Leadership Bulletin – February 2018

The Shaping Futures update from the February 2018 Leadership Bulletin

Shaping Futures – Professor Christina Hughes

I recently had the great pleasure of providing an update on the Shaping Futures agenda at the Transforming Lives strategy sessions for all colleagues. Your questions, and emails afterwards, showed me how much you would welcome more detail on what we are doing.  One area of particular interest was that of employability.

Employability remains a high area of focus for us as we still have a way to go to realise our TEF benchmarked metrics. And, reinforcing the importance of our recently launched Equalities Objectives, when it comes to disadvantaged groups, we find that both BAME and disabled students perform worse against benchmark than white and non-disabled students respectively. Additionally, full-time male students have a poorer outcome than females, although the opposite is true for part-time students.  Whilst there is a clear story of improvement over time, the indicator for highly skilled employment or further study is the area that requires most urgent attention.

We have therefore developed the Employability Plan that you can find here. This is a comprehensive approach that includes targeted support with departments and with specific groups of students.  One example is the Graduate Support Programme which has placed 99 graduates into internship roles during January. Simon Thompson and colleagues in Careers and Employability will also place a further 53 Level 6 students into internships during March and are looking at a further 200 internships during April and May. They will also shortly be launching the 2018 Graduate Support Programme  that, if last year is anything to go by, will be contacting 2000+ students with an offer of 1-1 intensive support and coaching, fortnightly boot camps and a Gradcon careers fair. To support the academic development of employability we have also appointed two Academic Directors: Esther Kent, Sports Business Management and Paul Heys, Graphic Design and Art.

There are three further areas to particularly update you with. First, the Hallam Guild is on its way! We have appointed David Kyffin (Faculty of Development and Society) as the Guild’s new Head of Operations and Development. On the priority list is to progress a membership policy and infrastructure for the small amounts of funding we have. We will formally launch the Guild in Autumn 2018.

It is also crucial that we enhance how we are communicating with, and listening to, our students and simultaneously supporting you in those communications. We want our students to hear much more about the richness and diversity of university life and for them to share in the achievements of our staff and our students.  We also want to create new ways to have dialogue with our students that builds on digital communication channels. We have appointed Ailsa Hogg (Marketing) as Acting Head of Student Communications who will be working closely with me on shaping this agenda.

Finally, I am really pleased to say we launched the ACHIEVE website in January. We also have an ACHIEVE twitter feed @ACHIEVE_HallamDo follow and, more importantly, contribute.

And as always, if you have any questions, suggestions or comments, get in touch with me.  I always like to hear from you.

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