Leadership Bulletin – April 2017

The Shaping Futures update from the April 2017 Leadership Bulletin

Shaping futuresProfessor Christina Hughes

The countdown begins. We have a strategy.  We have our four Boards. We have been doing a lot of consultation, planning and modelling to translate the strategy into concrete plans. This means that, when it meets for the first time on Tuesday 11 April, our agenda for the Shaping Futures Board contains three core areas of concern. These are:

1)    Put in place clear, targeted, comprehensive actions to deliver consistently excellent performance across the student lifecycle.

2)    Embed a culture of educational excellence in the University by investing in the establishment of a strong professional academic community focused on building and sharing best practice

3)    Create a distinctive applied educational offer at Sheffield Hallam that exemplifies our approach and is attractive to students, placing experiential learning and engagement with the wider world at the heart and strengthening approaches at course rather than module level.

As you might suspect, beneath each of those headings there are a number of sub-tasks. These range from delivering the plan for employability and improving retention rates, to embedding a strategic approach to an inclusive student experience and ensuring consistency and transformational performance in all subject areas and across all student groups. It includes the inception of the Hallam Guild and revising our offer for professional development for learning and teaching to take a stronger team- and course-based approach. It includes a review of the portfolio to take account of current changes and challenges in market opportunities, including higher degree apprenticeships and accelerated degrees, underpinning this through a digital strategy. Needless to say, this includes ensuring our processes are neither overly bureaucratic nor stifling of innovation.  Rather, that they support academic engagement in quality assurance and quality enhancement and facilitate effective student progression.

As you can see, we have a lot to do and one of the first tasks for Shaping Futures will be to set out a schedule of prioritisation and put in place those actions that support these. We have some changes to go through, but I am confident that with your support and the expertise and experience of our colleagues who comprise the Shaping Futures Board, we have in place all the elements for embedding our transformational strategy into transformatory practices. So, watch this space!

Excerpt from the April 2017 Leadership Bulletin

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