21 June 2018

Areas the board are promoting following the June Board


Committee Reports
University Teaching Quality Committee (UTQC) – Assessment projects are now within the remit of UTQC and a working group Chaired by Dave Laughton will take this programme of work forward.

Student’s Business
Luke Renwick introduced this item and was keen to obtain the Board’s initial thoughts on the Value for Money (VfM) report that was circulated.

Value for money – the student’s perspective

Neil McKay reported that a University task and finish group has been established. There is also an Student’s Union group on VfM. It was noted by Neil that there is often a disparity between the sector’s focus which frames the discussion around fees and the student perspective which places greater emphasis upon the overall cost of going to University, particularly due to the fact that the maintenance loan often fails to cover accommodation costs.

The University has an infographic on how tuition fees are spent. However this presents a broader institutional view rather than a student view. Neil would welcome the Student Union’s support in pulling together the various strands of work associated with VfM. Luke welcomed the opportunity to be a part of this work, as the funding that goes into the Students’ Union is an important element of the discussion concerning value.

The importance of articulating Hallam’s ‘distinctive offer’ and communicating this effectively as an offer that goes beyond the duration of study was noted.

Learning Analytics update
A draft report on learning analytics has been produced. A presentation on 9 July is due to take place and members of the Board will be invited to frame discussions ahead of the next Shaping Futures Board.

Preparing for Graduate Outcomes 18/19
Simon Thompson provided an update on the progress that has been made in this area to date. The Gradvantage programme for this year will continue for the next 15 months to September 2019. A target population has been supported through a range of activities, findings have shown that 52% of that population of students are in work.

Work is ongoing in relation to the shift from 6 months to 15 months, to build upon the existing offer and further enhance engagement activities and offer a benefits package. Discussions are taking place as to whether to establish an alumni platform via LinkedIn, which will support the university in establishing a network and personalising content.

James Johnston advised that the alumni team have been working with SBS to develop a graduate/ alumni to alumni networking platform. It is anticipated that this will be rolled out to different alumni groups. There will be opportunities for alumni to mentor existing students.

Academic Writing business case
Neil McKay gave an overview of the proof of concept work that has been undertaken in relation to academic writing. Neil requested that the Board approve the business case and consider the opportunities for further development in this area.

It was noted that the majority of students who accessed the Studiosity service were level 5 and level 6 students and that greater emphasis should be placed on level 4 students in order to level the playing field. It is intended that Studiosity will be embedded into practice at Hallam for all levels.

Student Communications Programme of Work business case
Ailsa Hogg and Georgina Newton delivered a presentation around the work being done on student communicatoins. A series of student focus groups have been conducted to understand students’ experience of communications. Key findings were that students felt that there is a lack of consistency.

As this area is still relatively new, further consideration is being given to any identified gaps in student communications and any further recommendations will be suggested later this academic year.

Integrating the Access and Participation Plan, the Equality Objectives and Shaping Futures activities
Access and Participation Plan update
Work is ongoing to ensure that the access and participation plan effectively integrates with Equality Objectives and the strategy to address the BME attainment gap. The Office for Students is undertaking a significant body of research into the sector’s approach to access and participation.

The importance of tracking the allocation of resource via the access route to the faculties was noted. There is now an increased emphasis on the faculties to link their spending and accountability for this, back to the University’s strategic BME plan. Statements are currently being produced for faculties, detailing financial information and performance indicators relating to KPIs.

BME Attainment Gap business case revised
It was noted that an earlier version of the BME attainment gap business case had gone to a previous Shaping Futures Board. The business plan is underpinned by a set of principles to ensure that the issues relating to the University’s BME attainment gap are visible. It is intended that the business case will enhance the visibility of work undertaken within the departments and ensure sustainability in the future. The suggested framework and structures facilitates opportunities for evaluation and monitoring.

A report is currently being produced which will detail departmental activity in this area and research to date, which will inform the approach for 2018/19.

Equality Objectives
The Equality Objectives were revised in July 2017. The key areas of focus are

  1. To create a step change in race equality
  2. To continue to advance gender equality
  3. To create an accessible and open environment to work and study

An analysis of institutional data has highlighted the following

  • There is a need to increase the ethnic diversity profile of students
  • Low BME student representation on placements and the opportunities afforded by placements has a subsequent adverse impact upon attainment
  • Graduate outcomes – split metrics demonstrate lower rates of BME students in managerial roles

A body of work has been undertaken to focus on the diversity of the university’s workforce, as this has a significant impact upon the culture of Hallam’s students. The online training offer has been expended to include areas such as micro-behaviours and inclusive leadership which touches upon race equality. It is intended that a specific module on race equality will be rolled out in the future. A further training needs analysis is currently underway.


  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Action record of the meeting held on 16 May 2018
  3. Committee Reports
  4. Chair’s Business
  5. Student’s Business
  6. Monthly performance report
  7. Employability Plan:
    1. Placement and Placement fees proposal
    2. Preparing for Graduate Outcomes 18/19
  8. Academic Writing business case
  9. Student Communications Programme of Work business case
  10. Integrating the Access and Participation Plan, the Equality Objectives and Shaping Futures activities:
    1. Access and Participation Plan update
    2. BME Attainment Gap business case revised
    3. Equality Objectives
  11. Academic Advising – progress update
  12. ACHIEVE and Faculty plans 18/19
  13. AOB

The following items will not be discussed at the meeting but need to be reported to the group

14. Subject TEF consultation response


Christina Hughes – Chair, Julie Byrd, Simon Bromley, Julie Brunton, Alisa Hogg, Graham Holden, Ashley Hopps, Becca Khanna, Dave Laughton, Linda Mason, Bernie Marshall, Neil McKay, Connor Moss, Luke Renwick, Sarah Swales, Claire Ward, Emma Woodcock, Keri Landeg – Acting Minute Secretary and guests presenting items.