standard courses – decision required for how we can best deliver courses and support for these learner types

More information can be found on the Shaping Future Pillar Board Hub.

The STA Faculty Leadership Team contact for this item is Prof. Sally Wade, Deputy Dean.

STA Portfolio Review

We are reviewing our current portfolio to support an excellent student experience and academic excellence by (Scope: UGT (except apprenticeships), PGT,  TNE and UK partnerships):

  • reducing complexity
  • addressing courses with poor recruitment and consistently poor NSS
  • developing an attractive and distinctive portfolio, within a coherent framework, which meet the needs of prospective students, external stakeholders and employers
  • ensuring the curriculum meets the criteria of an applied university working locally and globally
  • ensuring pedagogy is challenge-driven, technology-rich, innovative, flexible and future-focused

and to:

  • ensure financial sustainability
  • inform estates planning

Next steps

  • Phase 1 report complete by 21st November
  • Review panels wc 26th November

The STA Faculty Leadership Team contact for this item is Prof. Sally Wade, Deputy Dean.


Project Based Learning in Computing

  • Workshops led by Estates taking place with departmental staff
  • Running alongside curriculum developments
  • Feed into more detailed planning at Space Development Group

Sense of place for Media Arts and Communication

  • Workshops with departmental staff suggested principles to guide development of space
  • Academic Portfolio Review will give further direction for the project
  • Detailed project planning likely to start after Christmas

The STA Faculty Leadership Team contact for this item is Prof. Sally Wade, Deputy Dean.


Short and medium term actions

Semester 1 focus – Solving urgent problems and aiming for stability

  • Working with the timetabling team
  • new inbox – type in ! Timetabling STA…
  • Timetablers – Gina Townend, Victoria Rigby, Lee Waghorn
  • STA Timetabling Hub Manager – Sam Kouchakji-Allen
  • Communication with students:
  • unavoidable short notice changes, upcoming changes later in Semester
  • Timetabling key messages – circulated
  • Change requests (co-ordinated at a course level) will only be authorised when absolutely vital

Semester 2 focus – Keeping our promise to students that Semester 2 will be better

  • Check Semester 2 timetable carefully and raise vital changes as soon as possible
  • Raise any questions about technical facilities with Faculty Technical Services team

Longer term actions

Timetabling for 2019/20 – Developing a good timetable so student satisfaction is maximised

  • Working with Department contact for Timetabling (usually DHoD)
  • Planning effectively – noting key dates (already circulated); attending timetabling planning workshops (November, February, May/June)
  • Considering impact of other activities – Portfolio Review; student recruitment targets; work planning; appointment of ALs

Underpinned by

  • Emphasis on partnership working and dialogue; development of hub team to share work and knowledge; review of University timetabling principles

The STA Faculty Leadership Team contact for this item is Jill Nanson, Faculty Strategic Business Partner 

National Student Survey

The Strategy

Targeting all NSS areas below SHU target  (90%)

Particular focus on:

Organisation and management – given relationship to overall satisfaction score

  • Informal Student Cohort: Course Leader/ Team meets
  • Improving course leader forums and activities
  • Student Experience Project Leaders – to communicate and improve key NSS Questions

Assessment and Feedback

  • Workshops provided and BB site checks to enhance consistency in marking criteria and quality feedback.

Academic Support

  • Academic advising- implementing both group and 1:1 sessions + Faculty-wide Feedback Weeks

 Improving Learning Community and Student Voice

  • Responding to feedback – all BB module sites now have You Said We Did content area
  • STA Building a Sense of Belonging and Student Voice Group – new for 18/19

Immediate actions

  • Enhancing communication of positive messages around the specific NSS questions
  • Student Experience Project Leads to help with targeted action
  • Course trips, social/fun activities, extra-mile activities
  • Strategy for increasing response rates in 2019

The STA Faculty Leadership Team contact for this item is Dr Julie Brunton, Assistant Dean Student Experience.

Updates and announcements

Student recruitment

Key messages:

  • FT Ug is up by 71 students
  • Pg is slightly down by 8 students
  • Overseas (and PG) on target
  • Apprenticeships on target
  • Yr 1 up by 64 students
  • Yr 2 progression not as good as assumed
  • Placements 27 less than assumed

The STA Faculty Leadership Team contact for this item is Carl McLennan, STA Head of Finance.

Academic Organisation Project

Consultancy firm Deloitte now working alongside the project team to review the AOP to date.

The scope of review is as follows: Overall vision and review of problem statement and guiding principles; functional model development and presentation of a number of high level options; review of project governance and recommendations for how to take forward.

A small working group, which is a sub-set of the larger AOP steering group, will be convened to oversee this work.

It is not envisioned that this review will mean that the AOP takes a fundamental change in direction, but some shift in emphasis is likely.

The STA Faculty Leadership Team contact for this item is Prof. Stephen Hagen, Interim PVC for the Faculty of STA.

Recent appointments


Prof. Alan Smith

Acting Assistant Dean, Research



Dr Leigh Fleming

Deputy Head of Department, Engineering



Dharmendra Shadija

Acting Deputy Head of Department, Computing



Mark Jacobi

Acting Deputy Head of Department, Computing


Dean Naidoo

Acting Deputy Head, Media Arts and Communication


ULT cross-cutting roles

The University has  taken the opportunity over the summer to look again at the ULT cross-cutting leadership roles, following a number of changes in ULT membership.

These roles are an important demonstration of our collective leadership of the University. They are undertaken on behalf of ULT as a whole, and focus on issues or opportunities which explicitly require a cross organisational approach.  They are not intended to cut across formal line management structures, though they are intended to shape and influence our activity right across the University; and oversight of work is generally through the relevant Pillar Board.

The brief descriptions attached (PDF; 40KB) summarise the current roles, including scope, key priorities for the year ahead, as well as accountability arrangements and key dependencies.

These are not permanent roles, and we will from time to time re-assign responsibilities or introduce new roles.  

STA Christmas Celebration

The annual STA celebration will take place between 3pm – 5pm on the 13th December 2018 in the Hertha Ayrton STEM Centre. Invite to all staff to follow.

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